This Diwali, go traditional with these women-led ethnic wear brands
Diwali is just a few days away and it’s celebration time. In some states, celebrations can last up to a week with delicious food, sparkling fairy lights, all-night parties, and most importantly, fun.
What you wear for a festival like Diwali reflects your taste, style, and happiness. Most women choose traditional ethnic wear for the occasion that’s in sync with the spirit of the festival. Decked up in salwar suits, chanya cholis, ghagras, and shararas, flamboyant skirts or majestic sarees.
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, exquisite and perhaps exclusive too, look no further than these women-led ethnic wear brands that promise you a stylish Diwali.
AKS – Nidhi Yadav
In May 2014, Nidhi Yadav launched AKS to bridge the gap existing in ethnic wear. AKS provides contemporary ethnic wear at affordable prices for women in the 18-35 age group, and is available on major ecommerce platforms like Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart apart from its own website.
This Indore-based designer offers trend-based styles and the brand’s whole collection is not available at one time. At present, AKS offers 150 new styles every month and has a customer repeat rate of 35 percent.
Suta – Sujata and Taniya Biswas
Sisters Sujata and Taniya Biswas had been fond of sarees from a very young age, revelling in the soft folds of their grandmother’s beautiful pieces. These memories lingered even as they grew older and became a part of the corporate grind.
Eventually, the strong love for the nine-yards took over and the sisters started Suta in 2016. From two young women bitten by the entrepreneurship bug to a team of 20 in Mumbai and 50 weavers around the country, Suta has since grown by leaps and bounds.
Its exquisite handloom sarees, in varieties of jamdani weave, malmal, malkesh, banarasi, and fully handwoven ones, are now shipped across the country and even to international markets.
Vimor Sarees - Pavithra Muddaya
Pavithra Muddya launched Vimor Sarees along with her mother Chimmi Nanjappa with a store in Bengaluru, which is now frequented by many celebrities. The duo’s aim was to mentor weavers and provide them with a livelihood, along with a revival of heritage, so that it becomes a matter of pride, for both the weaver and the consumer.
In an earlier interview with YourStory, Pavithra said, “It’s easy for somebody to weave a saree, but setting the loom is the real challenge. The sheer variety that you can create with your hands is a real wonder.” The 45-year-old brand’s clientele includes former Presidents, Prime Ministers, celebrities, and fashionistas.
Kharakapas - Shilpi Yadav
Kharakapas, meaning “pure cotton” in Hindi, is a fashion and design studio startup by Shilpi Yadav. It was launched in February 2015 to take age-old Indian textiles and craftsmanship into the 21st century. Free-flowing silhouettes, bohemian designs, and minimalist cuts let the attention remain on the ancient weaving techniques and painstaking craftsmanship that go into creating Kharakapas’s clothes. From work essentials to festive wear, it has a range to suit every style.
Kantha - Farah Khan
An Army wife and a textile aficionado, Farah Khan has been instrumental in reviving the traditional kantha by providing livelihoods to hundreds of artisans practising in the craft in West Bengal. Farah travelled to Shantiniketan and neighbouring villages, learnt the intricacies of kantha, and became singularly focused on its revival.
She formed a close bond with women artisans and earned their trust. The range offers exquisite kantha sarees, stoles, and dupattas that are exported across the world.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)