Outhouse’s latest collection opts for veganism
Edgy, clean and experimental. That’s been the DNA of Outhouse, the eight-year-old bridge-to-luxury jewellery and accessory brand founded by Kaabia and Sasha Grewal. t2 caught up with the sisters on the launch of OH V Birdy — their new range of cork and vegan leather phone and AirPod bags — on “functional” designs, their journey and babies!
The designs look really edgy and cool. Tell us about the design philosophy…
Sasha: We’ve been trying to do something with accessories for quite sometime and we began with our mini disco bag which was also vegan leather, launched a year-and-a-half ago. We felt we needed to bring something more price-sensitive and sustainable and friendly to carry your essentials in. With the lockdown and things changing in the very big demographic, people want to use things which are versatile and usable, something they can style in different ways, easy to wear for holiday as well as easy to go run your errands in.
Kaabia: We use our phone and AirPods throughout the day and I think the phone is now your laptop and people would want to have a more hands-free experience. When we travel, we don’t like to carry our phone all the time in our hands. Also, I feel you misplace your AirPods and are always hunting for it.
One of the main inspirations was to have an accessory which is very versatile of course and carefree, free-spirited. That’s how the name Birdy also came about. It is eco-essential as we have partnered with PETA for this particular collection and going forward also, all the leather we would be using will be vegan.
As a brand, we are really focused on venturing into jewelled accessories. So, the brand ethos of jewellery is always aligned with what we do because that’s the main core.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what else you would like to explore in the accessories space?
Sasha: We are working on belts in a big way because jewelled belts are something a lot of our clients have been enquiring about, especially when we launched our belt bags. The new collection will be in leather and chain. We are also doing a collection on optical chains, which will be versatile. You can put them on your spectacles and sunglasses or as a chain around your neck.
Between the two of you, who has a more enviable range of accessories?
Sasha: Before Kaabia was married, we pretty much shopped the same things and shared the same things, but now there is more versatility in her wardrobe and I happen to borrow more from her than she from me. You just have a good mix of different things. We both have different styles and that helps us mix it up.
Kaabia: I love many things from her wardrobe. She picks up wacky things and puts them together and has an eclectic style.
How has the journey been?
Kaabia: Design is something we focus on a lot, but we have added a lot of daywear lines. That time, it was more edgy and avant-garde, statement pieces. We do statement pieces now too, but we have ventured into more categories now. Back then, the brand was seen as eveningwear. Now it’s more into daintier pieces, the Outhouse dainty... simple, like a charm because trends evolve and people’s needs evolve. The main aim is to be known as a lifestyle brand in totality....
Initially, people used to be ‘this is junk jewellery’. I am talking about eight years back when gold and silver were still given a higher level of dominance with respect to value. What people really loved about the brand was the affordable luxury and statement pieces that they could wear with a nice, plain shirt.... What we focused on was a lot of styling. Every year you are evolving. The markets are also different from one another.
And, not just because of Covid, but people in general are looking for conscious consumption.
Are you always your first clients?
Kaabia: You can only design if you feel like you can wear it very well. When we wear our pieces and style it differently, people understand how it can be worn.
How has the Outhouse woman evolved in your mind?
Sasha: The Outhouse woman is a very empowering human being and if you want to empower people, you have to evolve with time and in your own personal space. With Instagram coming in and making such a big space for information with what is happening around the world, the whole world is more aware than what it used to be. The Outhouse woman is a bit audacious in how she styles herself. Our designs are path-breaking and not for everybody and everyone is not meant to understand them. You need to be well aware of who you are. The Outhouse woman is constantly evolving to be a better version of herself.
Your bridal jewellery is very different...
Kaabia: Any bride who wants to look different with a modern-contemporary mindset comes to Outhouse, who is looking to explore her different personalities. They are edgy and versatile and are not typical.
Is the Outhouse man different?
Kaabia: We are exploring and defining the Outhouse man and are working towards a stronger merchandise. He can be dandy... but much more to come.
How are you bringing 2020 to an end?
Sasha: With a baby. I am going to become an aunt and Kaabia, a mother. We have opened up a new universe to our lives, which is baby shopping. We are also looking at launching a new brand. So, two babies.
And you are coming to Calcutta soon, at Quest...
Sasha: It’s our first-of-a-kind mini store that we have done and have gone about designing in a special way.
Sasha: The threader earrings that we launched as part of our Celeste range is my top pick. You can wear them to the airport or in the evening. Light and super stylish. I also like the Birdy bags. Get pieces that can add to each type of style in the wardrobe.
Kaabia: The Birdy bags for sure. I am the kind of person who leaves her phone everywhere. You don’t need too much to make a statement. A pair of hoops or a wrap-around chain with a Birdy bag will be my style.
Sasha: A nice, daywear necklace that can be layered with anything. Two or three bangles that you can stack up because they look stylish and different.
Kaabia: A handcuff or a necklace. It is very important to have versatile pieces.
THE OUTHOUSE WOMEN....