A big part of the Nepali fashion industry is focused on occasion- and event-wear. They make and promote clothing items like lehengas, saris, kurtas and gowns which are not only expensive but are actually things that we will eventually end up wearing two to three times at the most. For casual clothing, we mostly look for branded items manufactured abroad as not many of us are aware that casual clothing of good quality is also made in Nepal too. This is why friends Bilap Rai, Alina Rai and Sandipa Dangol opened Siyo Nepal, a company that primarily produces casual clothing for every body size and shape.
The three founders and designers of Siyo Nepal met one another while studying fashion design at IEC College of Arts and Fashion and have been working together ever since then. They joined the same internship program and later on opened a retail clothing outlet together before joining forces for the launch of Siyo Nepal. Actually, they rebranded their retail store into Siyo Nepal and re-launched it about two months ago.
“We were getting comments about readymade sizes not fitting our customers well and we had actually experienced the same thing ourselves when we went out to buy clothes. So we launched a store that made clothing in customized sizes,” says Bilap explaining why the founders of Siyo Nepal thought it was necessary to restructure the workings of their store.
Even before the launch of Siyo Nepal, the three friends used to design clothing and sell them but back then it was a home-based business with no branding. The three of them have worked on several other projects and also at different boutiques and fashion outlets and that, they say, has helped them gain enough experience to run Siyo Nepal without any glitches whatsoever.
Although they prepare for and release their seasonal collections, Siyo Nepal also releases clothing items that look great but don’t fit the themes of their collection time and again. Alina mentions that the team sits down to discuss ideas for new clothing almost everyday and are constantly working to perfect something or the other. They come out with one piece of clothing every week. “This is mainly because we’re still figuring out the particular niche of our brand and we want to try different things to know what suits us best,” she says.
Besides that, they produce other pieces their customers want them to. According to Sandipa, customers come to them to make clothing in designs they find on the internet. A lot of their customers also want their orders customized – which is mostly regarding the size but sometimes also regarding the design of the clothing. These kinds of orders mostly come in through their Instagram account and the Siyo Nepal team also delivers clothing to customers who don’t have the time to come and pick them up from the brands’ outlet at Shantinagar in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu. Sandipa says that this has helped the brand gain a lot of loyal customers.
Because Siyo Nepal also accepts customization orders online, sometimes they face situations when the clothing made with the measurements sent by their customers doesn’t fit them right. When this happens, they waste no time in altering the clothing or sometimes even make a completely new piece using a different fabric to get the order right. “We do everything to ensure that our customers are satisfied. This will help build trust in our customers which will help the brand grow in the long run,” says Sandipa.
The biggest challenge Siyo Nepal has faced till date is during the production phase of their clothes. They mention that even though they don’t mass-produce a lot of their designs, they get faulty clothing very often and the team has to keep revisiting the factory to get everything right.
Sometimes, they don’t find the appropriate fabric for the design they are trying to make so they have to scrape off the whole design and come up with something else that can be made with the fabrics available in Nepal. Time and again, they also have to tweak their designs after seeing the final product.
“We have learned to alter our designs to fit the style that Nepalis are drawn towards more. Pieces that are too revealing, especially in the upper body, aren’t favored by Nepalis so we add details there to make things more appropriate for the Nepali market,” explains Bilap.
For the future, the Siyo team is thinking of branching out to cities in other parts of Nepal to expand their brand. They are currently working to launch an outlet in Pokhara, sometime within the next year or so. They are also interested to venture into crafting handmade jewelry but aren’t sure when they will start working on that. “Whether the other plans work out or not, we will always be coming out with new clothing every week. So, even if the other plans fail, our customers can always look forward to getting new designs from us on a fairly regular basis,” concludes Bilap.
Lilac ruched dress
Price: Rs 2500
This fun and flattering ruched dress is the perfect piece that will help you transition from your summer to fall/winter wardrobe. This piece can also be styled for casual wear – you could wear a pair of patterned white stockings or a turtleneck underneath the dress and pair it with chunky white sneakers for a laidback effect. As purple has been quite popular in the fashion scene this year, you will also look ultra modern with this dress.
Asymmetric Flare Dress
Price: Rs 2200
This is an eye-catching piece that is also made in a relatively modern silhouette. The loud and bold prints and details such as flare sleeve, front button and asymmetric skirt all work well together to make the dress extra and one of a kind. We suggest you keep everything else in your look – including makeup, bags, shoes and accessories – simple when you’re wearing this dress to keep it from being overwhelming.
Polo Couple Set
Price: Men Polo Shirt – Rs. 1800
Women Polo Dress - Rs. 1800
For the Full Set – Rs. 3200
Although they aren’t known for it, Siyo Nepal also creates casual clothing for men. This is matching two piece polo set – originally designed for couples but you can also just buy a single piece for yourself and rock this athleisure based look all by yourself. The female set of this clothing is especially interesting as it has a polo shirt-esq collar but the clothing is actually a dress.
Polka slit dress
Price: White frill tee: Rs 1500
Polka slit dress: Rs 1450
As the popularity of polka dots shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, Siyo Nepal’s take on this trend has been crafting a slit dress out of it. Here they have paired a red polka dress with a basic white tee (with little frill on the sleeves) – an unusual clothing item with a classic piece that complements the overall look very well.
Statement Striped Dress
Price: Rs 1500
Everyone loves stripes. While some like horizontal ones others prefer wearing vertical stripes as they elongate your appearance. Siyo Nepal mixes up both horizontal and vertical stripes to create this masterpiece. This dress is stylish, light and versatile – you won’t get tired of wearing this throughout autumn this year.