My brand, based in Paris and New Delhi, is a contemporary, elegant and edgy ready-to-wear womenswear brand made by hand in my studio. I am striving to create timeless pieces that transcend the seasonal wearability of garments. I am inspired by ancient cultures and craftsmanship, as well as contemporary art. I dedicate a great amount of time researching each collection, studying scientific findings and reading specialized publications. Social and environmental issues are a very important part of each collection. My brand is not just about design and fashion, it’s about understanding and appreciating the great body of work that people across the world have produced over time. It’s about being mindful of the beauty of the natural world and manifesting it through fashion, reminding us about the deep inter- connectedness of humans and nature.
My garments tell a story about the land, the forests, the rivers, the insects, the species who share the Earth with us. I want to celebrate the beauty of the natural world, while also creating memories for future generations. I create memories not only through the story I tell in each piece of clothing, but through the work which goes into it. Each one is made by hand, sometimes even starting from the first thread. At every stage, the artisans pack hours of their life, knowledge and commitment into it. Days are spent to first create the fabric and then the garment. I try to show that by connecting the artisans and the makers with each person by embroidering their name into each garment.
My work is about memory, culture, tradition, savoir-faire and technology. It is also deeply rooted in the natural world. For each of my collections I immerse myself deeply in research to understand the moment we live in.
My work incorporates my life in Udaipur, a city of culture and tradition, where I was born; Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India, where I grew up, and Paris where I studied fashion.
A childhood experience has also shaped me: Regularly visiting my family’s marble and granite quarries, I was deeply impressed by their enormous scale. That experience gave me the impetus to think big and green. My life and my work are an amalgamation of all these influences.
I started my professional life as an intern with Rahul Mishra, the Woolmark Prize winner. I then worked as a textile designer for one of the biggest Indian textile companies, Himatsingka Seide Ltd., working for American and European luxury home furnishing brands.
My professional life was further enriched by my education in Paris and London. While living there for almost five years, I gained new experiences in fashion: foremost at legendary luxury fashion house BALMAIN, and also working with up and coming french designers.
After graduating from the Paris University Law School and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York, I worked as a reporter and an editor for French magazines. Until 2000, based in California, I was reporting on American culture and politics. In 2007, I became managing director of Andrée Putman’s studio, one of the world’s most prestigious design and interior architecture firms. In 2009, I was named associate managing editor of Madame Figaro, France’s largest women’s weekly magazine, before joining Sonam Khetan in 2022.
The brand focuses on the health of its makers and the environment as well as the health of its wearers. Our fabrics are naturally hand-dyed by a small-scale women-owned artisanal studio, Adiv Pure Nature, in Mumbai, and a non-profit organization Aranya Naturals, in Kerala. The roses and marigold flowers are recycled from local temples and other natural dyeing materials are sourced locally. This eliminates water pollution and chemical hazards to the dyers.
At the other end, the brand focuses on the women who will wear the garments. Skin is the largest organ of the body and it absorbs the chemicals from the surface of textiles that are worn. In ancient India, people wore fabrics dyed with natural herbs to cure themselves of ailments. It was an ayurvedic technique to heal people. Keeping that in mind, we have dyed our garments using natural materials. We care for the health of the women we dress and want each one to be healthy and feeling good. The NGOs that we work with aim to improve the life of the artisans and give them a better life, in particular self reliance.