Depicting a perfect blend of age-old craftsmanship and modern sensibilities, Indian homegrown label Samatvam by Anjali Bhaskar brings to the market an array of structured styles imbibing immaculate silhouettes and time-honoured Indian craft techniques. It is a brand that capitalises on the process of intricate detailing and subtle prints.
Launched in 2010 by Delhi-based designer Anjali Bhaskar, the label today has a far-reaching clientele not only in India, but also internationally in London, Dubai, US and Middle East.
Anjali has to her credit the privilege of having worked with established Indian designers such as Shantanu & Nikhil and Suneet Verma – an experience which bestowed on her an unprecedented advantage when it came to in-depth knowledge in the business aspect of fashion, designing, production, administration and more. Her professional prowess within the industry spans across 14 lucrative years.
“I have had no formal training in fashion and I chose the uncommon path of learning on the job, journeying through every minor detail and its process. The most important lesson I have learnt is that in the process of designing, it’s all in the details,” Anjali told Apparel Resources in an exclusive interview.
A spiritually inclined person, Anjali started her own label on the insistence of her spiritual Guru, who encouraged her to start her own business; thus, in the year 2010 Samatvam was launched.
Derived from Sanskrit, Samatvam is a term which translates to equilibrium and balance. In spirituality, these two characteristics are of utmost importance, a notion that is extremely close to Anjali’s heart, who believes that we require a balance in work as well as in life.
Product assortment, pricing and techniques
Essentially an Indian contemporary label, Samatvam by Anjali Bhaskar features products such as sarees, salwar kurta sets, shararas, lehengas with modern bodice, pre-stitched sarees, jumpsuits and capes, which are priced around upwards of Rs. 10,000.
The label features silhouettes that are traditionally structured, but at the same time, communicate a modern touch via materials such as crepe, georgette and silk.
Preserving the beauty and magic associated with time-honoured hand-embroidered details, Samatvam does not shy away from using a myriad of colours and various hand embroidery techniques sewn over its garments. Zardosi, mirror work, gottapatti, aari work and sequins form the basis of the crafts that resonate with the brand.
A 100 per cent ‘Made in India’ fashion label, Samatvam aims to champion and showcase the talented lineage in Indian crafts.
Developed by an in-house team of creative experts, Samatvam’s prints change according to the seasons – imbibing a pastel theme for Spring/Summer and deep colours for the festive and Autumn/Winter seasons.
Manufacturing & sourcing
An in-house unit of master craftsmen and artisans who hail from different parts of India, such as Lucknow, Indore and Bhopal make up Samatvam’s dream team. These skilled karigars specialise in hand embroidery, zardozi work, aari work and mirror work that are central to the label.
Samatvam selectively outsources its fabrics from external locally-based partner vendors who are trusted for quality. But, in order to ensure state-of-the-art craftsmanship and finishing, the entire designing, execution, craftsmanship, sewing and embroidery, take place in-house at the label’s Delhi-based workshop.
Indian demographics aren’t the easiest when it comes to fashion, with body shapes and climatic conditions changing with every few states. Thus, Indian sizing and fit have not always been a stronghold for Indian designer labels and brands. Addressing the issue at hand, Samatvam follows a format of fittings and re-fittings, which are cleared only once the label’s creative team and customers are satisfied. It is only then that the order is processed and the shipment is released.
“We completely believe that every garment fits and suits different body types differently – what may work for one, may not work for another individual. We as a brand ensure that the silhouette not only flatters our consumers, but also allows their personality to shine through our piece,” Anjali corroborated.
A sustainable focus
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected human life, the world economy and in that, the fashion industry. This influenced Anjali’s thought process towards a more sustainable lifestyle with a holistic approach.
A spiritually-driven person, Anjali believes in offering sustainable yet stylish fashion savvy choices that have an impact on our future, so it was only natural for her to take a step ahead and create something that is of value to our future generations as well.
Accelerating this thought process further, Samatvam has released a line called Samatvam Pure, which is essentially crafted out of ethically sourced natural fibres and plants such as orange, aloe vera, eucalyptus and banana fibres. The resulting garments are a mixture of organic cotton and these fibres.
“Being a mother myself, I had this burning question regarding what sort of planet we are creating and leaving behind for our children and future generations. I thought of contributing in my own small way with a more sustainable approach to fashion. Plus, with COVID-19 changing our lives drastically, it seemed like the need of the hour,” Anjali said.
Priced between Rs. 9,000 and Rs.15,000, the collection features leisurewear and comfort clothing comprising of co-ord sets, kaftan dresses, airy culottes, and flowy jumpsuits.
The environment-friendly and 100 per cent vegan garments feature playful elements such as hand painted whimsical butterflies, blooming and blossoming flowers in dainty bullion stitches that are generously smattered on earthy and pastel hues.
Exquisite details like delicate French Knots are embroidered into the outfits to create surface textures, whilst a traditional form of hand-embroidered aari work is placed tightly over a rectangular structure and sewn extensively against the bodice.
In a market that is currently swarming with sustainable brands and labels, Samatvam Pure takes pride in calling itself a work in progress sustainable label.
Commenting on the same, Anjali said, “We would still like to achieve a lot more in the sustainable department, where we can build garments with even the tiniest of fabric wastage. We, as a label, can only evolve and improve in our methods and approach towards sustainability by focusing on our products and making sure that they are environmental-friendly.”
Production calendar & stockists
Samatvam works on the model of two major collections per year, one for the Summer season and the other dropping during the festive/wedding season in India.
The label’s online stocks are live for at least 6 months, during which period, they keep adding new pieces as and when produced at their design studio. At their bricks-and-mortar store, they rotate their garments every 2 months depending upon the popularity of a collection, silhouette, colour, design and style.
Samatvam is available for purchase via its own boutique based in New Delhi which also has a workshop attached, as well as on its online e-commerce portal – samatvambyanjalibhaskar.com.
The label is also available at select MBOs such as Pernia’s Popup Shop and AZA Online, and socially via its official Instagram and Facebook pages.