How were you drawn to textiles/apparel?
AV: Both of us come from diverse fields of education – I was from a Science background leading to Graphic Design and Richard is from an IT background. We suppose it was a calling to our real passions and giving in to our creative sides. Destiny has its own ways of leading one to the paths they are supposed to be on.
While working as a freelance graphic designer in Kolkata I was servicing a number of clients in the textile and fashion industry and started dabbling in textile design for further creative satisfaction. I applied for a post graduate program in Textile Design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and was pleasantly surprised to be selected for the course.
Richard was struggling to fit into the algorithms of binary codes when he finally gave in and applied for the post graduate program in Apparel Design at NID - he was elated to have been given a seat to pursue his calling.
RP: NID was the foundation for our friendship and the meeting of our creative visions. Being a multidisciplinary institute, it gave us an understanding of design as a whole, rather than in a particular field. Getting a hands-on education with artisans as well as understanding the limitations and possibilities of the craft sectors allowed us to explore working towards our own label. It also helped instill the values of handmade, which we have carried forward into our label as well as design intervention opportunities.
How did the ‘amrich’ label come about?
AV: As students at NID, understanding and respecting each other’s strengths and limitations, we decided on starting a clothing label some day in the future. However, as luck would have it, we were chosen to represent ourselves as well as NID at the Gen-next Show at Lakme Fashion Week.
RP: We worked on a line paying homage to the ancient craft of natural indigo dyeing and added the element of hand-crafted Itajime shibori to offer newness to the Indian fashion scenario. This was way back in 2006; the craft of Itajime shibori had not yet invaded the country and so we packed our bags and went and worked with a Bandhani craftsman in Kutch. We taught him the basics of the technique so as to fulfill production orders, if any, and the rest is history!
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