Interview With The La’Agra Brand Founder, Rekha Ananthanpillai
La’Agra is a fairly new women’s evening wear line inspired by elements from South Asian craftsmanship! The La’Agra brand was founded in December of 2021 by Rekha Ananthanpillai. Presently, all dresses are available in sizes 2–10 ranging from $850-$1200 USD.
We Empower Magazine obtained an exclusive interview with Rekha.
Rekha, what would you like our readers to know about you and the work that you do?
I got into fashion in a very non-traditional way. I don’t have a fashion background but a business background. Fashion is something that has always excited me and so about a year ago I started this new journey. My work is all about celebrating my Indian heritage while empowering the modern high fashion woman!
Please tell us how La’Agra came about and who is the brand targeted to?
My brand La’ Agra is inspired by my Indian heritage. My parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980’s and always took it upon themselves to educate me and my brother about our culture. Growing up, I loved the embroidery and embellishments in Indian clothing but often felt uncomfortable wearing it to more western events. So, I launched my brand La’ Agra as a way to share the artisanal elements from Indian clothing married into more traditional western evening wear.
My brand is targeted towards high fashion women, who love going to fancy parties and events looking for something traditional but different. They are women who don’t want to be caught wearing the same thing as anyone else in the room. And they have an appreciation for the artisanal fabrics and design elements from India.
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
It’s funny because I have always loved fashion. Growing up, I would give my parents a hard time getting dressed because I didn’t like the outfits they put me in. I started my career working for other known labels in the industry but also spent many years working for a bank and professional services firm. When the pandemic hit, I started painting and coloring, which is a hobby of mine. I was reminded of how much I loved fashion, so I started taking a few design classes here and there. A year later the La’ Agra brand was born!
What do you love most about the work that you do?
I love the design process. I love creating something new and seeing it come to life!
What would you like to see more of in the fashion industry?
This is a tough question. I think the industry is pretty diverse but would love for there to be a way for customers to more easily discover emerging brands!
What sets La’Agra apart from other fashion brands?
It’s about finding the right balance between Indian culture and western wear. Many Indian American designers seek to serve only that population (South Asian American Women) and I want my designs and brands to reach many women who have appreciation for culture and the craftsmanship
Any spring fashion tips you can share with us?
Well, I think it’s time for a closet refresh so find some new items that you can dress up and down to get multiple uses out of!
What advice would you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Follow your passion, you are most successful when you are doing something you love!
What is next for the La’ Agra brand?
Focusing on a sales strategy. I am working on developing my client list and getting my designs out there!
Keep up to date with La’ Agra on social media:
Follow La’Agra @la.agra