Get to Know: Summation

Hi Surbhi!

Tell us about your brand and your business model.

Summation offers womenswear that is the anti-thesis of fast fashion by incorporating the age-old Indian textiles/ surplus export fabric in combination with cutting-edge contemporary design. Each of Summation’s collection is the outcome of a design process that draws on our cultural heritage and our design sensibility which is fiercely modern, fashion forward, and minimalist.

We aim to impart a unique personality to our products by incorporating beautiful Indian surface treatments like Vegetable dyeing, Block printing, and Hand embroidery in our garments, which are themselves crafted individually as sample pieces, as and when the customer orders. We offer all this at a price point comparable to major fast-fashion outlets, ensuring that our garments reach a market much broader than an exclusive designer niche.

Our business model has evolved to meet the key challenges of the fashion retail business today while staying true to the distinctiveness of our design and production process. To succeed in a world of volatile consumer preferences, rapidly increasing global fashion consciousness and purchasing power, we recognize the need for being nimble and sensitive to trends without compromising our underlying brand ethos.

To that end:

1. Our design process is constantly in motion and each new collection is qualitatively different, built from scratch around a completely unique set of themes and ideas.

2. We have invested in Omni-channel distribution right off the bat and a substantial proportion of our sales come from online channels.

3. The creative use of Indian fabric techniques offers near-limitless opportunities for innovation and evolution of a typical Summation style.

What drove you to start your own label? And what have you enjoyed the most so far?

We strongly believe in a woman’s multifaceted dynamic personality and seek to bring out aspects of it through clothes. This inspired us to launch our own label, Summation. We fell in love with beautiful Indian textiles and surface treatments which further inspired us to make high-quality, sustainably-produced garments that embody cultural richness instead of mass-produced superficiality. Summation is for women who desire more than the daily humdrum of fast fashion; for whom fashion is intensely personal and a way to exhibit their individuality.

I and my co-founder, Martina do everything from scratch: designing the garments, sourcing fabric, sampling, production, quality check, photoshoots, marketing, and selling. Even though every part of the process is challenging, it is equally enjoyable. But the part we enjoy the most is when we see our customer wearing a Summation garment. It puts the biggest smile on our faces and pushes us to keep on going.

What are one or two big goals you’re focusing on in the next 6 months?

While we have our roots in India, our ambition is to have a wide and deep global reach. We are enthusiastically pursuing both physical and digital distribution and marketing methods to widen and diversify our consumer base. We have received a great response online, but we feel that we need to create an offline presence of Summation. Our garments are more appreciated when people are able to touch them and appreciate the quality and thought behind the surface treatments we use.

Over the next 6 months our 2 goals are:

1. Open Summation’s first Brick & Mortar store in Delhi, India.

2. Stock our products in 5 boutiques/ niche fashion stores in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, London & New York.

☂ You can learn more about Summation here.

? You can shop the Summation collection here.

? You can connect with Surbhi on Instagram here.

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