Anushé Pirani’s namesake label is a contemporary semblance of art, design and fashion. Founded in Mumbai, in 2016, the label’s versatile approach translates successfully into both men’s and women’s wear pieces that effortlessly combine function with flair.
Anushé embarked on her design journey at a young age, watching her mother sew clothes for her – a tradition passed onto her by her mother during her childhood years.
“I always wanted to enter the field of fashion design… I never had any other interest or second thought as a backup in my mind. If not fashion design, then it might have been fashion merchandising or fashion business, but it had to be fashion!“ Anushé exclaimed.
After graduating in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management from B.D. Somani, Mumbai, and working with renowned Indian contemporary fashion designer Monisha Jaising for a good 2.5 years, Anushé decided to put her experiences to use and ventured into launching her own label.
“I love the raw feeling and expression in art. Art has different languages and undoubtedly fashion is one of them. Any design, when presented, catches attention for its innovative and creative methods adopted by the designer. In our studio, each design is treated as art from sketch to final garment. The link is not always straightforward, but is a process better explained in the final garment when put together with the collection, which is a piece of art in precious textiles, details and their astonishing beauty.”
“I started planning and working on my label around early 2016 and launched my first collection in 2017. The first two years were the most challenging, as I was alone and working out of home with the help of my mother who used to accompany me for market visits and further helped me in refining my designs,” Anushé explained, adding, “I had no idea of who was going to stitch the garments for me, how I would market them and where I was going to sell them. I spent the first 6-8 months researching and reading up about all that goes into starting a label, going on market visits and frequenting art galleries to keep myself inspired. In the end, it all came together.”
Priced between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 12,000, the label features contemporary ready-to-wear garments for both men and women, along with accessories such as fanny packs, bags, and hats which are created using leftover fabric scraps from the sampling. The label recently launched a zero waste edit called रद्दी माल (Raddi Maal), which featured gender-neutral shirts, tote bags, pocket belt bags, book marks, bowties and brooches created using fabric scraps.
The contemporary and unisex aspects of her versatile designs have become a signature to the label. Proudly made in India, the garments are ethically created showcasing the fine craftsmanship and materials that the country is known for.
Upholding Indian crafts via Artisanal clusters
“All our collections are process driven and have an insightful story behind them. We create contemporary designs using traditional Indian fabrics, so as to keep alive and promote the art and culture of India. Our silhouettes are easy to wear and turn out to be gender fluid to our surprise,” Anushé elucidated.
The label usually works with cotton handlooms and strives to promote Indian artisans by incorporating various textiles, crafts or techniques into their collections. Following the same philosphy, the label has worked on handwoven textiles with bagru print and ikat. Anushé’s recent collection, “The Line Tales”, explored various fabric manipulation techniques, whilst the label’s latest collection “Of Myriad Minds,” highlights varied hand embroidery techniques including fringing.
“We pick the craft/technique on the basis of the inspiration behind our collections, and collectively decide the way we want to incorporate it in our designs,” Anushé explained.
In the past, Anushé has worked closely with local men and women artisans from Pochampally Handloom Park, located in the Bhoodan district of Telangana, where she also sourced handwoven cotton ikat. For the handwoven cotton checks and stripes in her latest collection, Anushé tapped artisans from Indhira Weavers Cooperative Society, Chennimalai – a ‘Handloom Town’ in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu.
“In Mumbai, we get our embroidery done from a middleman artisan Milan, who has a team of local skillful artisans under him. Besides all these, we also try exploring different techniques in-house with our Design and Production team,” Anushé highlighted.
Fabrics and raw materials
The focus material of majority of Anushé Pirani’s collections is handwoven cotton, owing to its comfortable and breathable fabric properties and soft texture. The label also works with handwoven jute cotton and khadi cotton, and is exploring materials such as linen, organic cotton, hemp, etc. for future collections.
Outsourced from markets located in Mumbai, the label aims to discover and support local raw material providers. Commenting on the same, Anushé said, “We work with local dealers in Mangaldas market, Nagdevi and surrounding areas, and sometimes initiate travel if we are looking for something in particular.”
Down the line, Anushé Pirani dreams of becoming a fully sustainable fashion house that is responsible for its environment and is also able to create its own in-house fabrics one day.
After receiving a tremendous response upon retailing via pop-up stores, Anushé expanded her retail network to include quite a few cities across India. Filter, URU, Manraah in Mumbai, Aura in Nagpur and Raipur, Avakasa, Panache in Ahmedabad, Project Café, Como in Goa, Aambal, Pepperhouse in Kochi, Ravee in Vijaywada, Kushrav in Secunderabad, Meraki in Pondicherry, Maalgaadi, Intish, Popup by BFF in Chennai, Verandah, Go Native in Bangalore, Teatro Dhora in Jaipur, Muse in Delhi, Soh Koh in Chandigarh, Hunar in Lucknow, and Ekanga in Kanpur are some of the mutli-brand stores where the label is stocked at.
In the online space, Anushé Pirani is available on MensXP Shop, Toile and Natty. Internationally, the label is stocked at Modern Showroom in Milan, Fashtory pop ups, and online on Sasski, with plans to go live with its own e-store soon.