Indian Textiles have become uber trendy and in vogue since past few months. The designers across the country are actively on the revival mode of ‘Indian Fabric and Crafts’, good for the local weavers and artisans for sure. ‘Handcrafted’ and ‘Organic’ are the current flavour of the Fashion world.Amidst the clutter of the burgeoning fashion brands, I chance encountered this home-grown label called ‘Needle’ in Ahmedabad.
What caught my attention was the minimalist design element in ‘Needle’ along with the use of words.On inquiring further, I came across Shefali, Co-founder of Needle, who apparently is an engineer now turned into a copy-writer after studying at MICA.
She along with her sister Khushali co-founded the brand ‘Needle’- a brand that consciously uses only Indian textiles while giving contemporary silhouettes to create the freshness in each line.
In an exclusive interaction with Shefali, we got to know about their brand philosophy, their take on ‘Make in India’ initiative and ‘Plagiarism’.
Read on to know more about them…
1. Can you elaborate on the Origins of ‘Needle’?
Needle is a collective of writers, designers and craftsmen trying to stitch the versatility of traditional crafts with contemporary designs, but in vogue.
Traditional crafts have lost relevance due to globalization. And just like the crafts, craftsmen too are facing serious challenges trying to keep pace with modernization. Needle is trying to help these craftsmen do what they do best – make handcrafted goods of the finest quality.
2 So who is the team behind Needle ?
Two mad sisters and a bunch of extremely talented artists is what Needle comprises. An engineer cum writer from MICA ( Shefali) and an MBA grad from NIRMA (Khushali) decided to come up with Needle while waiting outside a trial room. They saw cloned branded closets roaming around them and decided to come up with something that’ll be exclusive, something stylish, and something that’s Indian.
Since then, from turning a concept into a design, from choosing the materials to final production, either or sometimes, every part of our process is handcrafted. Every artisan writes his part of the story and passes it to the other. In the end, all the stories combine to form a unique story – a unique product.
3. What is the Needle audience like?
We would not like to limit ourselves with any particular age/style/group. Needle does not promote any fashion or tradition; it’s promoting a belief, a belief of being different, a belief of making a difference. Anyone and everyone who believes the same is our clientele.
4. How often do you create new lines – twice a year, more or is it bespoke?
Since we customise products for our clients, something new is being handcrafted almost every week. However, for freshness sake, we keep updating our product line every two months.
5. What is the inspiration for your latest range of ‘Needle’?
Our inspiration behind our new collection was simple – it’s not just a dress. It’s a lot more. And it has to be perfect. Imagine, the first impression that one will make when they meet you wearing that dress. It’ll be your travel companion, a part of your memories and more than anything, a company that’ll be with you when you find love, adventure or happiness. It’s never just a dress.
6. What is the philosophy behind the fabrics and colours used in this line?
We only use naturally dyed fabrics. Sometimes we select a design-block that is prepared by our craftsmen, sometimes we give him our design-blocks to print. Like we said, it’s a process where we collaborate to create products that would not just appeal to the buyer, but also allow these craftsmen to view their craft in a completely unique way.
7. What are your views on the ‘Make in India’ campaign and ‘Revival of handlooms’ by the government?
Traditional textiles have lost relevance due to globalization. We, in whatever way we can, wish and are working towards bringing back the love for traditional textiles.
8. What are your views on ‘Inspiration led Plagiarism’ that is rampant in design sector?
It’s evident and can hardly be controlled. We take it as a form of flattery though. Like it’s said, original is original, a copy is always a copy. Let the client decide what he/she wishes to promote.
9. Where can the customers buy your products from?
We are coming up with a store in Ahmadabad shortly. Otherwise one can always write to us about what they wish to buy at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/studioneedle
It’s important we talk with our clients to hear their preferences while customizing their products. Once we agree, they make the payment and we courier them their product.
10. Hollywood or Bollywood?
Without a doubt, Bollywood.
11. Classy chic or Quirky fun?
A bit of both.
12.Luxury cruise in Monaco or adventurous moon watching in Mawsynram?
Adventurous moon walking, there’s a better chance of finding life there.
13.Vintage charm or Futuristic?
14.Mainstream or offbeat or offbeat mainstream?
No mainstream. Strictly offbeat. It’s tough but we believe that whatever we create needs to have a something offbeat about it.
15.Dog lover or cat lover?
Elephant lover to be precise. Otherwise animal lovers in general.
In addition to apparels, Needle also customizes bags and shoes for those who are interested in their bespoke-wear.
Hope you liked what you saw here. In case traditional textile and contemporary silhouette is your thing, do look out for these two sister led brand Needle on Facebook.
My two penny as a Stylist and Trend Spotter
Traditional fabrics and handlooms as the base for Fashion will still go on for a year or two more. The designers will then have to evolve beyond the block prints and ikats. Everyone looks for something fresh and new. As of now, the traditional fabrics and prints are done to death. For those of you who follow the blog regularly, be with me and lets see if this forecast holds true in coming years
See you soon with another update, till then, Keep it Stylish