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Issue 50 / Designer Profile On Canadian Fashion Label Sant Lafleur

Designer Profile On Canadian Fashion Label Sant Lafleur

May 19, 2016


When you want to channel your inner princess, Sant Lafleur makes those style wishes come true.

What happens when Disney fairy tale meets South Asian bridal? A whimsical clothing line fit for a princess is just the tip of the iceberg. From elegant tulle skirts to eye-catching blouses, the Indo-Canadian clothing line Sant Lafleur has taken the South Asian market by storm with their romantic, modern and timeless pieces.
 
I had a chance to sit down with the faces behind the name, sisters Sonu Bassi and Puneet Bath, for an exclusive interview. Wondering how Sant Lafleur got its start? Curious what it’s like starting a fashion line in this day and age? They dish all the details right here.


Sant Lafleur
Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur

 
Kiki Khosla: Where did the idea of creating Sant Laleur come from?

Puneet Bath: Since we were kids, my sister and I were always interested in the idea of design and fashion. We would put on fashion shows and draw sketches. As we grew up our Bhua (aunt) helped us bring our ideas to life, which we would wear and share with our family. About a year and a half ago we decided to start sharing our designs with everyone else.

 
KK: How did you come up with the name?

Sonu Bassi: Sant represents Sant Nagar, the county in India where we were born and Lafleur is the street name in Brampton where we grew up. We put the two together to show the fusion we’re representing.

 
KK: Where does the inspiration from your designs come from?

PB: Day-to-day life. The big, whimsical tulle skirt comes from my childhood love for fairy tales. We’ve always been obsessed with Disney films and we draw a lot of inspiration from them. Disney represents the idea of bigger dreams.
 


Sant Lafleur

Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur

KK: What is it like starting your own fashion line?

PB: Despite what most people think, it’s a lot of work and only around 10 per cent glitz and glamour. When we initially started we would meet with customers in person but now we’ve changed to a completely online model. We interact with all our customers through WhatsApp, email or through our website. This is the best way for us to build and maintain a self-running machine.
 

KK: I see you’ve worked with Superwoman? How did that relationship develop?

SB: We got an email from her stylist in the middle of the night saying how much she loved our bowtie look and how it would be perfect for Superwoman to wear to her Toronto premier. Puneet was up until 2:00am stitching the blouse to Superwoman’s size.

 
KK: What was it like watching Superwoman wear your brand?

PB: It was surreal. So many people were tagging us in pictures. She’s from our community and grew up here which made it a lot more special.

SB: Superwoman represents South Asian women so well. Her story about getting through depression is inspiring and seeing where she is now makes her a walking, talking fulfillment of a dream. The fact it was her wearing our brand made it that much more impactful.
 

Lilly Singh a.k.a Superwoman in Sant Lafleur
Photo Credit: @iisuperwomanii (Instagram)

 
KK: How has social media had an impact on your business?

SB: Social media is the reason for our business being where it is today. We didn’t spend any money on advertising when we launched. We do a lot of collaborations which help build our brand. Bloggers have found our pieces on Instagram and have helped market the brand for us as well.

 
KK: What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced with starting your own clothing line?

SB: Understanding the customer base was a big challenge for us. We thought we were going to make this big splash but over time we realized we built a niche and there are select people who are interested in the brand.

At first it was difficult sourcing the right partnerships, which took a lot of trial and error. Because our items are made in India it was difficult communicating our culture versus the Indian culture. The way we want something stitched or cut is different then what they are used to in India because our items are not traditional. The way they describe colour is also different but over time things become a lot easier. 

PB: We had a lot of people initially come to us wanting us to replicate designs. While a lot of shops do that we want to stay true to our creativity and designs. We had some difficult conversations at first but ultimately the whole point in us creating Sant Lafleur was to showcase our own creativity. If we’re just copying someone else's work there’s no point in us doing what we’re doing. We’re not in this business to be mass-producing and making money, we’re in this for our creative outlet.

 
KK: What’s next for Sant Lafleur?

PB: It’s still in the works but we ultimately want to built a complete e-commerce site with a lot of mix and match options. We want to offer more affordable pieces that people can build a wardrobe around, kind of like the Zara of Indian clothing. Stay tuned!
 

 
Sant Lafleur
Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur


Sant Lafleur

Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur


Sant Lafleur

Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur

Sant Lafleur

Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur

For more information on Sant LaFleur check out their website here or pop them an email at [email protected]

Main Image Photo Credit: Sant Lafleur 

Kiki Khosla

Kiki Khosla

Author

Digital darling Kiki Khosla is a Toronto-based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger hoping to inspire others through her personal style and creative ingenuity. Hailing from the world and runway and print this style-savvy journalist embodies a chic, sophisticated look for the modern gal.

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