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The best of both worlds
What started out as a childhood affair for Soni Thapa, ended up becoming her full-time career. In an interview with the designer, she shares her experience working in France and her opinion on Nepal’s fashion scene.
When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career as a fashion designer?
When I was a child I aspired to become an architect, but later I realised that I was more inclined towards fashion. I enjoyed designing, experimenting with clothes, textiles, patterns, cuts, folds and drapes. I went to do my bachelors in fashion design, at ESMOD in France. While studying there for three years, I got the opportunity to intern with companies such as YSL and Odemai.
What does your brand SONE Paris signify?
Sonne means sound in French and when you remove one ‘n’, it becomes Sone, which is my name. I wanted my brand name to have a touch of both Nepal and Paris.
What aspects do you focus on while designing?
SONE Paris is a retail brand. I target the mass. Hence, I always keep customer preference in mind while designing. I want to give my customers unique wearable designs at an affordable price.
How important is it to follow trends and are there any current trends that you are obsessed about?
It is very important to follow trends. Currently, I am obsessed with plaids.
Where do you find your inspiration?
When I was in Paris, I used to wander around the streets and observe the Parsian architecture and people. I used to get inspired by them and then I would jot down ideas in a small notebook. Sadly in Nepal, I haven’t been able to find much inspiration. Also, in comparison, I have found the fashion scene to be pitiful.
Was it difficult settling in Nepal for work?
Since the market is very different compared to Paris, it has been very difficult for me. Although the fashion mindset here is slowly changing, people still do not have much knowledge about style and trends. Here most people are willing to spend huge amounts for lehengas but they only want to spend limited amount for casual clothing. The market is more influenced by imported readymade garments from China. Also, people are not much into following trends.
Where do you see your career going next?
I want to expand SONE Paris and open a couple of outlets in Nepal. Then, I want to go back to Paris and start my own designer label there.