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5 Minutes With... The Many Sides

by Becky Elliott

The Many Sides is a contemporary brand that fuses elegance and modern femininity with a distinctive directional edge. We spent five minutes with the founder, Rita Sheth to get a closer look inside the brand.

How did The Many Sides begin?

I started off in PR and Comms and then trained to be a Lawyer. I always knew something was missing from my professional life, but I never had the space to find my true passion. I experimented with so many things, writing, photography, art and then somewhere along that journey, through a lot of soul searching, I discovered that the way I wanted to express myself and explore my creative side was through fashion. I actually didn’t think it through very much in the beginning. I just noticed there were brands I liked but were not readily available to the mainstream public. I started the company as a boutique style online marketplace for emerging contemporary brands. I just wanted to share the cool brands I liked with other people. After a time, I decided that I wanted to design for myself and wanted to share my perspective, so I took the leap into starting THE MANY SIDES.

Have you always been interested in fashion?
Yes and No. I never considered myself a fashionista or a girly girl, but I have always been interested in the creative arts and design. Looking back on my life though when it came to  fashion I always had my own personal sense of style and liked to style things in unique ways. I didn’t really pay attention to what other people were wearing, it was important to me to express myself and be an individual, if I liked it I would wear it regardless of what anyone else thought.

What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
The highs are when people recognise your brand and they like what you are doing, when you start to see the industry starting to take notice and give positive feedback. It takes it from inside your head to something you share with likeminded people. The lows are financial pressure and being frantically busy. I wish I had more time to design and be inspired but there is always time pressure for each collection.

What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
I am always inspired by emotional tones, moods and themes. I channel all my emotion into a collection and then design around that feeling. Elegant Harm was about exploring how we strive to hide ourselves, our inner struggle and demons, and how parts of that seep out in subtle ways. There is a dark edgy undercurrent but also a feminine quality to the collection. The long lines, sleeves, cut outs, colours are all to do with that dark femininity and hiding from the world while still, underneath it all, wanting to connect.

Do you ever struggle to stay inspired?

I worry about it but so far, no. I am an emotional person so there is always something new to explore within, to draw from. I am, however, also inspired by politics and what is happening outside in the world. For example, Brexit and political upheaval was one of the main things that inspired my SS18 Break collection which I have just finished designing. Unless somehow I am always happy and the world is a perfect place, I doubt I will struggle for inspiration, unfortunately I am not inspired by rainbows and bunnies but you never know!

Where is your go-to meeting spot?
Probably Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, at the moment. They are an accommodating bunch.

How would you describe your customer base?
I would say that they are people who love fashion, they love the conceptual brands in particular. They are urban, interested in design, value quality, dress for themselves, are self-confident and interesting.

Is there anyone you would love to see wearing your designs?
Rihanna - she is just such a style setter but most of all she has this fearless self-confidence. She completely dresses for herself, she experiments and you can see she genuinely enjoys design and fashion. She has many sides and dresses for her mood. She doesn’t pigeonhole herself and always surprises.

What are the morals you run your brand by?
Integrity, honesty and authenticity. We take pride in a quality product, we don’t pretend to be anything or portray a false image or follow what everyone else does. The Many Sides is about authentic self-expression and a journey of exploration through fashion.

If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
It’s a difficult choice. For throw-on everyday style, I really like the Nish Jersey Dress and actually wear it in the studio all the time. It’s really comfortable, looks good on, can beworn in multiple ways, is flattering, feminine, elegant and never creases!

What’s the biggest style mistake you’ve ever made?
I remember when I was younger I wore a skirt over trousers and people were just staring at me and wondering what the hell I was wearing. I think I was ten years too early because after that it was ‘a thing’ for a while.

Is there another designer whose work you particularly admire?

There are lots. I would say The Row is a label I really like. I love the shapes and the fabricsand the feel of the brand. It epitomises luxury for me.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be true to yourself. It is what I turn to when not knowing what to do. Going at your own pace. I won’t allow myself to be hurried before I am ready. Good things take time to build and foundations that are properly built will hopefully last, and that is what I want to build - a lasting brand.

What drew you to Wolf &Badger?

It is such an industry influencer, it’s a voice that holds importance, and it is a gateway to building a profile and stockists. When I found out THE MANY SIDES was selected to be stocked I was extremely excited- it felt like such a breakthrough. Everyone in fashion knows it is a big deal.

Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
Building more wholesale accounts in influential stores, being worn by people whom I admire, being able to develop a deeper relationship with fans of the brand, developing creatively, introducing new product categories, breaking into the cities I love most in the world. There are so many things I would love to see in the next five years. I cannot wait.