EXCLUSIVE: My father in law encouraged me to pursue my passion: Archana Jaju on her label, fashion & more

Updated on Jul 03, 2021 09:17 AM IST  |  332.3K
   
EXCLUSIVE: My father in law encouraged me to pursue my passion: Archana Jaju on her label, fashion sensibilities & more
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Her creations are known for their unique combinations with attention to detail. Archana Jaju's tryst with fashion and designing has been on for as long as she can remember. The designer's creations are distinct and to her, the sky's the limit.
In a tete-a-tete with the designer known primarily for working with Kalamkari, we get the scoop on Jaju's collections, how she started off, and more.

When did you start your journey with fashion?
My family was one of the first weavers of Handloom Chanderi, which is why I strongly believe that it's where my love for fashion and craftsmanship comes from. One of my first associations with fashion also includes redesigning my grandmother’s old clothes and later, designing festive wear in school. I was really appreciated for these creations and eventually decided to work on these further to discover my design style. I am someone who has always been opinionated about fashion and I feel it gradually became my identity. So after several years of constant hard work, I finally started my dream business.

What or who inspired you to take up designing and start your own label?
I was married into a textile family and it was my father in law who really encouraged me to pursue what I am truly passionate about. This was what inspired me to lay my foundation in the fashion industry. My aim was always to create pieces that are unique and represent the beautiful handicrafts of India.

You've worked extensively with kalamkari: do you have a soft spot for the art form?
Kalamkari is very close to my heart and has been a part of many of my collections. I have always strived to keep this traditional craft alive through my creations, by adding my unique and signature touch to it. Each piece is exclusively hand-painted and reflects the skills of our artisans. I feel experimenting with this art form has given me an opportunity to combine the rich traditional roots with the modern aesthetic.

What’s the one struggle you faced that most designers don’t talk about?
I am an extremely detail-oriented person who always aspires to get everything perfect. I make sure that the finest aspects of the piece are created flawlessly. When it comes to creating these garments, it is all about amalgamating multiple elements and paying acute attention to everything becomes a challenge in itself as it also requires a lot of time and patience to create such authentic pieces.

When it comes to your design sensibilities, you’ve let your work speak for yourself.
How do you manage to set yourself apart from other designers?
My label focuses on the development and conservation of handicrafts that are produced by our skilled artisans. Sustainability is something that I have believed in, even before it became a popular trend. It lies at the core of my brand with an aim to promote the artisans and embracing the original techniques of creating fabrics. Apart from this, our aim has always been to create pieces that have a special blend of traditional handicrafts and the contemporary style. This is what makes us unique and distinguishes us from the rest.

Who do you consider your biggest inspiration in the world of fashion?
I think for me, it is essentially the artisans who make the brand what it is. It is through their skills and talent that the ideas can be executed so well and that is what truly inspires me.

What’s one style tip that you think works for every woman to ensure she looks put
together?
I strongly believe that it’s important to be real and true to yourself. The world may be following trends as they come and go, but it’s necessary that you stick to your individuality. Timeless and classic pieces will always make you stand out from the crowd as they will never go out of style.

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