Sachin & Babi Design for South Florida
By Angela Caraway-Carlton
Luxury fashion designer Sachin Ahluwalia of Sachin & Babi only needed to visit South Florida a few times to notice a distinct trait about our local ladies: We are social butterflies with jam-packed calendars who need to look “Oscar-ready” at the drop of a hat.
“Actually, I’ve been studying that social calendar. Ladies here have a lot more events than most,” says Ahluwalia, who has been traveling back and forth from New York to Broward and Dade counties to introduce his label’s latest collections. “I find women here really make a wonderful effort to dress up. I’ve traveled all over the country, and it’s refreshing to come here and see that women actually look in the mirror and they feel pride in it.”
Ahluwalia and his wife, Babi, started an embroidery house more than 20 years ago, catering to mega fashion houses such as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jean Paul Gaultier and more. In 2009, the duo launched Sachin & Babi, focusing on high-end customized embroideries for clothing. “Our core clients come to us for special occasions, so anything from an afternoon luncheon to black tie. That’s where we shine and where embroidery really comes to light.”
Although the couple resides in New York, often surrounded by a sea of ladies in dark clothing, Ahluwalia does not shy away from color. “A lot of my Indian culture and heritage is reflected in what we do,” he explains, adding that this season, customers will see beautiful and bold colors of marigold, fuchsia and raspberry. And if you know the brand, expect a bouquet of floral prints (Ahluwalia believes at some point in his life, he was a botanist), which are perfect for our colorful lifestyle. “I truly believe that this collection is more driven by clientele of mine in South Florida than other northeastern states,” he says.
Ahluwalia has majorly stepped up his gala game, adding more drama and more volume to his luxe clothing. Currently, he’s showcasing long, full skirts and dresses with tiers and ruffles, which will continue trending into fall. The designer has also figured out a way to make his dresses work for every figure. “We’ve always struggled with where the waist hits and so we’ve done away with the waist seam,” he says. “That way, if you have a long torso or a short torso, you can still fit into the same dress. It’s very flattering.”
The fashion label is also making other bold moves. After listening to customers, Ahluwalia started designing special-occasion wear at a lower price point ($295-$1,295) to make his clothing more accessible. “I like to call it ‘democratically priced,’ so it really doesn’t hurt the purse as much when you make such a big investment,” he says, citing social media as a partial reason. “Today, once a girl wears a dress, she’s photographed and she can’t wear it again.”
And if you can’t get enough of these red-carpet-ready fashions, the brand has translated its style and embroidery into home furnishings. The Ankasa home line, featuring custom pillows, upholstery, drapery and wall paneling, is sold exclusively at Jerry Pair in Hollywood.
“It’s the same mind, the same sensibility,” Ahluwalia says. “I try to think that she’s the same girl. I’m trying to put clothes in her closet and pillows on her bed.”
So RSVP “yes.” You’ll be ready for any occasion.
Find Sachin & Babi at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Boca Raton, Bal Harbour and Coral Gables or visit sachinandbabi.com.