India is undoubtedly a nation of cricket fanatics. Shantnu & Nikhil are paying homage to the country’s love for cricket through Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club. For this spunky line featuring athletic-chic essentials, the duo tap into the adrenaline of their own childhoods spent playing various sports. This latest offering by S & N by Shantnu Nikhil (the maison’s bridge-to-luxury brand) embraces the spirit of cricket in a unique amalgamation of sport with the designers’ signature fashion forms.
Cricketer Shubman Gill, who serves as the muse for this collection, says, “I’m excited and honored to be the face of Shantnu & Nikhil’s brand new design language – Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club. They have been the torch bearers of contemporary Indian fashion for a long time and I am all game to be a part of this new movement where cricket will finally find its way into a lifestyle conversation through their medium of luxe fashion.”
We take a trip down memory lane in conversation with the designers and learn more about the conception of SNCC.
Take us back to your childhood. Which sports did you enjoy the most and what was your relationship with them? As siblings, was the competitive spirit high between the two of you?
We were highly athletic during our formative years. From golf, tennis to swimming and cricket, you name it, and we’ve played it. We’ve represented our school in various sports like tennis and swimming as well. But cricket is what we truly excelled at. The matches we played in the parks in our residential colonies or the ones at school, they are all encapsulated with a whirlwind of emotions. Even as kids both of us were competitive and often got into tiffs, just to bring out the best in each other. It’s a personal belief that sports truly humble a person. The wins and the losses imbed the spirit with energy and the mantra to never give up. Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club is our ode to that.
How has the love of sports shaped your design philosophy?
The building foundation of our childhood revolved around playing various sports ranging from tennis, cricket, golf and swimming, excelling in most of them. Sport as a medium has had an incredible impact on how we carved our design career, and it has been one of the stronger virtues of our design philosophy. As a brand, the smallest of our design ideas have been incubated around the concept of using innovative stretch fabrics and daring drape techniques that have defined agility in movement for us. The distinct identity of a spunky, young Urban India & sportswear culture is so powerful that it is now defining the new Indian lifestyle and SNCC pays tribute to our love of sports.
Cricket culture is huge in India. Tell us more about the significance of SNCC for the Shantnu & Nikhil brand.
Cricket was always a binding factor in our country. As a sport, it has united people amongst all biases and odds. There is an emotional connect that cricket holds and it keeps deepening with each match, each new player that steps into the ground. We wanted to bring in this emotional nostalgia with the fashion force. SNCC makes cricket more than a conversation starter – it is lifestyle choice that people consciously think about. Cricket in itself comes with a rich history and is a game which has roots in fashion. As designers, it’s our duty to evoke expression via the art we master in. Fashion has always been a part of sports, we’ve just stirred away from the conventional route of sportswear and ventured into a direction none of the Indian designers have taken yet.
We’ve been seeing the rise of sports-inspired aesthetics such as tennis-core and golfcore. What would you say is cricket’s distinctive aesthetic and how have you incorporated it into this line?
We’ve forayed into a whole new design aesthetic which involves new crest details which have been specifically designed for SNCC. The crest has nuances of cricket like the batsman insignia which empowers the customer to wear their love for the sport with pride. The lineup of the range is dedicated to preserving the game’s stylistic hallmarks on a canvas of season-friendly fabrics like flat knit and premium silks, that highlight athletic-chic inspired details. From essential sartorial pieces like retro-doused varsity jackets, crested sweatshirts, sweater vests, classic and cropped polos to classic pick me ups – neckerchiefs, sneakers, bucket hats, belts; SNCC represents a vision of modern everyday dressing injected with a jolt of much needed youthful swagger.
The Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club collection will be available online at www.shantanunikhil.com and websites such as Ajio Luxe, Tata Cliq Luxury, Aza Fashions, Ogaan and The Collective from 20th November. The collection will also be available at all following S&N retail locations DLF Avenue Mall, Ambience Mall, DLF Promenade Mall, and Mall of India Pacific Mall, at Delhi-NCR. The collection is also available at retail outlets across Bangalore, Mumbai, Raipur, Amritsar and Ahmedabad.