The ‘Ma’ tribute collection, launching at this year’s New York Fashion Week, is dedicated to founder Megha Rao’s mother, in the hopes of representing the bond of South Asian mothers and daughters.
holiChic by Megha was created by Rao in the hopes to blend Western and Indian cultures into clothing that speak to first generation Indian-American women.
As the daughter of an immigrant, Rao always felt like she was part of two different cultures. She attributes her mother with passing down her values and culture, allowing Rao to explore the fashion world through both an Indian and Western lens.
“I feel like I’ve always belonged to two different worlds, and my mother played a huge role… without her, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I’ve had to learn about our culture, our traditions, [and] appreciate it.”
In 2021, holiChic was invited to participate in New York Fashion Week, and was one of the first South Asian brands included.
“I vividly remember when we first got that call, I was like ‘no matter what happens, the very first look that we will present will be a sari’.”
For Rao, she wanted that moment to resonate with the audience, and feel proud to see a sari be presented at New York Fashion Week. This year, Rao is looking forward to debuting her new line at fashion week, which she believes is filling a void in the South Asian fashion industry.
“We are really trying to fill a void we feel doesn’t exist in the fashion scene, and that to me is this classy in-between fusion line. A lot of times people associate fusion and Indo-Western with tacky, and my goal is to find that perfect balance between [the east and the west].”
Before Rao was a designer, she was always interested in fashion from a young age, but didn’t feel as if South Asian fashion resonated with her.
As she started attending more Indian events, Rao would mix and match her outfits between her mom and her own closets, to fit her style and comfortability. She noticed that people would come up to her and ask where she bought her outfits from, and realized that there was interest.
Rao describes the brand identity as designing for the “woman who belongs to two different worlds and wants to showcase that with pride through her clothing.”
holiChic’s team is also dedicated to ensuring size inclusivity, not only amongst designs, but also with models and influencers.
“It’s one of the top things that we think about, not just with the design element, but also with our presentation of it. Who are our models, who are the influencers that we work with?”
Rao explains that for brands, inclusivity should be the goal, so that customers can see what the product looks like on a model who looks like them. She wants to push the envelope even further by including models who are not South Asian.
“For brands, it’s the better thing to do. You want everyone to shop your clothes, and how are you going to do that if you are not inclusive, and you’re not showing people how the garments look, on all body types, all skin tones.”
Rao emphasizes a critical point: first-generation Indian Americans tend to have non South-Asian friends who want to attend Indian events, but don’t have the appropriate clothing to do so.
“We live in America, non South-Asians also attend Indian weddings, they never know what to wear. They’re borrowing a friend’s outfit, [so] they don’t know what’s trending, and I feel like it’s a perfect solution for them as well.”
At this year’s New York Fashion Week, Rao says that the audience can expect the trusted brand to showcase unique designs that will touch customers emotionally.
“This collection is going to be very personal because it’s about mothers, and no matter who you are, you have a story about your mother, about something that she’s instilled in you, something that’s inspired for you.”
holiChic’s ‘Ma’ tribute collection will be debuting at New York Fashion Week on September 9, 2022.