What/Who inspired you to pursue design, particularly fashion?
Fashion Imagery & luxury retail - the art with what they sell unique designs. I have loved brands like Patagonia, Stella McCartney, Acne, APC, V&A Museum - the way they communicate design as a holistic lifestyle and not just a product.
How did your international work experience in fashion influence your design philosophy?
It streamlined thought process, allowed me to edit better and evoke modestly in design & design practice.
Was it a conscious decision to veer towards ethical fashion and sustainability in design? How challenging has it been to consistently champion this cause?
Yes. It almost creates a working boundary and I strongly believe ethical fashion will soon be a standard and not for designer / consumers to choose from - Its a shame that it is a novelty at the moment.
It is challenging since there are no regulations or set standards unlike other consumer good industries. It is open for interpretation and there are several impacts of sustainability including social, cultural and environmental. The problem is there is no perfect combination of a pure design eventually common sense has to prevail.
Eg: Today, polyester saree is far more cheaper and durable compared to a cotton khadi saree. Also environmental impact (carbon footprint) of a bespoke artisanal textile made in india and sold in season in New York to further sell in Paris is far higher than the social / cultural impact it addresses.
With the advent of fast fashion and growth in consumerism, do you still see garment wash-care labels being relevant today or will they slowly start to get redundant?
Yes - in fact in this fast paced production and consumption, its a reminder that clothes are made by hand, variation and flaws are part of the process and has several components that are assembled together by hand to create a finished item. Each garment needs a different kind of care to suit its manufacturing & region of consumption.
We are yet to achieve technology that can standardise garment care. More attention to care will increase longevity of the clothes.
What keeps you awake at night and motivates you to wake up every morning?
'The Fall' on netflix recommended by Payal is keeping me up these days. Pay checks motivates me to wake up every morning.
On a less commercial note - Living life beautifully and creating modest and aspirational clothing that creates some kind of communal engagement and impacts society / environment at large pretty much drives me.
*Photo courtesy: Mansi Sawant for Elle India