Mainstreaming elegance and sophistication in sarees

By Archana Heenpella

Founded by the multitalented Alanki Perera, Radha by Alanki is a brand that caters to the modern Sri Lankan woman.

Having celebrated its third anniversary just a week ago, the brand boasts a boutique in Colombo 8 and a considerable online presence. As any of the store’s 11,000+ followers on Instagram would tell you, the prints and designs used to create these fashionable drapes are both bold and elegant, falling on every point of the spectrum between casual and formal.

In an exclusive interview, Alanki shared with The Sunday Morning Brunch that Radha by Alanki is primarily about femininity and grace.

Specialising in one-of-a-kind sarees, the brand aims to bring out the individuality and personality of each individual.

Sharing her inspiration for and motivation to start her own label, Alanki – a model, actress, and law graduate – believes that a saree is simply “six yards of art, grace, and charm”. Proudly carrying the title of “entrepreneur”, she now focuses much of her energy on driving value to her clients and customers in the form of one-of-a-kind sarees.

Starting the brand along with her mother, this mother-daughter duo professedly shares a passion for sarees with unique designs and those that are symbols of ethnic wear. Alanki also stated that her mother was the driving force behind their venture, especially since they both believed that there was a need for exclusive, custom-made sarees in Sri Lanka.

As for their selection of prints? From classic staples to edgy stripes and patterns, she said that each print and design needs to complement the woman wearing it and “make her stand out in a crowd”. In fact, the actress-turned-entrepreneur is proud that Radha by Alanki offers its customers a vast selection of prints, traversing between modern and traditional designs, all suited for the contemporary woman.

We then asked the savvy saree specialist what some of her biggest challenges were when it came to launching Radha by Alanki, as well as the rewards she’s earned along the way.

She shared: “As a young businesswoman in the fashion industry, the biggest challenge is when people copy what you do. It’s always good to be inspired, but it’s important that you do your own thing and come up with your own original ideas.”

As for the rewards, she claimed that getting to execute her own ideas and being absolutely “liberal” with her creativity has been some of the best parts of her experience so far.

Sharing her advice for businessmen and women inspired to launch their own lines and ventures, she encouraged that they “do their own thing” and not be afraid to take the leap and start their own companies.
According to Alanki, regardless of whether you succeed or fail, you learn at the very least, whether the venture was worth it or not.

In light of the brand’s recent anniversary, she also dished that although it has been three challenging years, they have also been supremely rewarding. She gushed that the brand is now widely known and is associated with quality and timeless elegance.

The entrepreneur confided, sharing her candid experience: “A business is a huge responsibility. You are responsible for what you provide and how you provide it. We have learned that creativity and style are constantly evolving, and we must adapt to the changing times and demands of our customers. We have also learned that our customers’ satisfaction is what is most important.”

Radha by Alanki’s sarees create a longing for a world where their timeless drapes are a more frequent wardrobe choice. Her floral-inspired numbers, in particular, bring to mind visions of an elegant day at the races…as impractical as that may be, in reality.

In Alanki’s own words, “a woman is always perfectly dressed in an elegant saree”. Perhaps with her collection, this vision may soon be realised.

Take a look at the brand’s stunning creations through its social media handles or drop by the Radha by Alanki boutique located on Tickell Road, Colombo 8.
Instagram: @Radha_Sarees
Facebook: Radha Saree