“The pandemic could well help make slow fashion a reality”: designer Ayush Kejriwal

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His Instagram biography describes him as a “storyteller” and rightly so, because the creations of designer Ayush Kejriwal always tell a strong story. The Glasgow-based designer, known for his unconventional approach to fashion and beauty, is well known for his ethnic designs which he often uses to make a statement and empower people.

In an exclusive email interaction with indianexpress.com, the designer discusses his latest collaboration with Label Varsha, the importance of his brand’s new logo launched earlier this year, the effect of the pandemic on the fashion industry and much more.

Extracts:

What is your latest collection about in collaboration with Label Varsha?

My collaboration with Label Varsha for the Spring Summer’21 collection emphasizes a mystical, raw and ethnic feel. The collection is inspired by traditional Kalamkari prints from South India. It’s Indian, organic, and all about stark simplicity with clean lines.

What is the USP of this collection and how is it different from your previous creations?

It’s a beautiful collection with an opulent touch. The collection is the perfect amalgamation of affordability and luxury.

The pandemic has affected the fashion industry enormously. But what do you think has been the biggest impact and why?

I think people are now more inclined to buy less and interested in quality products. I think this pandemic could help make slow fashion a reality.

You recently launched a new logo for your label. Could you share the idea, inspiration and design details of the same?

My brand logo tells my story through the most powerful symbols – it is “Mai” (me). Angel number 27 has special meaning. When I started my creative journey in 2013, I was living at 27 Huntly Gardens in Glasgow. Number 27 symbolizes where it all began. Glasgow may be my adopted homeland; however, Kolkata is where my character was formed, and my heart remains in the city. Kolkata is a city of many symbols, but to me the hand-drawn rickshaw symbolizes true courage and determination. The iconic image of two hands touching is incorporated into my logo as a representation of the creativity involved in the design and production of my pieces. The floral pattern represents universal beauty which reinforces the message that everyone is beautiful.

The designer launched his brand’s logo seven years after the launch of his eponymous label. (Photo: Getty Images / Thinkstock)

For the past year and a half, sustainability has been a buzzword in the fashion industry. How do you see sustainable fashion?

For me, it’s something that is part of my business. This is not a new fad or a gimmick. I make good quality products which can be used for a long time. They are produced in a way that is fair for the environment and the people who make them.

You launched your brand seven years ago and are known for its ethnic designs. But few Bollywood celebrities wear your designs. Was it a conscious decision to stay away from the spotlight and the industry in general?

No, it is certainly not a conscious decision. To be honest, I pay more attention to my clients and to people who value my creativity. It doesn’t matter if this person is from the Bollywood industry or some other industry, I’m happy as long as people enjoy my job.

How would you describe the aesthetics of your design?

Bold, timeless, eccentric and imperfectly perfect.

What made you take an interest in ethnic clothing all these years?

Saris are the biggest canvas in the world and I use them to tell my stories.

You often make a statement with your collections. How important is fashion when it comes to initiating change, both personal and societal?

Clothes make us feel things. They help us send a message and can empower people if used effectively. They can tell stories, influence people, and help make emotional connections.

How did you deal with the pandemic, and since fashion is about adapting to changes, do you see any trends / fashions emerging from the pandemic?

I guess people will realize that less is more. They will learn to recycle and recycle.



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