May 10, 2019 | By Cassandra Gagnon
Huemn is a sustainable young fashion brand from India founded by Shyma Shetty & Pranav Misra. Using fashion as their chosen vehicle, the designer duo are making bold strides starting a movement where real human stories are the highlight. Through their carefully curated campaigns and a non- binary section on their website, the Huemn voice is out loud and clear, fast pushing away boundaries of gender, self-identity and stereotypes.
The brand’s roots lie in providing high quality streetwear fusing in elements from rich Indian craftsmanship. With sneaker culture making space amongst Indian youth, Huemn has recently collaborated with Puma and Reebok, enabling them to reach out to wider audiences
WGSN’s Anupreet Bhui & Anastasia Sin spoke to Shyma and Pranav about their brand.
What inspired Huemn?
Huemn was born from our desire to get our message and voice across to the new generations to help create a bigger cultural impact within our community. We strongly believe we’re just not selling fashion, we are also story telling. Clothing is just a by-product of our stories. Each piece is crafted with a story, an inspiration which could stem out from our travels or an idea around us. “Huemn” our brand name inspires us daily to keep pushing ahead. Having a clothing brand is a huge platform, it entails standing by your believes, being a storyteller to your audience and in our case, starting a movement.
Tell us about the introduction of Non-Binary Section on your website, why do you think it is an important addition?
Why not? Even the Indian legal system has recently recognised the idea of expanded gender. We felt that having a fashion brand was the right place for us to explore ideas of gender further. It was more for us to dive in deeper within these issues and challenge ourselves as creatives. The platform helped us understand it more and use our understanding in a better way. As for the separate section on our website of non-binary clothing, it was more of a statement than starting a special category, in fact it is a reduction of any categories there may be.
Huemn has given a voice to sexual minorities through its campaigns. How has it been so far given the culture and society of current India?
Power of fashion has always been to drive culture towards new places, in terms of conversations around gender. We have started to become known as a brand with provocative imagery. We have in fact managed to have a desirable response from our audiences and help them see a different angle.
Our campaigns have always taken a global viewpoint and are marketed towards the world and not just India. Correlations of gender and identity has been happening all over the world, including in India. Our audience definitely understands the problems within society and are more appreciative towards such messages.
Could you help to highlight the sustainable processes and practises for your brand Huemn?
Sustainability has been a very natural and comfortable process for us, hence why we have never perceived it as a marketing tool. Sustainability to us is not restricted to the end product only, but the hands that make it, our artisans and our responsibility towards them to retain their craft skills and heritage. This has been a core part of us since the start. While adding value to our product, it also helps us to make season less products that will live longer and hopefully be passed down to generations.
How do you see Huemn moving forward within India and globally, 2019 and beyond?
This year we will be concentrating hugely on an expansion, especially within the European markets. We are currently in the process of fulfilling the orders from some of the top international stores around the world, so this year onwards we will be available in much more stores around Europe. In terms of Indian market, the idea is to expand and reach out to our audiences more which involves doing more campaigns, runways and fun collaborations with other brands.
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