photos by Reka Nyari
What makes Queue so special? That’s a question I repeated over and over again prior to meeting two designers I now call the wonder twins. Wonder twins because of their dramatic transition from athletic intensive sport which dominated their Spring 2007 line to sport chic which is a keystone of their Fall 2007 line.
With the fashion world embracing casual lux lines like a long lost lover, Queue could not have better timing. The girls design casual pieces in luxury fabrics making almost everything versatile enough to wear dressed up, down or both. The best part of this pair though is their energy – their positive spirit comes across when talking to them, observing them in their design element or simply watching their interaction with each other.
I sat down with them just after they designed their most recent line (Fall 2007) and wanted to get to know Lucky and Sarada Ravindra, the designers of Queue. Read below:
How are your friends reacting to your move to New York?
Lucky: They’re glad that they can visit. laughs
Sarada: I don’t think it’s a surprise for anyone.
Why do you say that?
Sarada: Because it was the natural progression. It was bound to happen. We talked about it for awhile and we weren’t ready. But I think we’re ready now.
Do you think of yourselves as New Yorkers already?
Lucky: We were born there but that doesn’t mean we’re New Yorkers.
Sarada: I don’t think that we identify with one place. I mean, we live in Miami, but people here don’t think of us as actually living in Miami. They always ask us where we’re from.
Why is that?
Sarada: I don’t know maybe we don’t dress how they do, I don’t know.
Well, how do you dress? Let’s say you’re going out for a night on the town, what do would you wear?
Lucky: It’s a complicated question, it completely depends on our mood and what we feel like wearing. We definitely dress more like we’re from New York. I guess we fit in more in that sense. A great pair of heels is definitely in. That’s definitely something that you will see us wearing if we go out. We love heels.
What do you see as the main goal for the Queue fashion line?
Lucky: I don’t really see any boundaries. I mean, the brand evolves as we evolve. It’s hard to pinpoint, but our line definitely reflects a lifestyle. I mean we could get into everything from accessories to shoes to men’s and kids.
You said that the line evolves as you evolve, can you explain what you mean by that?
Sarada: We’re still considered “new” on some level; I mean we’ve only been in the industry for three to four years now …Lucky interrupts Lucky: But when we first started we didn’t know what we were doing on some levels. I mean it was a whole new thing for us, we didn’t go to fashion school, we had nothing to do with the industry at all and it was a lot of trial and error.
Your line is getting all types of positive reviews, are you afraid of success?
Lucky: It’s nice obviously to see that someone likes what you’re doing and someone appreciates what you’re doing.
Sarada: We are dreaming of the success that’s right around the corner. But I think of anyone reaching a certain point in terms of success with people responding to your product there’s always going to be criticism but that’s part of the idea of dealing with success and I think that we’re fine with that.
Lucky: I guess at some point we do know that it might get to be overwhelming but I think we think about that when we get to that point.
How do you know when you get to that point?
Lucky: When the line can financially sustain itself I think.
Sarada: We want to be able to put out a good creative product consistently. I think that’s when we reach the point of success.
Have each of you ever designed something that you did not want the other to see?
Lucky: No. We always share our ideas. We’re pretty open with each other. We’ve never really had to hide creative ideas no matter how off the wall we would think them to be individually.
Which designer would you trade places with in a heartbeat?
Sarada: There isn’t anyone we’d trade places with in a heartbeat. We’re completely comfortable in our own skin. And we’ve never wanted to be someone else even for a minute. However, we do have a tremendous admiration and respect for many designers.
Favorite place to be on a Saturday afternoon?
Sarada: Home. We’re very much home bodies and that’s the place where we feel most comfortable. I mean, it’s definitely quiet time. We get to think a lot, we spend time with our friends, watch movies. Basically we love to be home.
You normally model your own clothes, and you stay in great shape, have you ever considered using outside models for your line?
Lucky: We have thought about using other models for the line, we started doing it at first not because we saw ourselves as models. The brand was about an idea that we were trying to project in terms of lifestyle. It was convenient for us and it seemed natural for us to just do it ourselves.
Sarada: But with the growth of the line, and in terms of putting the brand out there, we have thought of using other models Lucky interjects: And probably will and probably will as the line progresses into different seasons.
Coming from an athletic background, how do you feel about the whole skinny model issue in fashion now?
Sarada: It obviously has always been a part of the industry that the girls look a certain way when walking down the runway, or when they model the clothes. However, health is a serious issue and a lot of these models don’t lead healthy lifestyles at the same time a lot of them do, even though they are very thin. A lot of women that aren’t even that skinny suffer from bulemia, so it’s not necessarily the fashion industry that should be nailed or put down as a result. I think that we need to pay attention to the issue, but I don’t think laws need to be made or restrictions need to be in place regulating models.
You are athletes as well as designers. When you put a line together, does your design process go in the direction of making them athletically fit or do you use some other convention?
Lucky: Not at all. The only element of our athletic background that goes into the brand really is a level of comfort and the fact that the clothes have to be functional. Who wants to wear something that is uncomfortable or not easy to wear or not able to fit into your lifestyle? It’s more of the sports chic aesthetic that comes into play when we’re designing our line vs. the functional Sarada interjects Sarada: None of the clothes are really made to exercise in; I mean you could do yoga and some of the less strenuous exercises in some of our pieces.
Talk to me about the transition between your Spring 2007 line and your Fall 2007 because there seems to be this dramatic departure in terms of look when it comes to the line. What exactly happened that caused this?
Sarada: I’m collecting my thoughts for a sec. laughs
Sarada: Well, I think the first thing that hit us when we started designing the fall season is that we were going to look back at Spring and see what we can do from there and we weren’t happy with Spring; primarily because it wasn’t the direction we wanted to take or move forward with. The Fall line is more of a reflection of where we wanted to go in terms of the design aesthetic and how it reflected us personally.
Lucky: I think that’s something we also didn’t think about when we were designing in the past. We never thought about how we felt about the line personally. We created what we thought the market wanted. With the Fall line, we went with what we wanted to do and we decided that if we were going to continue doing this, we would do it based on how we wanted it to be done.
With that said, do you think you’re going to have the same jump when you transition from Fall 2007 to Spring 2008?
Sarada: Spring is definitely going to be an extension of what you see for Fall/Winter.
As a designer, what do you think of the whole internet phenomena, and do you feel it benefits you much?
Sarada: The internet is one of most valuable marketing tools…considering the amount of people that have access to it.
You have used cashmere in your sport collections, what first attracted you to explore and experiment with cashmere?
Sarada: Cashmere is luxe and comfortable, both are elements of the Queue aesthetic.
Are you intrigued by any celebrity’s style choices and who would benefit from wearing Queue?
Sarada: Intrigued? No. However, there are celebrities that have a great sense of style. Anyone would benefit from wearing Queue, the line is chic, versatile, and comfortable.
With a career in law already accomplished, why switch to designing?
Lucky: Although we have law degrees we never pursued a career in law…so, there was never a switch. We started the line while we were in our second year.
What’s the worst pre-designer job you ever had?
Sarada: You know I can’t ever say we’ve had a worse job. Because all we’ve ever done is play tennis and go to school. I can’t say we ever had a worse job, because when we were training we weren’t working anywhere.
Lucky: But if you really want an answer, I can say that there were times in our tennis career where we wanted to quit and just didn’t want to go on any more. There were times where we forcing ourselves to play tennis and we really didn’t want to do it.
What is your most irrational fear?
Sarada: I don’t think we have an irrational fear.
Not afraid of heights or gnomes or anything like that?
Lucky: (laughs) No I’m sure we’re afraid of something I just can’t think of anything.
What do you think of designers that go down market in terms of creating lines affordable for the masses?
Sarada: I think that’s great. I think that unfortunately there are a lot of people that can’t go out and afford high end clothing and these are very talented designers that are creating a high end line for a mass market. I also think it’s great that more people are going to be able to buy things from these great designers.
Do you think moving from Miami to New York is going to change your approach to design?
Lucky: Maybe, I mean we’re always open in terms of design and putting together new items for our line. So moving to a new environment might definitely change what you see from us.
To view more of the Queue Fall line visit online at www.sportqueue.com