Storytelling is at the heart of Safomasi, an award-winning design studio and brand set up by Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh
Sarah, what drew you, an illustration graduate, to textiles?
SF: I’ve always loved making things. Even though my BA degree was in illustration, I studied at the University of Brighton (UK) where the illustration course is very conceptual and open. In my final year, I explored set design and film making and made a lot of costumes. My grandmother was a very keen textile artist - she would make tapestries and embroideries. However, it was when I moved to India (to work as an art director with Wieden + Kennedy, Delhi) that my interest was really piqued. Being exposed to beautiful Indian textiles and crafts made me really want to know more and explore working in this space.
Maninder, what have you learned from your industry experience?
MS: After graduating from the University of Delhi, I moved to Australia to study and work. In 2010 I moved back to India to work with the Fashion Design Council of India, where I made friends with many designers. Learning through their experiences really helped at the beginning of Safomasi – I knew where to go to get our production started and it all grew from there.
Tell us about Safomasi. How did it come about?
SF: Safomasi began as a way for us to work and travel together. Prior to working at Wieden + Kennedy, I had spent four months traveling around India. I had a sketchbook full of drawings and ideas for prints and would work on them in the evenings and weekends outside of my day job. When I met Maninder, we started working on them together and experimenting with screen printing them onto fabric. We really liked the process and how it came out and encouraged by our friends decided to take it further and develop them into a range of travel-inspired home textiles. In December 2012, we launched Safomasi with a small range of quilts and cushions.
MS: It was all quite idealistic, but we have grown organically since then, adding new product categories and collections.
Explain your roles in the business.
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