|Craftsmen working their magic up!|
What memories of fashion do you have from when you were growing up?
Sabyasachi : I think my fashion moments were defined by Zeenat Aman wearing skimpy clothes and gyrating to ‘laila o laila’ and ‘aap jaisa koi’ in Kurbani.
|Natural dyes which brings out the beautiful colours in Sabyasachi outfit!|
So what was in your case the calling to be a fashion designer?
Sabyasachi : I never knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. I liked sketching. There was an interview of Rohit Khosla that I saw on TV. I climbed the wall with my friends and gate crashed Rohit Khosla fashion show in Saturday Club (Kolkata) in 1992. I saw his show and decided I wanted women to wear pretty clothes and walk up and down that stage.
|Even the toilet has the Sabyasachi touch!|
Sabyasachi : I think I am too boring for controversies to quote me. And also I never used PR for personal reasons. The press that the business gathered has been purely based on the product. And I am happy because the kind of person that I am, it would be really tiring if I constantly had to sell myself to sell my clothes.
Your clothes have wisdom about themselves. They are seldom what they appear to be. The fabrics have been progressed and been through many phases to have that history in them. Is that the definition of beauty?
|The printing area!|
|This is a unique room where all the old fabrics are kept - Inspiring!|
Your clothes seem to appeal to the young girls as well as their mothers and grandmothers. What is it about your clothes that make for such a wide audience?
Sabyasachi : It is a very simple thing: A sense of timelessness and non pretentious pure good Indian clothes. Also there is a very justified co-relation between price and product – which is the reason why the business is scaling so much. In short we try to cut the fat of fashion. Its fine to satisfy your frills and fancies, but you will come back to your daal-chawal and Sabyasachi at the end of the day.
Would you be happier if one day fashion is glamorous in itself and Bollywood is not required for publicizing it?
|Even the threads used in Sabyasachi garments are dyed on premises!|
Fashion like other industries, is looking at sustainability of resources and maintaining an ecological balance. You had started the Save a Sari initiative. Would you elaborate on its role in the market?
Sabyasachi : I had gone with a friend of mine to one of the weavers in Andhra and I just realized that the entire family lived off the cotton sari that they made. The sari retailed for 1200/- and even if the weaver made 50% of that, which meant a family of 5 people surviving for a whole week on only 600 rupees? The defining moment came when I was watching Spiderman and heard the dialogue ‘with great powers come great responsibilities’. So I decided to lend my name to the woven saris under ‘Save a Sari’ campaign. The method was quite simple. We produced the sari within the weaver’s cost without inflation. Added the 10% mark up for sales. So you got a sari from Sabyasachi at a cost less than what you would find at a cotton sari shop. Must have sold about 3000 saris in the last 6 months and that was a great benefit for the single weaver. Now we want to do this with 10 weavers from different clusters. This is part of my Corporate Social Responsibility now. The weavers get the entire cost of the sari without the middleman.
What would you like to be your greatest achievement as a fashion designer?
Sabyasachi : The fact that I brought Indian textiles back to India. To connect Indian people with Indian textiles and to make them feel proud of their heritage is something I would like to achieve.
Credits : These pictures and interview has been sourced from another blog called lovestruckcow.