We’re a month away from Christmas and already there’s a jingle and a “ho-ho-ho” in the air.
Homes are already sporting Santas hanging from chimney tops, Christmas wreaths on the doors and twinkly lights in the windows.
The decorated trees are up and the little ones have already scribbled down their present wish lists for Santa.
Over and above the sparkling lights and fancy gifts, Christmas time is about family and togetherness.
It’s the time of the year when many take time off from work and make the effort to spend time with their families. A time when memories are made.
I’m sure we all have at least one fond Christmas memory that fills us with warmth and happiness.
The pandemic has forced us to celebrate special occasions differently. People are spending more time at home and gatherings are smaller and more intimate. This means people will be more inclined to be home during Christmas.
In the past, the Christmas Day outfit was a big deal. People saved up and spent a fortune on an outfit for that one day of year.
As we all feel the financial pinch, that additional expense is something we can happily do without.
Who needs to be all dressed up to get into the Christmas spirit, anyway?
Thanks to the pandemic, loungewear has become the acceptable and go-to style for relaxing at home.
Chanayé Pillay, the owner of Hugio, believes that her Christmas-themed sleep and loungewear collection is exactly what family gatherings need this season.
The brand’s exclusive sleep and loungewear collection covers all the necessary must-haves - from baby wear to men’s and ladies pyjamas, too, and is set to become a holiday favourite.
Pillay says the collection was inspired by her family Christmases, coupled with an underlying tone of nostalgia and warmth.
“Accents of the poinsettia collection pays homage to my mom’s deep love for flowers, particularly the poinsettia flower bringing in the Christmas season each year. Music has been a bedrock throughout each Christmas party held in our family. Stirring feelings of joy, fun and festivities, hence the playfulness of design in the collections,” says the 30-year-old businesswoman.
“My grandmother’s infamous Christmas pudding was a highly anticipated treat each year, more especially so because it brought everyone together, to lend a hand or lick the batter of the spoon, hence the baking aspect of our launch pays tribute to the unity of family. Each aspect and detail of the collection was carefully and meticulously inspired and curated by the driving force of quality, to which I pay homage to my dad.”
“This collection was made with a lot of love, and a great amount of detail and thoughtfulness. We considered the fact that we do not celebrate the winter-esque cinematic Christmases we’ve witnessed growing up - rather a very sunny South African Christmas. Hence our goal was to provide a locally sourced, locally manufactured summer range of PJ’s. Garnished with specialised softener washes on our fabrics to elevate your level of comfort.”
We caught up with Pillay to find out more about the brand and the festive collection.
Where does the name Hugio come from?
There’s nothing warmer or more comforting than a hug. I want my products to emulate those feelings In their fit and aesthetic. Hence a “hug in one” - “hugio”
What challenges did you face during the pandemic?
Raw material supply has been a consistent struggle. Creating a product is the easy part, but realising the design from inception to finality is generally a time-sensitive task. Coupled with the delay in delivery of supply, is perhaps the most nightmarish reality I had to face.
One of my prayers with respect to this brand that has always been etched on my heart, has been, ’God, send me the people to help me do the things that I can’t do and to help realise the dream’, and He did just that. During the course of the year, He sent me the right people, and this has been not only a testament but a collaboration of many hearts. I give all glory to Jesus.
How long have you been working on the project?
It took two months to create the collection. The ideation was birthed a few years ago. Conceptualising the dream held a lengthy timeline, which worked in my favour as it allowed time for growth and perspective. From forming dependable relationships within my supply chain to understanding their processes made for an easy approach to bring the collection to reality.
What’s your fondest Christmas memory?
My parents hosted a Christmas Eve party for our entire family, my cousin Mikhail who lived what seemed like countries away had come down with his family. We must’ve been around 7 or 8 years old. Considering we hardly saw each other, that was the first journey of excitement because Christmas meant friends and family! We played all night, being completely butchered with fun, my mom tucked all our cousins on the floor in a huge bed. Just as Christmas drew near, they woke us up at 12 to open our presents. We straddled down the hallway to the Christmas tree, sleep-eyed, hearts racing with excitement in our soft warm and cosy pyjamas.