THE SHE FACTOR: A True Love Affair With Fashion

By Arif Jamshaid
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Fashion entrepreneur Aanchal Chanda shares her journey in the industry. She points out how critical it is that designers develop business skills.

DUBAI

Aanchal Chanda was exposed to the business of fashion during her internship at a fashion house in New York.

This provided her a clear insight into behind-the-scenes operations, including finances and product development. It also gave her a starting point to launch a capsule collection to test customer response.

“While I’ve always loved fashion, moving to New York to pursue higher education gave me the exposure that urged me to take my love affair with fashion seriously,” says the founder of the eponymous fashion label, AC.

She had gone to the US to study finance and after completing her MBA she realized her passion and true calling was in the business of fashion. “Therefore, I decided to change course and pursue fashion full-time. As a business graduate, I began to apply my financial background in my newfound direction,” she says.

During this time she was based in New York, which meant extensive traveling to India as she began setting up operations for the new brand. “For me, this was the most challenging period.”

The fashion designer had some concerns when starting the business.

“We have all gone through moments of apprehension during the business setup. I also had times of doubts and reflection. It’s easy to get deflected, especially when things aren’t going according to plan. My parents encouraged me during those times and that allowed me to refocus, revisit areas that needed to be omitted and build on from there,” she says.

For Aanchal, being a businesswoman wasn’t the difficult part; being an entrepreneur and her own boss was an area that she needed to adjust to. Working across multiple roles and juggling them simultaneously proved a challenge in the beginning.

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