Sachin + Babi’s new moves

Sachin + Babi is back with a vengeance. After achieving modest growth over a couple of years, the company is enlivening its branding, releasing a line of tote bags and launching its first concept shop at Stanley Korshak in September, reported WWD.

The husband-and-wife team has attracted a loyal customer base, in particular customers who balance a great deal of work and family demands.

“We met a mother recently who told us she only wears our clothes. To me, that’s much more important than J.Lo wearing one of our dresses,” Sachin Ahluwalia said to WWD. “We want to get these clothes on our customers’ backs, but they have to fit her personality and her lifestyle.”

In an attempt to better connect with their customers and their needs, the duo have slated 22 in-store appearances this fall, a dramatic spike from eight last fall.

After meeting while studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Sachin and Babi soon made their mark on the fashion world. In 1996, they created Ank International, an embroidery label still around today, whose customers include Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Derek Lam. This business was to give them the fashion know-how they needed to succeed.

“The year we finished school, we took a loan from our folks to start the business. They said, ‘OK, you have 16 months to make this work,’” Babi Ahluwalia said.

And so they did.

Forging their own aesthetic, the couple uncovered a gap in the market when it came to well-designed sportswear for affordable prices. Their collection of ready-to-wear, Sachin + Babi, is therefore priced from $125 for a pair of silk pants to $490 for a fur-trimmed jacket. The line is already sold at 175 stores, and the designers hope to be selling their product in 225 stores this year.

“The collection represents everything we had learned over the years. It was designed for women who didn’t necessarily want to spend $1,600 on a dress,” Sachin Ahluwalia said. “We learned the craft. It really helped paying our dues.”

The company’s bestsellers are dresses and blouses, which have found favor with city residents and suburbanites alike.

“We have found that many customers in the suburbs don’t want to just be in tunics and little capris. They have a real sense of style,” Babi Ahluwalia said. “Today women are so well-educated from all the blogs, sites and outlets for fashion.”

As Sachin + Babi already has an international presence — being sold in Dubai and Japan — the label is focusing primarily on expanding into the U.S. market and also intends to try its hand at e-commerce next year.

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Purple Neon/LadyLUX via Sachin + Babi

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