Amelia’s Magazine | The Many Sides: An interview with founder Rita Sheth

The Many Sides Fashion Illustration By Toni Morris
The Many Sides Fashion Illustration By Toni Morris.

You come from a corporate background – why did you decide to branch out and set up The Many Sides and what were you able to bring to the process from your former career?
I set up the business because I found I was no longer excited by what was on offer on the high street – I wanted to bring more unique, well made clothes to people that were also frustrated by the high street as well as the ‘slap on a monogram’ ethos which we see from established labels. As such it was kind of a labour of love! Basically I wanted to connect creative designers with women who wanted to express themselves through creative fashion!
I think from my former career I am able to bring a level of professionalism and attention to detail which is important. It also helps to be able to structure a deal which is important when thinking about different ways you can do business.

The Many Sides Swim
I like the thinking behind your name, can you explain a bit more about what The Many Sides means to you?
The Many Sides references the many sides of a woman. I found as a corporate professional I would have a persona at work and then lots of different other sides for all the other roles I play and the many interests I have. I wanted to develop a brand that resonated with a similar kind of woman. A woman that has many sides and many interests – one of which desires creative self expression and uses fashion as a vehicle to do that.

The Many Sides floral lookbook
Where are your designers from and how do you discover them and bring them on board?
My designers come from a variety of countries from South Korea, Denmark, Greece and the UK among others. I discover them through various means, trade shows, desk based research, instagram…. and now designers get in touch with me too as they like what I am doing and want to be featured on a platform that is selective and well curated. I won’t sell anything I don’t like or where the quality is sub par. I always look for a story behind the designers inspiration that cohesively carries through to their aesthetic. Though each collection may vary, there needs to be something distinctive and ‘signature’ about the designers concept.

The Many Sides Spring Sterling Silver Neckpiece
The Many Sides sterling silver lookbook
Please could you introduce us to a few of your designers…. and let us know a bit about why you have chosen them.
The designers are an eclectic bunch – each with their own distinctive style. A few of the designers we stock are:

The Many Sides Chichia Jumpsuit
The Many Sides ChichiaJacketandTrousers copy
Chichia – Her designs are influenced by African print and in particular she uses the local Khanga fabric to make the clothes. She makes the clothes using local labour in Tanzania to give back to her homeland. I really like the colour and the unique use of cut outs as well as the representation of the culture via the fabrics used.

The Many Sides leather skirt yohan kim
Yohan Kim – Our South Korean designer. He has a rock and roll, gothic style. He uses a lot of leather, studs and heavy detailing, embellishment and embroidery. I really love the intricacy of the pieces. The pictures online don’t do the items enough justice! The pieces are very handcrafted and deeply worked – for example one of the leather skirts is texturised on one side and has studs on the other side. No regular leather skirt!

Tuxedo Jacket
Alice’s Pig – Our London based designer who is influenced by Alice in Wonderland and girly vintage tea party looks. Lots of 50′s style dresses and feminine cuts. I love this designer as the pieces are very wearable but have a subtle twist that still makes the items unique. The kimono trousers and tuxedo jacket are a case in point – they are both staple pieces but not boring and each have a little something extra to make them memorable.

The Many Sides kimono lookbook
What have been the biggest difficulties and triumphs in setting up your own business?
The biggest difficulty is in bridging the gap between online and offline. I am currently looking at ways to make the clothes more accessible offline as its still important to some customers be able to touch and feel the clothes. The main thing I am proud of has been in getting so much positive feedback from customers, bloggers and designers. People in the industry as well as the customer seem to really like the clothes and more importantly are willing to spend their hard earned money buying them – its so rewarding when someone genuinely loves a purchase.

The Many Sides - Spring Edit Bag2
Can you tell us more about your spring edit selection and what informed your choices?
It is a mixture of clothes good for the current weather – florals and light weight fabrics. However as the weather in England is so changeable there are also some jackets on there too. Having said that all of the clothes can be worn any time of year – I don’t approve of the fast fashion movement and want to slow things down by always having clothing on there for all occasions and all weather.

The Many Sides Spring Edit Ceramin Necklace
I also included some colourful accessories including some contemporary jewellery pieces that would go well with day time spring/summer looks to reflect the new season and hopefully the beginning of sunshine! Looking ahead we also have a great new swimwear designer that does very unique designs to flatter every shape which also comes in made to measure sizes.

The Many Sides slate_crag_ring_on_hand
The Many Sides Spring Ceramic_Ring
What next for the Many Sides?
As I mentioned I want to explore different ways to bring the clothes to customers in a more direct way. This is something I am looking at right now. I also want to carry on delighting customers with the unique product offering which I intend to keep growing with time. Essentially, I hope to grow the business through word of mouth – that’s the dream!

Check out Rita Sheth‘s unique selection of clothing and accessories for yourself on The Many Sides. Rita Sheth was a contributor to my 10th anniversary book That Which We Do Not Understand.

Categories ,#TWWDNU, ,Alice’s Pig, ,Chichia, ,fashion, ,Global Fashion, ,Indie Fashion, ,interview, ,Rita Sheth, ,That Which We Do Not Understand, ,The Many Sides, ,Toni Morris, ,Yohan Kim

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