Swathi Narra: A Fusion of Chicago Style and Indian Elegance

Swathi Narra: Chicago's Fashion Maverick and Luxemi.com Trailblazer

In the bustling streets of Chicago, where innovation meets tradition, a dynamic entrepreneur is making waves with her groundbreaking venture. Swathi Narra, the co-founder of Luxemi.com, has carved a niche in the fashion industry, seamlessly blending the worlds of rental and retail to offer a curated selection of stunning Indian attire and accessories.

As a resident of Windy City, Swathi’s story is not just about entrepreneurship but also a celebration of the vibrant cultural tapestry that Chicago weaves.

Swathi Narra’s Vision: A Fashion Odyssey

Swathi Narra’s journey into the world of fashion began with a common refrain – admiration for unique pieces sourced from the markets of India. In 2011, fueled by her passion for modern Indian aesthetics, Swathi and her business partner, Swapna Chandamuri, launched Luxemi.com.

The platform showcased a diverse range, from elegant bangles to contemporary brocade dresses, challenging the stereotypical perception of Indian clothing as exclusively Bollywood or blingy.

“A lot of people think that clothing from India is very Bollywood, very blingy,” Swathi reflects. “But there’s a lot of subtlety and craftsmanship coming out of India, and many fashion-forward designers who don’t get a lot of play in the U.S.”

Roots and Style: A Fusion of East Meets West

Swathi Narra’s home in Wicker Park mirrors her eclectic upbringing. Hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and frequent travels to India with her family, Swathi’s style seamlessly merges the diverse influences of the East and West. Her unique perspective on fashion is not just a testament to her roots but also a reflection of the globalized world we live in.

The Birth of Luxemi: A Passion Ignited

Swathi’s journey into entrepreneurship defies conventional timelines. “I’ve always wanted to start my own business but never thought it would happen so early in my career,” she shares.

Luxemi, a blend of Rent The Runway and Net-A-Porter but for Indian clothing and accessories, addresses a genuine need – the accessibility of exquisite Indian fashion in the United States.

“My business partner Swapna Chandamuri (who’s also one of my best friends) and I wanted to do something together that we both felt passionate about and energized by,” Swathi explains. “Luxemi solves a genuine problem — a lack of access to gorgeous Indian clothing and accessories here in the States.”

Chicago: The Inspirational Canvas

While Swathi Narra has lived in various cities, Chicago holds a special place in her heart. The city’s ethos of balancing hard work with a high quality of life resonates with her.

“The city really encourages you to lead a balanced life and allows you to easily create a community, which is hard to do in big cities,” she notes. “People here work hard and are on their grind, but still maintain a high quality of life. To me, that is extremely inspiring.”

The Daily Ensemble: Comfort with a Touch of Glamour

Working from home gives Swathi the flexibility to curate her daily wardrobe, emphasizing comfort without compromising style. “I love an elastic waistband,” she confesses, embracing the comfort of glorified sweatpants. Oversized scarves and caftans add a touch of glamour, creating a workspace that transports her to a pied-à-terre in Morocco.

Local Delights and Distractions

Swathi Narra cherishes the spontaneity that Chicago offers, especially in the form of impromptu coffee dates with friends who also work from home. The scenic Lakeshore Drive, with its skyline and captivating architecture, serves as a delightful distraction and a source of gratitude for the city she calls home.

Culinary Indulgences: Tofu and Tantalizing Tastes

For a last meal in Chicago, Swathi Narra has diverse cravings. From indulging in Asian egg noodle soup with tofu and Chinese eggplant at Urban Belly to savoring a bone-in filet at Mastro’s, her culinary preferences showcase a wide range. Her enthusiasm for Urban Belly’s tofu dish is particularly noteworthy, considering her initial aversion to the ingredient.

Recognizing Swathi Narra: A Street Encounter

If someone recognizes Swathi Narra on the street, she’s open to any conversation except for one thing. “I’ll be happy with whatever they say as long as it’s not along the lines of ‘Saw you on R29, and you came off like a dud.’ Anything but that!”

Style Evolution: Global, Ethnic, and Comfortable

Swathi Narra’s style is as diverse as her journey. With a penchant for anything with a global, slightly ethnic edge, she embraces mixed prints and clean lines. French designers like Iro, Maje, and Isabel Marant, alongside the likes of Rick Owens and Vivienne Westwood, find a place in her fashion heart.

Finding Gems for Luxemi: A Journey to India

Luxemi’s success lies in its ability to curate the best of Indian design. Swathi, along with her team, frequently visits India, exploring the richness of craftsmanship and artistry. The platform showcases pieces that seamlessly blend classic Indian workmanship with a global, modern aesthetic.

Incorporating Indian Elegance into Everyday Wardrobe

For those seeking to infuse a touch of Indian flair into their everyday wardrobe, Swathi Narra recommends tunic tops (kurtis). Versatile and chic, they can be paired with leggings or maxi-skirts, offering a perfect blend of comfort and style.

Luxemi’s Genesis: Filling a Void in Access and Affordability

Luxemi was born out of a genuine need. Swathi and Swapna experienced the struggle of finding Indian clothing in the U.S., leading them to create a platform that democratizes access to stunning Indian designs. Offering both rental and retail options, Luxemi’s motto is simple: ‘Buy the one you want forever, borrow the one you want right now.’

Also Read : Satish Tripathi: Buffalo University’s first foreign-born president

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.