CHOOSING to launch his eclectic brand of Indo-Caribbean fashion in March 2020 didn't turn out well for designer Rajendra Sahadeosingh.
But he adapted to the covid19 restrictions and used social media and his professional network to his advantage.
Last week his Rajendra Sahadeosingh branded design was featured on one of the leading Indian entertainment television stations, Zee TV.
The colourful, one-of-a-kind pieces formed part of one of two fashion segments in a nine-part, locally-produced series of Divali concerts for the television station.
Two-time Chutney Soca Monarch competition winner Nishard Mayrhoo (Nishard-M) was contracted to produce the series, the last of which will be shown on Divali day.
Sahadeosingh told Newsday Nishard-M’s manager, Vishma Ramcharita contacted him on the referral of a friend, and after seeing his line was impressed enough to incorporate him in the television show.
Pictures posted online prior to the show, he said, have sparked interest that has translated into orders.
Sahadeosingh has been on the fashion and designing-industry scene since 2011, designing outfits for local artistes, national events and several pageants.
He has also been the exclusive designer for Iere Theatre Production, designing all the costumes for its major productions since 2011.
He said his ability to transform the most mundane fabric and outfits into creative expressions of Indian couture, using the right accessories and draping effect, and the encouragement of people he dressed motivated him to branch out on his own. Turning to the region for inspiration, the result was a fusion of the merging cultures from the east, west and the Caribbean to create a unique brand of styles.
To avoid any copyright infringements, he said he decided to use his full name and abbreviation of his initials as his brand – Rajendra Sahadeosingh, RS, or RSD.
Indian-inspired designer masks were also introduced as part of the Collection is Couture... Cultural Change launch and have become one of his best sellers.
“Masks began to sell as it became mandatory.”
Pointing out the strong Indo-based industry in TT, Sahadeosingh said he has styled almost every entertainer, dancer singer.
“I was endorsed by one of the local artistes and based on her endorsement I received a lot of orders for designer masks from New York.”
“I believe I am the first local person to launch into Indo-designed masks to match Indian wear.”
“I do mask and shawl combinations, I do the ‘bling’ masks using a lot of gems and beading, that can be used for extreme formal wear, including weddings, as well as matching earrings and matching head pieces, including the sir-bindi (the bindi which hangs from the head like a chain).”
Like his masks, he said his designs can also be interchanged from Indian wear to evening gowns, to cocktail dresses depending on the jewellery won.
Catering for the mainly Caribbean climate his choice of fabric ranges from cotton, georgette, chiffon, silks, based on the style.
“Depending on what the client has in mind, I chose fabric to match the design.”
Because of the covid19 pandemic, RSD now operates from an online Penal-based location.
“I haven’t opened my store to the public as yet because of the covid19 restrictions, but I do one-on-one consultations. I meet with customers, do the measurements and they come to the store to collect their designs.
“The only thing I have opened the store for is the sale of masks and shawls.”
As the Hindu community celebrates the holy festival of Divali, Sahadeosingh said this should have been the most lucrative period for his business. Although the physical celebrations have been cancelled to avoid gatherings, he said business is still doing okay, with people placing orders, asking questions, making reservations to come in for consultation.
Earlier this month he launched his Divali 2020 collection, Pushpanjali, a floral tribute consisting of light, flowing and comfortable designs.
He is patiently waiting for the lifting of some more restrictions to fully launch into his passion to outfit people of all sizes, shapes, age, gender, for all occasions in his brand.