After styling Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala in her films “Mann” and “Champion,” Sohaya Misra left her psychology degree to follow her instinct in joining the fashion industry. Today she is the pioneer visionary behind India’s popular designer line Chola The Label.
Starting her own line came as an instinctive decision. “It was an experiment that took on a life of its own,” Sohaya shared. “It started as a capsule collection and grew into a full-fledged brand.”
Sohaya credits Koirala towards following her gut decision to start her own label. “She is family to me, and played a major role in nudging me or rather giving me the big push in this direction, which is why having her walk for me for my A/W 2016 Lakme Fashion Week show was like coming a full circle.”
With no former experience in fashion design, Sohaya says her designs come depending on her state of mind and what’s in her heart at the time. “I love to travel to difference places. People and quaint little spaces are a big source of inspiration for me. I follow no rules or trends, I just go with the flow.”
The label was born out of an experiment a year and a half ago when Sohaya walked into a fabric shop and walked out with a truck load of fabrics. She set up a little workshop, started cutting and designing, and had her first exhibition in Mumbai. Following that she landed India’s Lakme Fashion Week and went on to win Grazia’s Young Designer Label Alert award in 2016. She’s quickly become India’s rising star in the industry, and her new line “Stay Wild, Sun Child” is sure to catapult Chola The Label to international recognition, intriguing customers from around the world.
Sohaya’s creative process always comes with an aura of suspense and a lot of trial-and-error effort. She continues to experiment with random designs that come to her mind, which may or may not translate into a dress or outfit she’s happy with. She doesn’t stop until she’s perfected each look to her liking and aesthetics.
“I freelanced as a stylist for many years,” says Sohaya. “I focused on what was missing and how to dress different bodies and personalities and that’s what comes across in my work today.” Her design process includes layered fabrics and textured linens and cotton with no embellishments. Sohaya does this so the integrity of the fabric is maintained.
The clothes are layered in various ways so they can be interchangeable. Each look can look completely different every time it’s worn. “As a stylist, this has been the key element in my design process,” she shares. “I like to believe my silhouettes are easy to wear while making strong and bold statements.”
Sohaya’s collection Chola The Label doesn’t conform to any specific age, size, or gender. Each piece is made with the everyday woman in mind. And each piece is simple, yet makes a fashionable statement. If you’re getting ready in the morning, with no time to put an outfit together, the dresses from Chola the Label allow you to slip into something easy, which will make you stand out. The clothes are edgy, easy-to-wear, and pay attention to detail.
Sohaya continues to preview her collection internationally, recently having them shown in an exhibit in Dubai. Bollywood actresses—Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, and Kareena Kapoor— among others, are a few of the A-listers to grace red carpets recently wearing Chola the Label, proving the future is unstoppable for Sohaya. “I guess the last two years have been a testament to —no matter what you do, it is important to stay true to yourself and express yourself in the most honest way,” Sohaya says.
Check out pieces from her new collection below: