Founder of bhaane and VegNonVeg, Anand Ahuja has made quite a splash in the style segment with his unique take on fashion. A self-confessed sneaker fan, his brand VegNonVeg is known for its curated selection of classic and heritage designs. Here, Ahuja talks to us about his entrepreneurial journey and his favourite foods.
When and how did you plan your fashion label?
“It was quite impromptu… when I came back to India, I saw that there were so many young creatives everywhere – they aspired for a global product, but India had little access to it. Bhaane was then developed to interact with the young, emerging creative talent in India – clothes is our medium, but more than clothes it was about connecting with them.”
What was the idea behind the name ‘bhaane’?
“I read it, and at first, I didn’t like it. I was working with my branding team on our overall handwriting and they asked for a name. I asked them to use bhaane as a placeholder, they came back a few weeks later with its full script and fronting done, and it stuck. The same reasons I didn’t like it originally became the reasons I did like it – no one knew what it meant and everyone could approach the brand without any preconceived notions of meaning and expectation (the word comes from the Gurmukhi script and means ‘rising sun’).”
What’s your summer look?
“For work, it’s some easy pants – preferably slightly baggy and drawstring-based (jeans get too uncomfortable in the summer) – with this longline shirt we have from bhaane and some sneakers (sunnies are always good for summer, too).”
Whose fashion sense do you admire?
“I’ve always liked David Beckham’s style – casual and in suit. I love Tom Ford as a designer.”
What inspired you to start the brand VegNonVeg?
“I grew up obsessed with sneakers… even before I started playing basketball, and especially after I started playing it. I would always plan that one shoe I’d be buying in the summer when we’d travel to the US. When I got back to India, I obviously saw that there was no multi-brand player in the sneaker market and started working on the concept – honestly just to be able to share my hobby and passion with others here!”
Why sneakers and not any other type of footwear for VegNonVeg?
“Basketball is how I really got into footwear, so sneakers are obviously that category.”
How many pairs of footwear do you own?
Your favourite place to buy shoes?
“Obviously VegNonVeg! Plus, I know when shoes are releasing, so I can plan out my purchases for the year!”
Which are your favourite restaurants in Mumbai?
“I’ve always been very much about eating at home, but I LOVE Madras Cafe.”
What’s your favourite cuisine?
“South Indian and Thai!”
What’s your comfort food?
“Veg Thai green curry, rice and broccoli.”
Do you use Scootsy? Which are the restaurants you order from on Scootsy?