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Fashion Talk

Haresh Mirpuri

Founder
Brand - Aranyani

Aranyani aims to introduce Indian luxury, design, and artistry to the world

Aranyani, the first luxury international handbag brand from India, opened its doors with its first concept in early 2023 (21 Bruton St, Mayfair) to coincide with the launch of its AW22/23 collection last autumn. The name Aranyani means ‘The Goddess of the Forest’ which is synonymous with the brand’s focus on sustainable artistry, nature, and quality. The brand incorporates traditional design techniques such as 24-karat gold gilding, hand-painting, hand-embroidery, and precious gemstones while focusing on creating a sustainable legacy. Founder and creative director Haresh Mirpuri in a chat with Fibre2Fashion talks about using the finest Italian leather to design timeless pieces with an international appeal.

Fibre2Fashion: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the atelier concept and how it has influenced Aranyani’s design principles?

Haresh Mirpuri:

Aranyani is a luxury handbag brand that draws inspiration from the rich heritage of the Vedic Indian civilisation, which has thrived for over 30,000 years.

Guided by the Vedic philosophies of S.A.I – service, awareness, and inclusivity, Aranyani aims to introduce Indian luxury, design, and artistry to the world. The brand has set up its own state-of-the-art atelier in Bengaluru, India, following the original Indian concept of the family workshop. At Aranyani, the focus is on creating a positive impact at every touchpoint. Each bespoke and handcrafted bag from Aranyani is like a jewel, made for women with a specific sense of discernment.

 

F2F: How do you strike a balance between traditional heritage artistry and modern aesthetics in your handbag designs?

HM:

Balancing traditional heritage artistry and modern aesthetics in handbag designs involves considering several factors such as materials, design elements, and overall aesthetic goals. Incorporating traditional techniques into modern designs can create unique and timeless pieces that celebrate both traditional artistry and modern sensibilities. The key is to appreciate both the past and the present and blend elements from both to create handbag designs that appeal to a broad range of customers and celebrate the cultural heritage of traditional artistry.

F2F: How do you incorporate nature into your handbag designs? Can you give some examples of how this is reflected in the brand’s products?

HM:

Our design principles are inspired by nature and crafted by tradition. Nature inspires us to see harmony in creative chaos and prioritise this harmony over efficiency in all aspects of our state-of-the-art atelier. The handbag design exudes the soul of India while the artwork on the bags is all heritage artistry in a modern style.

Our first concept in London was also based on the idea of a journey through the brand’s forest-inspired designs with a focus on light, colour, material, and sensory landscape. The customer’s journey starts at the forest edge and progresses deeper under the canopy, with bags displayed on elegant, tiered shelving as if resting on tree branches. The central ‘glade’ features a sculptural area with soft light that illuminates hero products on large slabs of British stone and Irish marble.

F2F: How do you approach material selection and usage? Are there any unique or unconventional materials that the brand integrates into its products?

HM:

The handbags are meticulously crafted, with utmost attention paid to the materials and techniques employed in handcrafting our bags. In keeping with the company’s commitment to sustainability, the leather is sourced from tanneries that incorporate wastewater detoxification and recycling into their processes.

Also, to ensure our suppliers are in line with our values, we conduct 2-3 annual visits to their facilities where we give a briefing about the brand.

F2F: Can you describe the design process for creating a new handbag collection?

HM:

The design process for a new luxury handbag collection typically involves research and gathering inspiration, sketching and conceptualising ideas, selecting materials, creating prototypes and 3D models, adjusting designs based on feedback, and finally producing and promoting the collection to consumers through various channels. Throughout the process, sustainability, durability, and overall aesthetic are key factors to consider.

F2F: How do you incorporate colour into your designs? Does the brand typically favour any particular colour schemes or motifs?

HM:

Our preference is for colours and motifs that occur naturally, especially those found in forest environments, and the colours that depict the strength of lava. Our core colour palette includes Deep Forest, LifeForce Gold, Ivory, Obsidian, and Sand. As India is known for its vibrant celebrations and colourful culture, we strive to create unexpected combinations by incorporating accent colours like Evening Forest, Forest Glade, Forest Green, Fire, and Lava.

F2F: How do you address sustainability and ethical methods in your manufacturing process?

HM:

We prioritise environmental care, sustainability, and zero-waste practices, sourcing leather from tanneries with wastewater detoxification and recycling processes. We aim to minimise waste during manufacturing and switch to chrome-free, vegetable-dyed leather by 2023. Exotic leathers are not used and hides of animals raised for meat are repurposed.

Our London concept store was designed with locally sourced, sustainable materials. We recognise that maintaining a sustainable company cannot come at the expense of our employees’ well-being. We prioritise creating a positive and encouraging atmosphere and maintaining regular communication with our teams to address any issues in a healthy manner. At Aranyani, we ensure that our craftsmen receive fair wages that are equivalent to European standards.

F2F: What do you envision for Aranyani’s future and its position within the luxury handbag industry?

HM:

Aranyani’s success is attributed to its design principles, value-based ecosystem, and agility in meeting customer demands through its advanced atelier. The brand specialises in unique designs through heritage art forms and techniques, providing customers with QR codes to meet the artisans behind their handbags.

Aranyani aims to establish a sustainable legacy in the luxury fashion industry with a modern luxury experience that positively impacts every touchpoint. The brand’s bags are bespoke items that Aranyani aims to establish a sustainable legacy in the luxury fashion industry with a modern luxury experience that positively impacts every touchpoint. The brand’s bags are bespoke items that customers can cherish for a lifetime and pass down as heirlooms, with a goal of producing a limited number of pieces (12,000/year globally) that prioritises artistry and craftsmanship over quantity, representing the epitome of luxury.

F2F: What sets you apart from competing high-end handbag brands in the market?

HM:

Aranyani’s atelier is a hub of collaboration between skilled artisans and craftsmen who create exceptional handcrafted masterpieces. Each Aranyani handbag is a product of collective inspiration, talent, and dedicated craftsmanship, incorporating unique design techniques such as hand embroidery with over 3,000 stitches and seven patterns, precious gemstone setting to generate positive vibrations, hand painting, and 24-karat gold gilding on leather handbags. This comes after years of extensive training at our atelier. Aranyani’s focus has always been on creating a positive impact at every touchpoint, which sets us apart in the market.

F2F: Could you share any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations that Aranyani has planned?

HM:

Aranyani launched its AW 2022/23 collection in December 2022, which coincided with the opening of our first concept store in London. To establish our brand guidelines and store interiors, we collaborated with Kinnersley Kent Design (KKD). For the store construction, we entrusted the work to Umdasch, while Hassan Younes was our windows design partner. To increase brand awareness in the UK, we partnered with Task PR and major advertising titles such as Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and more.

Aranyani's upcoming projects include launching the AW 2023/24 and SS 2023 collections of ‘Unseen Connections,’ which is inspired by the unity and interconnectedness we feel as a community. Our aim is to showcase our state-of-the-art-atelier, which we call the ‘Atelier of Dreams,’ and the unseen bond between the craftsmen and artisans who create the bags and the customers who buy them.

F2F: Please suggest five handbag staples everyone should have in their wardrobes.

HM:

Investing in the following five handbags is a smart choice for any fashion-conscious individual. Clutches are sleek and stylish, perfect for formal events or evening parties. A tote bag is versatile and spacious, ideal for daily use. While top handle bags are practical and versatile and elevate your outfit for any occasion, crossbody handbags offer perfect hands-free convenience while running errands or going out with friends. Lastly, a shoulder bag is a timeless accessory that can elevate any outfit, be it casual or formal.

F2F: What advice would you like to share with fashion enthusiasts aspiring to be luxurious handbag designers?

HM:

If you want to become a successful luxury handbag designer, focus on quality, craftsmanship, creativity, and heritage. Start by mastering the fundamentals of fashion design, including textiles, techniques, and trends. Then, develop your own unique style by experimenting with different materials, colours, and shapes. Utilise sustainable materials and work with skilled artisans to create high-quality products that stand out in the market. Crafting a compelling brand story can also help to build a sense of exclusivity and allure for your brand. Building strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers is crucial for sourcing materials and producing your designs. Remember that creating luxurious products takes time and dedication, so stay focused on your objectives and continuously refine your designs and brand story to create a thriving luxury brand or product.

Luxury necessitates creativity, artisanship, craftsmanship, and positive impact at every touchpoint.

What advice would you like to share with fashion enthusiasts aspiring to be luxurious handbag designers?

Interviewer: Kiran Sahija
Published on: 03/05/2023
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