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Cricket is more than a sport in India, it is a religion. For over a century now, it has transitioned from a sport for the classy to that for the masses. But just like fashion trends make a comeback every now and then, it’s about time for cricket lovers to dress impeccably and flaunt their passion for the game. Nigel Daly, Sr. Manager-Storytelling & Communication, Marketing from Shantnu & Nikhil talks to Shantanu and Nikhil, the catalyst people were waiting for…
Luxury fashion, just like cricket, is more than a statement. It is a lifestyle and in many cases a life-line for those who indulge in their passion. However, they seldom converge; especially for cricket aficionados. Celebrity designer duo, Shantanu and Nikhil talk to us about how this idea came about and what we can expect from this tribute to their love for sports.
1. Can you tell us how you conceptualized this SNCC collection?
Our childhood revolved around playing various games 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 and sportswear culture is so powerful, that it is now defining the new Indian lifestyle and SNCC pays tribute to our love of sports.
2. Luxury is often associated with classiest parties and boardrooms, and seldom with sports. What was the thought behind this marriage of Luxe & sports?
Cricket has always been a binding factor in our country. As a sport, it has united people despite all biases and odds. There is an emotional connect that cricket holds and it keeps deepening with each match and each new player that steps on the field. 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. Earlier, the audience used to dress impeccably to attend matches, regardless of the sport. During the late 90s, fashion was all about relaxed fits and street-casual with the dash of glamour in it. Shantnu Nikhil, as a brand, always carried that regality of vintage in its essence and that is what we are bringing back with Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club. 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.
3. The crest is quite prominent across the line, as it is across all S&N products. Then there is the batsman logo. Can you tell us what it truly means to you and what it stands for?
Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club carries forward the bridge to luxury design philosophy of “S&N by Shantnu Nikhil”, while offering regal looks to those who want to take their connect with sport as well as their fashion game, a notch higher! In keeping with the ethos of brands from Maison Shantnu & Nikhil, SNCC introduces the batsman logo with a fresh perspective to the signature brand crest, symbolizing the spirit of achievement that portrays a will to strive forward and a sense of unity: a culture that the club stands for.
4. Can you tell us how you decided on zeroing in on Shubman Gill as your brand ambassador? What is the one thing that truly connects him to the SNCC brand?
Sports and Fashion have a long withstanding relationship. Millennials and Gen Z are all about comfort and styling, which is also the reason street style has been a major trend in the past seasons. New and rising cricket stars like Shubman Gill actively participate in making fashion a conscious lifestyle choice. When we started following Shubman’s career trajectory, it gave us the striking image of a promising young man. We have always rooted for anti-trendsetters, who carve their way out in this ever-so-competitive world. Understandably so, Shubman came as a natural choice to us.
“When Shantanu and Nikhil reached out with the concept of SNCC, it was a no-brainer for me. I sensed an instant connection with the collection and the style I resonate with. Also, given the fact that it’s all about cricket and its legacy, I was beyond thrilled to be a part of it,” says Shubman Gill.
5. Can you tell us what we can look forward to in the SNCC Line, in terms of the collection and the shopping experience?
We’ve forayed into a whole new design aesthetic, which involves new crest details, specifically designed for SNCC. The crest has nuances of cricket such as the batsman insignia that empowers customers to wear their love for the sport with pride. The range is dedicated to preserving the game’s stylistic hallmarks on a canvas of season-friendly fabrics, including 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.