More often than not, Indian brands are assumed to focus on reflecting India’s vibrant heritage. But over the years, that has changed. The new age of home-grown Indian brands looks beyond celebrating the magnificence of India’s austentatious culture, instead takes into account its subtleties and idiosyncrasies. Here is a list of 8 such brands that are designed for the modern, cosmopolitan Indian. They also go beyond just brick-and-mortar and have embraced the digital space:
India got its very own street-style brand with Bhaane, in 2012 – A brand that is beyond fleeting trends; A brand that makes timeless, practical fashion to last. Bhaane reaches out to the conscious millennial that believes in consuming wisely, refuses capitalism and mindless consumerism.
Bhaane means rising sun in Gurmukhi. The name embodies the brand’s inclination towards progress, change and optimism, representing a new India. Subtle, classic pieces that carry on through seasons, in clean lines and muted shades captures the essence of the brand’s aesthetic. High quality products that are versatile and practical, can be worn on multiple occasions and make for great wardrobe staples.
Bhaane focuses on highlighting the person behind the product rather than just the product itself. It is a platform for the young, bright talent of India. Their affinity to pop culture and fine art comes through with their quirky collaborations with artists, musicians and chefs as partners.
When one visits the Cord website, they’re sure to be hooked. With a beautifully designed, rustic aesthetic, it speaks volumes of the brand’s quality.
Cord was established in 2015 with the intention of bridging the gap between the past and the present. Authentic craftsmanship, coupled with sedimentary tones reflects the overall aesthetic of the brand. But comfort, versatility and functionality are still at the forefront of their design with easy, breezy silhouettes!
The brand does a mix of clothing and handcrafted leather goods, focused on durability and excellence.
With the world turning to sustainability, brands like Crow are beginning to gain the well-deserved recognition for their efforts to make fashion cleaner. Crow merges the desirability of fashion and luxury with the modesty of Indian craftsmanship.
Launched in 2011, Crow makes ethically sourced, fair trade clothing with due respect to their artisans. All their pieces are made in India and in harmony with nature.
At Crow, the finest Indian handloom techniques from all over the Indian subcontinent are used to design and re-interpret contemporary textiles. Later, the clothes are cut and sewn in India’s textile capital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Producing a garment from start to finish is a journey that shuffles through the hands of some of India’s finest craftsmen.
4. Nappa dori:
Nappa Dori was started in 2010 with the intention of discarding conventional design mandates of the leather goods industry and bringing effective, functional design that added effortless flair without being ostentatious and predictable.
A brand born in India with their roots strongly grounded in the country, the words ‘Nappa Dori’ literally translate to leather and thread. Every handcrafted piece is laced with individuality, paying a tribute to the quintessential Indian sensibility. The brand uses the excellence of ancient Indian craftsmanship and sophistication of modern design to create handcrafted pieces that are timeless.
Nappa Dori is not only above pretentiousness in its design but also in its philosophy and strongly believes in giving back to the community. It shares its profits with a day shelter for destitute children that provides them with food, shelter, clothing, education and medical care.
About a decade ago, there came a wave of obsession with pop-art among millennials. The Kitschy style was embodied by almost everyone in some form or the other. That’s when Chumbak was born.
A brand that has a delectable sense of humour and an original take on colours and shapes. Something that started off as a brand of fridge magnets was so well-received that it now houses all sorts of lifestyle and fashion products.
A Chumbak piece can be spotted from a distance! They started off as one of the first few brands to translate the kitsch culture into products in India and are now synonymous with quirk! While their products are fun and games, they never lack quality. Made with quality textiles, a Chumbak product is designed to last and remain your wardrobe statement for a long time.
Word also has it that they are also coming up with their own cafes really soon.
6. Good Earth:
For years now, Good Earth is hands down, India’s top homegrown Luxury design house. A brand that is known for its strong Indian influence and has a loyal base of clients, so strong that it is quite hard for them to move away from it!
Good Earth houses lifestyle and fashion products that are made using the finest grade of Indian textiles and high quality craftsmanship. Their inspiration comes from journeys to distant lands across Asia with enchanting stories of history, culture and craft.
Vibrant like the Indian culture and flamboyant like the Indian style, this brand is an amalgamation of traditional finery and contemporary design that uplifts one’s senses!
Ever heard of a brand that does not mull on imperfections, rather flaunts them? Bodice does just that. Their design philosophy focuses on the journey back to the fundamental, refining and elevating elements on the way without trying to meet society’s notion of ‘perfection’! Their inspiration comes from traditional Indian craftsmanship, interpreted into clean silhouettes and geometric proportions.
Focus lies on construction, a constituent of architecture, where trends are overlooked, instead concentrating on durability, simplicity and practicality of the garment. Their signature aesthetic is built on a foundation of a contemporary approach to traditional architecture constructed from long-standing traditional Indian weaves.
Ever so often there comes a brand that adds a “cool” quotient to ethnic Indian design. Fizzy Goblet is one of them; A brand that adds a sense of fun to the traditional Indian jutti without compromising on the comfort.
Fizzy Goblet is all about the craftsmanship of the Indian ‘jutti’. Each piece involves upto 60 hours of handiwork and thrives on the principle of supporting and collaborating with the Indian artisan. They use the finest grade of ethically sourced leather and have a range of vegan leather too. Even the textiles they use are of high quality, hand embroidered with those with heirloom knowledge of the craft.
You will often see Indian actresses flaunting a pair of these juttis, from casual brunches to fancy wedding celebrations. That is the versatility of a Fizzy Goblet piece. The best part, you can spot one from afar. Their designs have a sense of coherence and over time have become synonymous with the modern jutti.
These home-grown brands are a window to the modern Indian that has evolved from flaunting their culture to wearing it like an amulet. The Indian that chooses quality over quantity and consumerism. If you know of any more home-grown brands that you love and follow, do let us know in the comments!
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