Taking The Tribal Route
One of the most promising menswear designers coming out of India right now is none other than 28-year old Sahib Bhatia with his label, Amaaré. On the heals of his appearance at Lakme Fashion Week 2020 wherein Jim Sarbh walked the ramp as his showstopper; the upcoming designer caught our attention and we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about how he got started in the industry, who his creative influences are, and what life has been like since starting his own label three years back. Edited excerpts…
As a next-gen designer carving his niche on the ramp of Lakme Fashion Week. When did you realise that design was your calling?
I always aspired to become a fashion designer. Growing up I had realised my love for fashion and was very clear that this is what I want to do and I always wished to have a brand of my own. I wasn’t able to learn design from any conventional design institute per se, but I always knew knowing basics is a must. So I took it upon me as a challenge to learn things on the job. I learnt sampling and merchandising while working for Rina Dhaka, took training on pattern making and draping at my factory with my master ji, I also completed my part-time Diploma in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Corel Draw. After all this, now I feel well versed in all the departments only because of my flare towards it. I learnt it all while designing my collection and creating a brand of my own.
Take us through the inspirational board that lets you redefine menswear fashion.
Architecture has always been my inspiration for the silhouettes, cuts and our signature texturing techniques. I also research a lot about different types of art forms and the simplicity of tribal art also fascinates me to create embroideries. I take inspiration from travel, nature and everyday lifestyle as well.
Your menswear collection caters to the desires of the modern 21st-century man. How would you define the ideal muse adorned in your creations?
My ideal muse would be a modern man who is experimental, I love someone who can carry off well-structured clothes and make clean garments which are simple, look dapper and classy.
Your range is inspired by textures and pushes the envelope of darkness without feeling basic. How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
I think we all need to evolve with changing times, and it is very important for me to keep pushing the envelope as we move ahead. We started our collection with textures and asymmetrical cuts as a core of our designs, and as we are moving ahead you can see our newfound love for tribal art being reflected all across the silhouettes.
You have brought a sleek and edgy style definition to traditional menswear silhouettes. Is modernising of traditional ensembles the mantra in fashion?
I believe in creating wearable styles. Men these days don’t prefer wearing typical traditional patterns and hence they are slowly fading out of trend. I feel that modernisation of traditional ensembles or adding your flavour or twist to the garment makes it more wearable.
What do you think about the urban chic streetwear styles entering the Indian fashion industry?
I feel that all high end fashion brands are following streetwear fashion concepts these days. As we can see that all major brands are making chunky sneakers, oversized jumpers and even cross body bags. Street style is an incredibly viral, instant and addictive face of the fashion industry. People have changed many ways in which fashion is made and consumed. Portraying ones identity through fashion is all what street style is all about. I love the heavy influence of urban chic streetwear on the Indian fashion scene, it help us designers to push the boundaries and constraints of do’s and dont’s and strive to provide consumers with multiple choices. I feel that our kurtas are heavily street inspired, they are cool, edgy and not like other run of the mill kurtas.
Give us a hint of your upcoming collections.
I have recently launched my latest collection at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2020 – Disguise by Amaaré. Keeping in mind the summer destination wedding season, my upcoming collection is all about pastel colours, lighter fabrics and easy to wear silhouettes.