Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla
Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla’s reputation extends far beyond India.They have dressed many international celebrities like Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Sophie Marceau and Sarah Brown.The Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla label has steadily worked its way into the global arena.
Fibre2Fashion: How did you start your carrier in Fashion? What inspired you to club with your partner and create your own label?
Creativity is something innate. You are born an Artist. I was always fascinated by design, even as a child. I have no formal education in it. I began designing leather accessories when I was just out of my teens and by my early twenties had a small boutique in Delhi. But I was hungry for bigger and better and therefore decided to move to Bombay, which was the Mecca of Indian Fashion at the time. I wotked with Xerxes Bhathena, the renowned costume designer for a few months. A chance meeting with Abu at a friend’s place in August 1986 changed both our lives. We spoke all afternoon about our vision, our ambitions and our design sensibilities and decided to partner instantly. Within a few weeks we had our first collection, MATA HARI ready.
Fibre2Fashion: According to you, where is the Indian fashion industry heading and what is its status on a global level?
We have no dearth of talent in India. We are abundantly blessed, both in terms of Design as well as resources like artisans, craftspeople, textiles. However we lack faith in ourselves, our product and our people. Fashion can only go global with a huge investment from the private and/or public sector. We need to market our wares across the world and that takes money. We also need to come up with a product or Brand India, which is original. There is no point reinventing the wheel or creating things which are merely copies of what the West already creates. There is a difference between mass market and High Fashion. And High Fashion is about creating a demand not catering to it.
We need corporate backing to allow designers to create the right infrastructure to maximise their creativity. We need store presence, media presence in International geographies. No designer, however successful can do it without Funding.
As an Industry too we need solidarity. We must lobby together if we are to take Brand India Global.
Fibre2Fashion: What is the USP of your label?
We create Classics that exude and embody Timeless Elegance. Its about being Eternally Stylish and not Flippantly Fashionable.
Fibre2Fashion: Can you please site few examples of cross-cultural influence on fashion?
The Indian Silhouette has inspired designers across the globe. The bandhgalla, sherwani, jodhpur, chudidar, even the sari drape, all of these have been adapted time and again by western designers in their collections.
Fibre2Fashion: What kind fabrics are your favourite and why?
We work with pure fabrics. It’s all about the finest quality so for us it must be pure. Silks, Cottons, Linen, Khadi, Georgettes and Chiffons are our materials of choice.
Fibre2Fashion: You seem to be playing a lot with shades of white, cream, yellow and golden. Is it? Why?
There is an ethereal quality to them. They are our most beloved palette. We introduced them as couture, festive and bridal colours in our earliest collections because we believe they epitomise beauty at its best.
Fibre2Fashion: To create a strong brand name what kind of marketing techniques are must?
Let the product speak for itself. Create spectacular, original design and it will sell itself. Hype is all very well. But quality is the only thing that stands the test of time.
Fibre2Fashion: Who is your favourite fashion designer?
Tom Ford and John Galliano.
Fibre2Fashion: Tell us something about your latest collection and the thought behind it.
It’s a surprise. Wait and watch…
Fibre2Fashion: What are your words for an aspiring Abu/Sandeep?
Aspire to be true to yourselves. Follow your inner voice. Stick to your convictions and your own aesthetics. Aspire to become the most realised you, not us, not Giorgio Armani, not anyone. This is your dream, your vision. Believe in your Art. And let the world decide whether or not it likes it. Your job is to create. Period.
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