Committed to preserving India’s hand-weaving traditions, Paromita Banerjee believes in creating fashion that will endure past changing trends and seasons.
When she started own company in 2009, with the intention of amalgamating her learnings in textiles as a canvas, and garments as end products, Paromita’s natural tilt was towards a craft-oriented base for a contemporary global audience. And thus started her tryst with the weaver clusters of India.
“The idea was to build a brand based on sustenance and of having an ideology that would stand the test of time and grow with age. I wanted the brand to be based on a strong foundation so that it would weather any storm with changing trends and whims. Design was and still is a very volatile field.”
When she started the ‘Paromita Banerjee’ brand in Kolkata, it was all about a local approach to global esthetics rooted in the handloom sector of India. And this approach could have only been made possible if the garments were classics that could work again and again and not go out of style:
“We do not follow fashion trends but rest alongside trends and believe in the individuality of the person wearing our clothes. Our base materials are woven by weavers from specialized hand-weaving clusters across India; we have a policy of sustaining them through our work by trying to give them continuous work and employment, no matter what the season.”
Their products are made in studio in Kolkata from where they are shipped to various retail multi-designer boutiques across the country and agents abroad. At the same time studio opens to individual clients for bespoke appointment orders.
“Indian brands with local made items are comparatively very few and far between,” – Paromita believes. “A handmade hand-woven item would have passed through many hands from grassroot level artisans, dyers, printers and weavers to tailors. Handmade thus becomes a kind of value added luxury in today’s age and times.”
With time she has learnt to mix her passion and creative ideas along with the practical and monetarily rewarding ones to build up a brand that has sustained itself without any outside help or investment. It started as a small speck and has gradually grown over time and has managed to reach the distance.
“I have learnt to sometimes let go of my free thinking and think of the viable returns instead, and let the market decide for me. It is about striking the right balance between what you want to sell and what actually sells”, Paromita says.
Read this story in POOL 86.