Fashion, if you’d spare a second thought, determines character and has been around since human evolution, given how we dress and accouter ourselves so many, many years down the line. And given the here and now of digitalisation, online fashion stores are the talk of the town, a virtual click-on-choice determinant. But fashion isn’t restricted to just apparel and shoes and runs the gamut of what else you carry around and, in this regard, bags become a vital accessory.
With this in mind, Mohawk showcases bags and accessories that embody the go-getter spirit of today&’s youth. Focusing exclusively on urban office-goers between the ages of 22 and 30, the brand boasts a large range of high-fashion, trendy yet functional and cost-effective office gear.
The brainchild of Upkar S Sharma (founder, Crea), it is independently run by promising young talents Ipsa Bansal and Aarti Mehta. TheNew Delhi-based Bansal is a graduate from the International Management Institute, New Delhi, and as Mohawk&’s business head decided not to walk the conventional path. Instead of joining the family business, she opted to carve her own niche and joined Crea in 2014, right after passing out from college. Within a year, she paved a way to convince its management team to let her run the retail portfolio and, starting with just 10 designs in December 2014, she spearheaded Mohawk&’s online and offline activities.
Then again, all big achievements come with a capable partner and here&’s where the 22-year-old Mehta plays her part. A National Institute of Fashion Technology prodigy, she works as the lead designer, having joined in July last year and, as of now, taking the band&’s portfolio from 35 to around a whooping 200 designs! It goes without saying that working creatively and tirelessly along with Bansal, hers is a mission to make the Mohawk flag fly high! With these two leaders under 26 years of age, the brand benefits from their zest, energy, thought process and ambition.
So what quite prompted them to take up designing bags? Their response was a sharp and honest confession — designing bags, on any given day, was no less an art form!. With Crea acting as the parent body and actively engaged in brand merchandising for over eight years, it has evolved to now making a significant impact so far as manufacturing and churning out bags and light luggage for the corporate set-up is concerned. The decision to go the retail way was somewhat subtly organic, primarily because of the fact that they already had the talent and expertise to produce high quality bags at an affordable price. Add to that a genuine void in the men&’s office-fashion category for bags and you’ll get the bigger picture.
The duo thought and felt that there was an existing niche with a huge latent demand that could be addressed, therefore their plunge.
Asked about the idea of naming it “Mohawk”, they explained that the word “literally implies various Native American tribes, and our sole intention was to invoke the spirit of Mohawk. Since our brand caters to the young and the restless, one can draw parallels between the warrior Mohawk tribes their symbiotic relationship with their immediate surroundings and their ‘can-do’ spirit”.
Going with the spirit of the season, or rather spring, there are umpteen reasons to rejoice if one happens to be a bag-lover, gender no bar. While there are season trends to colour choices (light in summer, dark in winter), or fabric choices (cotton fabrics in summer, herringbone/wool blends with leather in winter), consumers largely chose functionality over trends at this point of time.
Being professional but slightly informal, at Mohawk a bag has to be versatile for its user&’s needs. “The challenge we undertake is to provide for various functionalities without making the bag too constructed, heavy or bulky. Since our design philosophy is minimalist, we try to incorporate simple and convenient slots and zippers to ensure the bag has multiple utility and yet stands out distinctly from whatever else is available in the market,” they say.
Mohawk, which tends to stick to office and light travel gear, never intended to get into what one would term “high fashion” as it is too seasonal and temporary. Their idea is pretty simple — focus on design innovation and sturdy construction, instead of trending too much with colours or accessories. Uniquely positioned to offer products ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,500 for typical high quality men&’s office and travel gear, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Their backpacks, laptop bags and travel gear come in matt, subtle colours with common browns and blacks to grey, blue and green that is somewhat unisex, but there&’s a pink and coral for college girls, too.
Asked about plans to go retail, they say, “Yes, we’re definitely going to launch our flagship store this year and we are fleshing out the details. At this point, what we can share is that it is going to be somewhere in the NCR region.”
It might interest you to know that a typical office bag should never weigh more than seven kilos and a light travel bag more than 12 kg. “If consumers just follow this simple rule, these bags tend to last a lifetime. After venturing into Indian e-commerce portals like Flipkart, Amazon, Koovs and Snapdeal, we are taking Mohawk international to West Asia by tying up with portals like souq.com.”
Well, if getting all dressed up is the order of the day, make sure you carry something Mohawk! As American fashion designer Tom Ford would have you know, “dressing well is a form of good manners”.