Our founder Jackie recently joined forces with Tina and Saumya, who are amongst the four fabulous female designers behind the brilliant, Madsam TinZin.
As a brand, they are known for bringing together distinctive experiences and talents through a uniquely collaborative design process that is all about their love for quality and craftsmanship, expressed through the interplay of silk fabrics in flattering silhouettes.
Continue reading to find out just a few highlights we have recapped from this amazing interview, and watch what happened in our newest IGTV to find out all you need to know about their brand vision and upcoming events for 2021….
Jackie Asks: I would love to get started by asking you just a few quick questions about your wonderful collection with us, that is now available on www.amrika.co.uk so our viewers can understand more about the brand and your vision....
TIN: The inception of MADSAMTINZIN was the coming together of 4 design school friends. Madsamtinzin which comes from Madhu, saumya , tina and Stanzin; was an effort by 4 young women to create a product that was Indian but also very contemporary at the same time. We actually started this brand because we wanted to create a product that we could wear and enjoy. and so the garments had to be very wearable with global silhouettes but also given our upbringing, had to have a strong influence of our rich, traditional hand embroideries and that's how the brand vision was conceptualised. Back in 2012 when we started, we were one of the really few designers who were creating this sort of a product.
SAM: It has been an incredible 9 year journey with overwhelming love and support from our clients all over the world ; from stylists who have adorned bollywood celebrities like sonam kapoor, parineet chopra, sridevi, nusrat barucha , shobhita and many more in MSTZ ; Also a great response from our buyers all over the world like amrika in London, Studio east in Chicago, Live the collective in Canada and of-course our Indian buyers.
Jackie Asks: What has it been like working together as four talented young designers based around the world during such a difficult time?
SAM: So while the world started their struggle with virtual connection in 2020, we have been experiencing that since 2017, when all four partners of MSTZ moved to 4 different locations. Tin is in now in San jose, California, sam in Los angeles, Zin in Dubai and Mad in delhi, India. So we were no strangers to this demanding long distance routine.
Luckily for us we are in two different time zones and when India sleeps, Sam and Tin are running the show and when USA sleeps, Zin and Mad are running the show. So that brand is working round the clock!
TIN: It's been quite a learning curve for us to manage our work and brand internationally over different time zones with all partners in different physical locations. However this entire process not only helped us grow as a business but also as individuals. All four of us grew in our approach towards the brand and our skills of taking our product to newer markets. While Sam and me grew to serve the needs of international markets, Zin works our UAE markets and Mad who is now our India head, keeps repeating that "she never signed up for this" but happily complies to all our needs.
I guess it's always like that until it learns to operate like a well oiled machine!
Jackie Asks: Why is bringing together traditional embroidery techniques with modern style an important element for your design process?
TIN: Since this brand is our personal extension, this amalgamation comes very naturally to us. You know all four of us come from different parts of India and have grown up being exposed to different cultural influences but our deep sense of belonging to Indian crafts and its rich traditions, is very mutual. And now that we have moved to different parts of the world, this connection is even stronger! we thrive to create a product that caters to men and women all over the world but stands out with its Indian signature.
It's something that we would wear. Given that all four of us have very distinct personalities, we always shared our love for comfort and that prompted us to create a product that can be worn by all four of us in different corners of the world with full confidence.
SAM: I feel that this is the need of the hour and its important to revive this art and our culture in every way possible before it becomes a dying art.
Jackie Asks: Can you show us a favourite look from the collection or walk us through the production process for a particular look with Amrika you love?
SAM: Each of our favourites is created while the collection is being conceptualised. With every new collection, we dye our own custom colours, we create our own prints, we create new motifs and silhouettes. And somewhere during this process we all develop our personal favorites.
I have so many of them in these past 9 years:). we are creating timeless fashion and this scarf i'm wearing is from our 2012 collection and is as relevant as it was 9 years ago. That's my favourite part of our brand and the product we create.
TIN: I love what sam just said about creating timeless fashion. I also work a personal stylist in USA and always remind my clients to pick out Indian wear that stands the test of time. Something that can be styled and worn again and again, each time feeling new. Something like this jumpsuit here that has the potential to be styled for American weddings, Indian sangeet events, Cocktails and even for a formal winery event. These kind of styles are my personal favourites! You might think that you have worn it nth number of times but you still end up getting compliments each you repeat it! That's the beauty of classic outfits.
Jackie Asks: A key quality we admire about your collection is that everything is ethically produced, how has nature & sustainability influenced your collections?
SAM: It has been a learning process in understanding ethical sourcing and production in the fashion industry but with all the challenges, we ensure that responsible and sustainable practices are followed at our workplace. The karigars are paid a fair wage and all human rights are met and our first and foremost priority has been a clean and safe working environment.. which has been a blessing during covid times!!
TIN: Our team is like our family, we grow together and we lift each other up. we got to know the importance of team building especially during covid times.
Jackie Asks: As a global brand, how are you feeling following the gradual lockdown easing taking place and what upcoming events are you most excited about?
TIN: We are excited but cautious at the same time! With the restrictions easing up, we have already started planning a few private pop-up events in the coming months. In Fact We are hosting a bridal trunk show in San jose, California on 4th September with complete covid precautions. and we are launching our festive wear in august in toronto, Canada.
SAM: While we are working on trunk show, we also continue to take virtual appointments and monitor the health of our team till everyone gets fully vaccinated. But we are most excited about being able to travel again and get design inspirations for our new and upcoming collections!
Jackie Asks: Talking about all things new, can you tell us anything about your up and coming collection?
TIN: After being away from our clients for so long, we're focussing on getting our product to as many people as we can, in every part of the world. Having said that, we are prepping for a fun new monsoon wedding collection and hopefully share the launch dates really soon!
SAM: Our latest collection Buno phool draws its inspiration from The wild flowers that we see everywhere. It's an irony how these tiny beautiful flowers in spite of being often overlooked constitute most of the beauty in our vision. It's a reminder that you matter, you're important, you're beautiful and your presence on this earth makes a difference whether you see it or not! Our hand embroideries, colours and even the motifs for Buno phool are the result of this alluring nature.
Jackie Asks: As a female founded brand, what advice would you give to fellow female designers or entrepreneurs who want to grow their business?
TIN: This saying that "you are crazy until you are successful" has somewhere been my guiding force. I would want to tell everyone that dares to dream , please don't be ashamed of being called crazy! Follow your heart.
We all are no stranger to the challenges of being a women entrepreneur especially in India. But along with being women we were also wholesome foursome. When we started, half the world told us that "you are 4 women and you will never be able to sustain this. each of you will get married and have your own priorities." and while I absolutely respect everyone's opinion and them looking out for us but this was supposed to be our journey. And like i said, don't be scared of being wrong or being crazy! we were crazy and we dived in and today we are married in four parts of the world and each of us feel as strongly for the brand as we did 9 years ago.
SAM: As for being a female founded brand - we have never emphasised on that fact much, rather we have always focused more on being a "best friends founded brand". We are not gender biased and have always believed in a gender-neutral or gender inclusive work culture. That's how we were raised :)
Jackie Asks: What has been your biggest lockdown challenge and win?
SAM: We are a brand that stands by its love for Indian hand embroidered and the quality of its product. With the covid situation it was challenging to include hand embroideries in all our products, as it is involves highly skilled labour and is an expensive process but because we deeply feel for our craft and our skilled team, we wanted to invest in the time, energy and effort that it takes, to create this product, without undermining any of our values. This was a huge challenge for us and we feel so proud of sticking with our decision. We also feel so lucky for having clients who understand the value of this craft and are patient for their deliveries.
TIN: Due to the travel restrictions, we could not visit india as often as we would have wanted to and due to that we got the time to understand a global perspective in Indian fashion. Luckily for us, we could amalgamate this knowledge in creating a product that is more global. It gave us the time and understanding to create a product not only meant for india but for Indians all over the world!
Jackie Asks: What are you most excited about when meeting up all together?
TIN: It will be a bit surreal to see everyone after so long. We have never stayed apart for more than 6 months. I guess going for a vacation together would be amazing. Can't wait for the endless chatter and conceptualizing a collection together in person is something I look forward to!! We are approaching a milestone in our careers and it would be amazing to plan a grand event together with all four of us in the same part of the world:)
SAM: Meeting our team after the covid phase would be great! everyone enjoys each others company and the full house in our India production unit is always packed with energy for everyone!
We hoped you enjoy this Q&A, Watch the full live here: