Le Guras – Aura Gifts

The Nepali apparel market is awash in imported clothing. At the higher-end of the spectrum are the multinational, expensive, global brands and local boutique brands; at the mid- and lower-tiers are the mass-produced products sourced from China and Thailand. Most of these brands, obviously, comprise clothes featuring cookie-cutter designs that reflect the aesthetics that the global market demands. Le Guras, however, creates apparel that are decidedly Nepali—but Nepali as contemporised for the contemporary Nepali.

Jackets sold in a month

Le Guras produces both traditional Nepali apparel that have been tweaked to meet the modern customer’s needs and fusion pieces whose prints are derived from Nepali art and culture.

In late 2017, the company’s COO, Priya Bhandari, and her crew of designers designed the first prototype that they would use to test the local apparel market’s preferences. They worked with a small group of women artisans to produce a sporty jacket (in denim and khaki) that prominently featured a large tribal motif on its back. Based on that prototype, they produced a limited-editions line. The jackets sold out (thousands of units in pre-orders) within months, and the company understood that their Nepal-inspired clothing line made for a winning idea. The team then spent months researching every link in their production and supply chain, before finally creating a new apparel lineup in late 2018. The new line features Nepali-themed clothes that have been carefully tweaked from their archetypal design moulds and brought to life for today’s Nepalis. Some of them, such as their daura suruwals, preserve Nepali cuts and elements like the ‘tuna’. But the team have done away with some of the more onerous design particulars (such as the usual baggy bottoms), and made use of the more comfortable rayon as the design material, rather than the stiff and starchy cotton. Most of the clothes in the lineup can be worn with most others, and this provision for mixing and matching the various pieces allows the apparel to be worn on occasions both formal and casual.

Le Guras also creates accessories, such as scarves, that feature both traditional and fusion elements.  And the fashion lines’ prints have been inspired by Nepali motifs that span the spectrum from the ethnic and the religious to the architectural and the natural. The clothes cater to the contemporary Nepali who is proud to be Nepali and whose choice of apparel reflects that pride.

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We all have an intrinsic need to celebrate the special ones in our lives. But we’ve been conditioned into thinking that we can express such outpourings of appreciation only during certain red-calendar days. Aura is bringing changes to that culture of giving: by assembling and delivering gift packages that can be presented under every pretext, during every day of every season. Aura Gifts offers customisable as well as pre-curated gift boxes to cater to the customer’s every gift-giving need. Among the options available is an array of gift boxes, chocolates, cakes, bouquets, mini-treats and apparel. The gift boxes comprise elements that have been carefully picked to capture the spirit of all festivities and various other occasions. The chocolates and mini-treats are all locally concocted artisanal creations. Aura’s cakes feature experimental designs but tried-and-tested flavours. The bouquets combine flowers, vines and other incidentals in truly singular fashion. And the apparel have been picked for their authentically Nepali designs. To place an order, all a customer has to do is either call Aura or reach them through their various social-media platforms. The customer can then have the gift delivered to any location in Kathmandu Valley, for no delivery charge. For a small fee, Aura also delivers gifts outside the Valley.

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