A ‘BAG'FUL OF SPIRIT
Femina|April 2021
What started as an activity to keep her busy in a dropped academic year soon turned into an all-consuming passion to offer women the bags they need. NINA LEKHI, MD and Chief Design Curator, Baggit, shares her ideas with Shraddha Kamdar
Shraddha Kamdar

A few pages into her autobiography Bag It All, I was hooked. It was the life she had led and turned around that did the magic. At 17, faced with academic failure, Nina Lekhi, now MD and Chief Design Curator, Baggit, had to prove her mettle and rebuild her self-esteem. She used her dropped year at college to buy canvas in bulk, and create bags to sell to college students. That is how, with a sum of ₹7,000 borrowed from her mother, she started Baggit in 1985. The name was inspired by Michael Jackson’s popular ’80s song Beat It! Over the years, she did what it took to keep it going; some decisions were tough, others not quite, but the goal was clear. Today, catering to every woman’s need for fashionable, durable and useful bags, the brand’s turnover is close to ₹111 crore! Over to the enterprising lady...

What is the ethos of brand Baggit?

Our vision is to be a responsible fashion brand, which is internationally successful but based out of India. While most fashion brands pitch themselves as seasonal, trendy, latest fashion, we are more in the mould of classic fashion. Our products do not become irrelevant at the end of the season.

Baggit is a vegan brand; why did you choose to go that way?

Vegan fashion is not a trend. We believe that fashion must make you feel good from the inside out. Cruelty-free fashion stems from compassion, peace and love for all. More importantly, it gives you the freedom to experiment with a wide range of designs, materials, prints and textures, and that’s what our Indian consumers want— great variety that’s worth the price!

Tell us how you came to work on designs at 17…

I had flunked my first year of college at Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai. Coming from a very sheltered and protective background, I was not ready to face what I was going through at that particular age; it was disheartening. I was already completely confused about what I should do with my life, failure compounded the confusion, and I became a complete rebel. I took it upon myself to prove that I was not a dud, that I was capable. I wanted to prove that I not only had the artistic skill but also the business acumen—be it administrative, finance or people skills. The sole purpose was to prove that I could to myself and to the people around me and to bring back my self-esteem.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FEMINAView All

THE INSIDE STORY

TARA SUTARIA GETS REAL WITH SUKRITI SHAHI IN A CANDID CONVERSATION ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS, LOCKDOWN LEARNINGS, AND AN UPCOMING YEAR OF EXCITING PROJECTS

8 mins read
Femina
April 2021

It's time to plan a FAMILY VACAY!

While we wait to travel again, here’s how you can ready yourself to vacation avec famille.

5 mins read
Femina
April 2021

LESSONS on LOVE

Relationships, good and bad, help us grow and understand ourselves better and here are five lessons that we can surely learn from it.

2 mins read
Femina
April 2021

DESI POWER IN THE US CABINET

MEET THE INDIAN-AMERICAN WOMEN IN US PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S CABINET.

7 mins read
Femina
April 2021

THE NEW PARENT survival guide

Becoming a parent can be exciting, overwhelming and stressful, but you can learn to handle the pressures that come with infant care and balance life accordingly, says Kayalvizhi Arivalan

4 mins read
Femina
April 2021

SKINCARE 101

DR JAISHREE SHARAD busts common skincare myths, and gives us the lowdown on acids for skin, and anti-ageing treatments.

6 mins read
Femina
April 2021

THE EX FACTOR

It is possible to have a cordial relationship with your ex-husband. Radhika Sathe-Patwardhan has some pointers

4 mins read
Femina
April 2021

REACHING OUT TO THE STARS

AWARDED BY BOTH HON. PRESIDENT AND HON. VICE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, DR SOHINI SASTRI’S ACCURATE PREDICTION SKILLS MADE HER ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AND BEST ASTROLOGERS IN INDIA.

1 min read
Femina
April 2021

DESIGN DREAMER

Interior designer Kajal Agrawal shares her journey, her thoughts on gender-related issues in the design sector, and more with Ravina Sachdev

2 mins read
Femina
April 2021

A ‘BAG'FUL OF SPIRIT

What started as an activity to keep her busy in a dropped academic year soon turned into an all-consuming passion to offer women the bags they need. NINA LEKHI, MD and Chief Design Curator, Baggit, shares her ideas with Shraddha Kamdar

5 mins read
Femina
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

India thought it had the virus beat. The virus had other ideas

Governments around the world keep repeating the same mistakes. In a country of 1.4 billion, the consequences are on a whole new scale

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 17, 2021

general hospital

HOLE IN ONE

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
May 10, 2021

GH PREVIEW: NINA DODGES A BULLET

Jax is shot in Nixon Falls — and spies Sonny before he’s rushed to the hospital, jeopardizing the secret Nina is harboring: that Sonny is far from dead, and is in fact living as amnesiac “Mike”.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
May 03, 2021

Reincarnation And Realpolitik

China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 19, 2021

An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan

The Little Red Train

10+ mins read
Lens Magazine
March 2021

A Room for Dad

Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her

8 mins read
Guideposts
April 2021

THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1

YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.

6 mins read
Black Belt
April/May 2021

WOUNDS AND THE WOMB

JULIE PETERS explores how to heal a relationship with the sacred womb, a place of death, life, and possibilities.

8 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

BE SQUIRRELY

Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain SARAH BOWEN explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.

4 mins read
Spirituality & Health
Mar/Apr 2021

E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies

IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 15, 2021