Usha International, one of India’s leading manufacturer of sewing machines, fans and home appliances, launched a curtain raiser of the sustainable fashion label Usha Silai in collaboration with IMG Reliance, through a powerful fashion forward initiative #ReimagineFashion.
The initiative aims to empower women in rural areas with skills and resources to create clothes and accessories that can be retailed in the urban fashion market. The proceeds generated from the sales of these garments under the Usha Silai label will go back to these rural women. This will not only create long-term opportunities for them but also give them an identity within their cultural and socio economic realities.
Usha Silai debuted through a special show on the Sustainable Fashion Day 1st February’18 at the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018. The show was an extravaganza of handcrafted ensembles of thirty-six exquisite styles; nine outfits were showcased from each cluster. These outfits are developed for the urban market they are of high quality and embraces grass root design intervention.
Usha Silai label showcased the work of these local women from Usha Silai Schools from four identified creative hubs in Rajasthan, Bengal, Gujarat and Puducherry. The brand will work at several dimensions producing unique pieces that will have the essence of the region. The collection will bear the credits of the rural women workers.
The first collections under the Usha Silai brand gave a new meaning to the current trends in the fashion space. The ensembles were created by trained rural women and were crafted to perfection under the mentorship of designers like Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav, Sayantan Sarkar, Soham Dave and Sreejith Jeevan.
From local architecture to traditional Poshak, every designer had their own aesthetics and created ensembles for Usha Silai label using different elements & inspirations expressing their individualism. Sayantan Sarkar’s collection was an amalgamation of Indian and Western silhouettes. Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav drew inspiration from the traditional Poshak and deconstructed the look to present a collection of chic secedes. The black machine was the central source of Soham Dave’s inspiration in conceptualizing his collection. Every window has a story to tell- about an old French colony, about the people who live in them. This inspired Sreejith Jeevan to narrate the story of his collection crafted by ten different women.
The collections created by these four designers for Usha Silai label will be launched in April 2018 with their exclusive retail partner Ogaan at their flagship store in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi.
Dr. Priya Somaiya, Executive Director, Usha Social Services said, “We are delighted with the debut of Usha Silai label. The brand has created a platform that has the power to impact and change the lives of many. Making use of local stitching skills and modern techniques, we will create an umbrella that caters to sustainable fashion in a modern language. This is an initiative that commences at the very foundation and attempts to reach wider audience through various mediums including the Internet. I hope it will strengthen and grow over time.”
Jaspreet Chandok, Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance added: “#ReimagineFashion is a powerful narrative of empowerment and inclusivity in fashion. It establishes the principle that for Indian fashion to be forward, it needs to think local and leverage human potential at the grass root level for the development of a sustainable livelihood. We are honored to partner with Usha International for this initiative and launch Usha Silai at Lakmé Fashion Week.”
Usha Silai is more than just a label; it is an endeavor to uplift livelihoods of rural women all over the country by providing them with specialized skill sets.