Kavita & Priyanka Jain
We recommend outfits that have a great re-wear value
Devnaagri is a traditional clothing brand for those who covet classic and endearing ensembles that display authentic Indian artistry. In a chat with Fibre2Fashion, Founders Kavita and Priyanka Jain shed light on their brand’s design philosophy, creative inspirations, and Devnaagri's signature elements.
Fibre2Fashion: What motivated you to establish Devnaagri?
Kavita & Priyanka Jain:
Devnaagri started as a celebration and reflection of the Indian woman and her myriad personalities. With each collection, we explored her sincerity to stay rooted and admired her strength to evolve. Along her odyssey, we grew in parallel to be more sophisticated in our aesthetic, more confident in our vestments, and more cosmopolitan in our ambitions.
F2F: How would you define the design philosophy of Devnaagri?
Every Devnaagri is a short story, filled with inspiration from the most joyous and special moments. All of Devnaagri’s ensembles and accessories are handcrafted in India using locally sourced fabrics. Gotta Patti embroidery and block printing extensively manifest our aesthetic vocabulary. Devnaagri’s pret wear is synonymous with nature-inspired block prints that have become everyday wardrobe-essentials. The metallic applique ribbons that decorate Devnaagri’s couture are a celebration of Indian royalty. Each backstitch using delicate zari stitches a story of tradition and diversity.
F2F: How has Devnaagri evolved over the years, both aesthetically and in terms of business growth? What inspires your designs?
Like our aesthetic, our evolution has been grassroots-like—organic and traditional. In 2016, we launched our e-commerce, growing our family internationally. As we garnered the attention of women who craved our traditional made-to-measure ensembles, we naturally became a part of their special occasions. We serendipitously ventured into dressing families, helping us realise the multi-generational and ageless appeal our ensembles express.
F2F: What are some of the signature elements that make a Devnaagri ensemble unique and recognisable?
Gotta Patti embroidery and block printing extensively manifest our aesthetic vocabulary. Block printing is a technique that has been passed down from generation to generation, a treasure of our Indian ancestry. In addition to stitching through the elaborate Gota, ‘Taakayi’ process, we elevate our work by using other traditional techniques using dori, pearl work and Resham—threadworks that lend an old-world charm. From time to time, varied techniques and silhouettes seep into our practical-traditional styles, always intending to balance design and value.
F2F: How do you gauge customer feedback and incorporate it into your designs and business strategies?
It is always great to hear back from our customers as we totally believe in giving them the best possible experience. Any kind of feedback from them only helps us to get better in both design and organisation.
F2F: What have been some of the most significant challenges you faced while building Devnaagri, and what did you learn from them?
In our journey of 10 years at Devnaagari, we have faced many challenges in nurturing a back-end team, getting the karigars (craftspersons) to understand quality and timelines, and working towards customer satisfaction. No organisation is really free of challenges—I think this is all part of every brand’s journey.
F2F: Could you share some memorable moments or experiences from working with specific celebrities or dressing them for significant events?
Dressing up celebrities is always very special. Their faith in the brand and its design aesthetics has always given us strength to grow further. Dressing up Alia Bhatt in our customised outfit was very special to us. When we are made a part of their special moments, it only leaves us happier.
F2F: How has the journey with Devnaagri personally impacted both of you as individuals and entrepreneurs?
Our journey at Devnaagri has been very beautiful. Our interactions with the karigars and learning their skills, and our travels which exposed us to the rich cultural heritage of India have been absolutely wonderful.
F2F: If you could convey one message to your customers, what would it be?
As designers, we always ask clients to buy ensembles that also reflect their personalities. We recommend outfits that have a great re-wear value and are suitable for various occasions.