Sabyasachi may not be a household name for many. For 4.7 million Instagram followers, however, he’s an international sensation. The Indian fashion designerHe is well-known for his rich textiles, bridalwear and high-end jewelry. His unique aesthetic combines traditional silhouettes with modern techniques to create beautiful pieces. H&M is excited to announce that the Kolkata-born talent has teamed up with the retailer.
“If I’m able to create a bridge between my world and the international audience by staying true to who I am and keeping my authenticity alive, this collection becomes symbolic of a more inclusive fashion industry, where designers from India and countries like ours move into the global fray,”He only spoke to ELLE.com by email. “This collection and collaboration was an introspective time for me, of asking myself, ‘What can I as an Indian designer bring to a collaboration with a high street juggernaut?’ It has to go beyond representation—it has to become a collection that brings together the authentic best of both of our worlds.”
The joyous collaboration is a marriage between all these things. It features womenswear, accessories and menswear. It folds in traditional Indian cues such as tex
Tiles made with vintage block prints, adorned loungewear in the shape of glamorous, patchwork-style kaftans and brass-colored jewelry that mimics heirlooms. Sabyasachi’s in-house collections can be expensive, but this collaboration with H&M makes it more affordable.
Sabyasachi was more open to discussing his expansive views. designHow he plans to be received by new audiences and more. Continue reading for the complete interview.
How does this collection compare to your own brand?
“Wanderlust”The collection name is not so subtly inspired by the wonder of exploring different cultures and the experience of traveling. It’s an acknowledgment of our differences across borders and oceans, but also of what binds us together. We’re a bunch of global nomads, notwithstanding the pandemic, of course, but if anything, the last year has been a reminder of the significance of travel in our lives. Prints and embroidery are an integral part my brand. We have used artisanal techniques, and with the help of technology, have been able scale it up.
We’ve seen the boundaries blur in couture with street inspiring bespoke—this was a chance to explore that the other way around, so you see the details of couture but with elements of streetwear.
What does expanding your audience globally mean to you— specifically for customers who aren’t as familiar with fashionBeyond American and European Designers?
I don’t think we’re restricted by geography anymore—our tastes and our sensibilities as creators and consumers are now seeking authentic products and experiences that we can find in markets all across the world. H&M’s collaboration with me is a great way for me to reach new people, as well as making my brand more accessible to those of us who already know us. But it goes beyond me—I think what collaborations like these achieve is that it firmly cements India as a market that the globe can no longer ignore.
What was your greatest challenge when designing this collection?
It was actually quite easy. They were very supportive and understood my vision right from the beginning. My biggest apprehension was when I created the master samples—I kept wondering how H&M would translate them into production. My fears were allayed when I saw the collection.
Your designs are rich in color and textiles. However, this collaboration is much more accessible and muted. Why did this route you choose?
We are known for our Indian bridal couture. It is rich in color and textiles. Our range of products includes printed saris, garments and home textiles. There are many color options, from rich jewel tones to earthy and pastel colors. With this collection, I wanted a piece of India that was distinctly Indian but also shaped it with a more global sensibility. Basically, I wanted to create an international collection with an Indian soul—heritage but made contemporary.
What do customers want to take away?
Sincere fun is what I want. They should have fun with it. They should enjoy it. And they should find a part of themselves in it. They will also learn more about the modern Indian aesthetic beyond the cliched fuchsia pinks or dancing peacocks as they interact with this collection. There is a strong and vibrant contemporary clothing culture that exists in India that is deeply influenced by our rich heritage of textiles and crafts, and it’s versatile and wearable and beautiful. I hope this collection inspires a sense of wonderment and encourages people to learn more about Indian history and to embrace modern Indian culture. designhas to offer.
The Sabyasachi x H&M collection is now available in stores and online at hm.com starting August 12.
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