Interview with Designer Sarang Kaur
Step into a world where craftsmanship meets heritage, where luxury intertwines with elegance, and where social responsibility takes center stage.
Welcome to the realm of Sarang Kaur, an Indian fashion designer extraordinaire, whose eponymous label has transcended boundaries to capture the hearts of customers both within the country and across the diaspora.
From its humble origins, tucked away in a shared warehouse in the vibrant city of Delhi, Sarang Kaur’s brand has blossomed into a phenomenon, led by a passionate team of four dedicated individuals.
Their collective vision? To celebrate the opulent cultural heritage of India, while embracing the ever-evolving spirit of contemporary design.
Inspired by the cherished memories of her mother’s wardrobe and captivated by the resplendence of Indian ethnic wear, Sarang Kaur embarked on a transformative journey.
Fueled by an insatiable desire to reinvent traditional designs, she wields the power of colors, delicate patterns, and a hint of playfulness to breathe life into her creations.
With a masterful touch, Sarang Kaur weaves intricate stories through hand-embroidered sarees, dupattas, and suits, embodying the eternal grace of the modern Indian woman.
At the heart of Sarang Kaur’s ethos lies a deep-rooted belief in the significance of wearable fashion. Each garment is meticulously crafted to inspire a movement towards sustainable and mindful consumption.
Harmoniously blending traditional Indian textiles, exquisite embroideries, and contemporary silhouettes, these designs transcend the fleeting trends of the moment. They empower the women who wear them to become the very trendsetters that shape the fashion landscape.
No stranger to the limelight, Sarang Kaur’s designs have graced the forms of professionals, politicians, and celebrities alike.
Catering to the discerning tastes of the contemporary Indian woman, her creations strike the perfect balance between minimalistic allure and timeless tradition.
With every stitch, Sarang Kaur endeavors to ignite joy in the hearts of her cherished customers, crafting garments that will be treasured for generations to come—much like her own mother’s legacy.
Join us on this enchanting sartorial voyage, where the threads of tradition intertwine with the tapestry of modernity.
Discover the allure of Sarang Kaur, where fashion becomes art, and each masterpiece serves as a testament to the eternal spirit of Indian heritage.
Tell us a little about yourself
Sarang Kaur: After school, I decided to pursue chartered accountancy. I got the opportunity to work on statutory audits for a big four firm, but I found myself stuck in the typical corporate environment.
At the same time, I noticed a gap in the market for the kind of sarees and suits I always wanted to buy and admired on my mom.
The market was flooded with over-the-top machine-embroidered clothes, and that’s when it hit me—I should follow my passion and create the sarees and suits I love.
Without further delay, I made the bold decision to quit and pursue my dream. I enrolled in a quick fashion diploma program in Singapore and returned home to dive headfirst into this new venture. It may have taken a while, but here I am, finally doing what I love.
Can you tell us about your design journey and how you developed a passion for tradition and craftsmanship in your work?
Sarang Kaur: My design journey hasn’t been solely focused on preserving traditional craftsmanship, but it’s something we deeply cherish.
We want to showcase it in a modern way. I’ve always been captivated by the exquisite art of delicate arhi-work.
I prefer traditional suits and simple sarees over trendy indo-western styles. My goal is to continue creating for people who share the same love for these classics. For me, nothing can compare to the beauty of a hand-embroidered saree.
Your designs are deeply rooted in traditional craftsmanship. How do you strike a balance between preserving heritage techniques and incorporating modern elements to create contemporary pieces?
Sarang Kaur: Our design philosophy is deeply rooted in traditional craftsmanship while embracing modern elements to create contemporary pieces.
We value and cherish heritage techniques, ensuring they stay alive in our creations. At the same time, we introduce modern elements, such as breezy silhouettes that offer both comfort and class to today’s women.
Our thoughtfully balanced color palette adds a bright and happy touch without overwhelming, ensuring the designs remain fresh and captivating.
In line with our commitment to sustainability and quality, we use only pure fabrics. This not only enhances the luxurious feel of our garments but also aligns with our goal of creating fashion that stands the test of time.
We believe that nothing can compare to the beauty of delicate arhi-work and the elegance of traditional suits and simple sarees.
Our aim is to satisfy like-minded individuals who appreciate the allure of hand-embroidered sarees while infusing our designs with a modern twist.
By blending traditional craftsmanship with contemporary sensibilities, we craft pieces that resonate with a wide audience.
Our designs speak to modern women who seek comfort, class, and the celebration of timeless artistry in fashion.
With a focus on sustainability, longevity, and pure craftsmanship, our garments are not just pieces of clothing; they are reflections of heritage, passion, and the art of creating enduring beauty.
What are some of the traditional crafts and techniques that inspire you the most, and how do you integrate them into your design process?
Sarang Kaur: I’ve always been fascinated by arhi-work. The process of meticulously adding each embellishment, such as cutdana, moti, or dabka, by hand to every garment gives it a unique character and a timeless story.
At our factory, we take pride in doing everything from scratch, and all our skilled artisans are trained in arhi work, as well as other crafts.
They work diligently to enhance the delicacy of this art, ensuring that each piece we create is a true masterpiece of craftsmanship.
We delicately blend this exquisite craft with a thoughtfully chosen color palette, respecting its heritage while catering to the preferences of modern women.
Our belief in “less is more” guides us, as we understand that carefully placed hand embroidery can leave a lasting impact.
For those who appreciate understated luxury, our hand-embroidered pieces offer a timeless allure that resonates for a lifetime.
Your designs are known for their exquisite attention to detail. How do you ensure that the craftsmanship is of the highest quality while maintaining the creative vision?
Sarang Kaur: The creative vision comes surprisingly easy to me. I usually have a clear idea of what I want, and thanks to the hard work we’ve put in over the last few years, my team now understands how to bring my ideas to life.
Our focus on minimalism sets us apart, as we aim to offer a fresh perspective on Indian clothing in a market dominated by heavy garments.
For us, it all boils down to quality and the impact our clothes can make. We believe that subtle and minimal hand embroidery on our pieces is what truly brings out the essence of luxury.
At our factory, everything is done by hand, and we take immense pride in prioritizing quality and appeal above all else.
It’s this dedication to craftsmanship that allows us to offer unique and meaningful pieces which are timeless.
Collaborating with artisans and craftsmen is a significant part of your work. Can you share some experiences of working closely with artisans and the impact it has on your design process?
Sarang Kaur: Having all the artisans in-house, who have been with me for several years, has been a crucial part of our brand’s journey.
We don’t collaborate or outsource the craft, which allows us to maintain complete control over the quality and authenticity of our creations. The artisans are well-trained in the techniques we use, and together, we bring our mood board to life.
Working closely with them over the years, I have learned a great deal, and this collaboration has been essential in defining what our brand stands for.
Through experimentation and continuous communication, we have honed our understanding of our identity and how we can achieve it. Every day, we strive to refine our craft further.
The artisans’ deep knowledge of their craft, combined with my understanding of aesthetics and heritage, is the driving force behind our brand.
It’s the fusion of these elements that sets us apart and gives our creations a distinct character and timeless appeal.
Your collections often reflect the cultural heritage of various regions. How do you ensure that your designs are respectful and culturally sensitive when drawing inspiration from different traditions?
Sarang Kaur: As an artist, putting my inspiration into words can be quite challenging. I don’t consciously seek inspiration from any specific heritage or culture, and being respectful to our history and traditions is something deeply ingrained in me.
I would never intentionally be disrespectful to any craft, piece of history, or any living and non-living thing.
When I create something new, I don’t hold myself back. I believe that our heritage informs us about our roots, and it’s okay to draw from it while moving forward.
For me, inspiration is quite simple—it comes from anything beautiful that captures my eye and stirs something within me. It doesn’t have to fit into any predefined category of heritage or novelty.
I prefer not to put crafts and arts in brackets or strict definitions. They are meant to be a way to evoke emotions, bring a smile to someone’s face, or tell a meaningful story. To me, art is a personal expression, and its impact on someone can be subjective and diverse.
So, I embrace the freedom to create with an open heart, allowing myself to be moved by beauty and express it in my own way.
It’s this authentic approach that guides me in my artistic journey, making my creations a reflection of who I am and what I find beautiful in this world.
Your work seems to celebrate the beauty of diversity and inclusivity. How do you approach inclusivity in your designs and brand ethos?
Sarang Kaur: In our designs and brand ethos, we embrace diversity and inclusivity wholeheartedly. We approach inclusivity by ensuring that our creations cater to a wide range of people, regardless of their backgrounds, cultures, or body types.
Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and beautiful in our pieces. We celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and aim to reflect that in our designs, making fashion a truly empowering and inclusive experience for all.
Many emerging designers look up to you as an inspiration. What advice would you give to aspiring designers who wish to incorporate traditional craftsmanship into their creations?
Sarang Kaur: Keep going! In this fast-paced world, finding your audience may take time, but once you do, it’s incredibly rewarding.
It’s crucial not to compromise your unique vision and values by surrendering to trends or mainstream influences.
Trusting your instincts and staying true to what brings you joy will set your brand apart and resonate with those who share your passion.
However, while a good product is essential, marketing and visibility play a vital role in reaching a broader audience.
Promoting your brand effectively will help others discover and connect with your creations. Embrace social media, collaborations, and other avenues to showcase your work and engage with potential customers.
Remember, finding the right balance between creative integrity and strategic marketing is key to building a successful and enduring brand.
As a designer with a unique perspective, how do you use your platform to raise awareness about the importance of preserving cultural traditions in the world of fashion?
Sarang Kaur: I don’t explicitly raise awareness about the importance of preserving cultural traditions in the world of fashion through direct talking or marketing.
However, I am certainly doing my part to revive these traditions in a contemporary context while incorporating evergreen designs and embroideries.
For me, actions speak louder than words when it comes to supporting and preserving our rich cultural heritage.
Raising awareness alone may not be enough to sustain these crafts. To truly help the artisans and support the thriving of this industry, we need to take active steps.
This includes creating, buying, and promoting products that showcase these traditions and provide a source of livelihood for skilled artisans in India.
By incorporating these crafts into modern designs and offering products that appeal to a broader audience, we contribute to the preservation and continuation of these cultural treasures for generations to come.
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