Mahima Gujral was brought up amidst the rustle of silk and the genteel conversations of a bespoke clothing studio that goes back five decades. Her earliest memories are of her stately grandmother or her amiable mother smiling in their gracious way as to-be brides lingered over swathes of satin and ran their fingers over delicate embroideries.
What struck Mahima even back then was how a successful business can only be built on trust, and how long-lasting luxury can only ensue after compulsive attention to detail.
This month, as she launches her own label Sui by Sue Mue, she has kept those values in mind, while translating them into a new language of sustainability and modern living.
The third-generation woman entrepreneur in the family that founded and runs the luxurious Sue Mue label, known for its couture, prêt and fusion styles, Mahima was exposed to creativity and commerce early on.
After studying fashion management at Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts, she returned to India and joined Christian Dior for three years. She followed this up with a Master’s from SDA Bocconi, Milan.
Armed with invaluable experience in luxury retail, she took over Sue Mue’s branding and marketing. After her wedding last year to Singapore-based marketing professional and musician Aman Wadhwa, she straddled two countries. An avid traveller, it was on one of her trips that the idea for Sui by Sue Mue was born.
“Travel teaches you to appreciate the little things in life. For me, it was the core path to find more meaning,” says the entrepreneur, whose sweetly lilting voice doesn’t contradict her professional demeanour. She runs the show mostly from Singapore with a strong team in India.
She named Sui’s first collection ‘The Palm Stories’. “There’s a sense of calm in the sea, a special something in seaside towns, and so much beauty in those palm trees that always remind you to hold your head up high,” she shares.
Comprising comfortable, breezy dresses, tops, gilets and two-piece sets, the clothes are designed keeping today’s global traveller in mind. Like Mahima herself, her target customer is a go-getter: “She needs clothes that are light, chic and versatile.”
In keeping with the 28-year-old’s love for the environment, her label uses only GOTS-certified organic cotton and hemp fabrics, sourced from networks of ethical producers.
Each piece is azo-free dyed, so that chemicals are not released into rivers during the process. The brand uses minimum plastic in its packaging, and is upcycling fabric scraps as far as possible.
Available made-to-order on her online store (suibysuemue.com) and at the Sue Mue store in Delhi’s Green Park, the silhouettes are practical and the separates can be styled in various ways to go from work to leisure.
“This is slow fashion,” says the Chief Green Visionary of Sui, who believes luxury lies in love – for the earth one inhabits, for the product one is making, and for the customer who will eventually wear it.