injiri, Maithili Ahluwalia

A conversation with Chinar Farooqui of Injiri, Maithili Ahluwalia of Bungalow 8 and Gautam Vazirani of IMG Reliance reflected upon sustainability in fashion, the global fashion consumer and building an Indian prèt label against the backdrop of the designers new collection titled ‘Charbagh’ made with artisans in Gujarat and West Bengal.

Injiri is only 8 years old but it is sold in more than 300 stores across the world today. Chinar Farooqui, the designer, has worked throughout these 8 years without any PR and marketing support. She has never had a business plan nor does she believe in creating a sales target before showcasing her collections at international trade shows.

Starting with ideological values that are aligned with sustainability, she has passionately looked at ‘everything local’ while creating her textiles. Her obsession with learning about Indian textiles prolonged her two years masters degree at NID to five years. In her earlier years, she never designed keeping in mind the female body type and the art of making textiles with the skills of weavers kept her happy.

Much of her textile developments come from an indigenous language of the crafts, classicism as she puts it, and the long-term relationships nurtured with artisans. Her simplicity and integrity towards her work are juxtaposed with the scale of her business today. “I would choose to remain small if one day I didn’t get any orders for my clothes,” says Chinar, who prefers creativity to be guided by soul rather than any season or trends.

Text by Gautam Vazirani

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