Sunny’s Bridal in Surrey to showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week

Business got its start in south Vancouver in the 1990s

Sunny’s Bridal, based in Surrey, will be showcasing its latest collection at Vancouver Fashion Week on Saturday, March 23. (Submitted photo: Sunny’s Bridal)

Arjun Sethi says when it comes to designing for Sunny’s Bridal, he looks to what is going on with fashion trends in India, while also drawing inspiration from the West Coast.

Sunny’s Bridal, based in Surrey, will be hosting a private showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week on Saturday (March 23). It’s the fourth year Sunny’s Bridal has showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week, with a one-year break in 2018 to show at South Asian Fashion Week.

While the business chose to go back to VFW for its fall/winter shows, creative director Sethi said it can be a “pretty daunting” being one of the few South Asian designers at VFW.

“Vancouver Fashion Week is very different. There’s not a lot of South Asian designers that go there, it’s mostly us. The reason that most South Asian designers don’t go there, is the demographic is not what we’re looking for,” said Sethi.

“Sometimes it’s pretty daunting because… you see what everyone else is displaying on the runway and it’s like, will our fashion actually speak to everyone else there? But then again, people are just awed by Indian fashion overall.”

Sethi said Sunny’s Bridal designs for “Vancouver girls,” while still looking at what the top designers in India are doing. He said the colours they use might not “appeal to people who are actually from India.”

“They’re very much into (bright) colour palettes, whereas us, we’re into our pastels and jewel tones and things like that,” said Sethi, adding that he gets inspired by the West Coast and the “diverse” regiom.

But being an older business, said Sethi, they do have their “bearings quite well.”

Sunny’s Bridal opened at Main Street and 51st Avenue in Vancouver in 1992, and then moved to Main and 49th Avenue two years later, said Sethi, whose parents Sunny and Reshu started the business.

It was five years ago they moved the business to Surrey at 12960 84th Avenue, Sethi said. The space includes a private showroom.

Sethi has only been a part of the business for about three years, he said.

After he decided to work in the family business, Sethi said his parents “shipped me off to India for two months to spend time in factories to learn all this.”

“Then they didn’t let me design until pretty much last year.”

This fall/winter collection, he said, includes 26 pieces that took about six months in total from the initial design to having the pieces in hand – which only arrived in Surrey on Tuesday.

“It’s a pretty fast turnaround, actually, because people normally work on their collections for about a year.”

Sethi said he and his mom started planning the designs in October and once the designs and sketches are finished, they’re sent to India for professional sketches. Once the sketches are done, Sethi said they travel to India to put everything together to “make sure it’s all perfect.”

This season’s collection, Sethi said, is not just about fashion.

“We’re going to be attacking a much bigger social issue because we believe that when you build platforms as big as we have, you can’t just be about the money or it can’t just be about clothes anymore. it needs to be about something else,” he said.

While Sethi said the big social message would be kept mostly a secret, he told the Now-Leader that the show will be covering a “big feminist issue” and it will be dedicated to his mom.

“If you see the story, you’ll see the story of trials of things that have been said to her from other men who have always looked down on her as a business woman but she’s been a business woman for the last 30 years in this community.”

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