From a family with nearly 125 years of association with handlooms, Sailesh Singhania found his own label with his name – Sailesh Singhania. Founded in Hyderabad, Sailesh has been supporting the ancient and exquisite tradition of handloom weaving for the last 15 years. And, it aims to promote the beautiful world of weaves through a meaningful sensibility that merges the yesteryear with contemporary romanticism.
In an exclusive interaction with us, the designer talks about his family’s role in his career, his journey, the new collection, and much more.
Was fashion designing always the part of your plan?
Sailesh Singhania: The family s connection to textile started with trading which led to working together with the weavers to create a more specific product which is today the foundation of my passion.
The designs and textiles always fascinated me, the colors, weaves and touch and feel of the fabrics always caught my eye.
As I grew up I wanted to learn the technicalities of the weaves and understand how each weave is woven and I pursued my textile design course.
How much does the family legacy helps in a person’s profession in a field like fashion?
Sailesh Singhania: It does help as the base was already built for me, and it helped me to grow. At a very early stage I started understanding fabrics and even before my formal education in the field as I was growing I had started acquiring knowledge of different fabrics, textiles and weaves.
From where did you get the inspiration of coming out with ‘Shaahana’?
Sailesh Singhania: Shaahana chronicles the regal splendor and beauty of an enchanting Empress. Drawn from Persian legends, the muse, Queen Gulnaar is born in the delicate space of imagination, ‘The Queen’s Rival’, a masterpiece penned bya celebrated poetess Sarojini Naidu.
As it is quite an old concept. What kind of complications did you face while working on this project? How much time did it take?
Sailesh Singhania: All my sarees are handwoven sarees, it has taken almost a year and half from the conceptualization to the execution to finally showcasing the collection on the ramp. The collection comprises of Khadi Jamdani sarees and these take about 9 months to a year to get off the loom. So time and getting everything fabricated on time was my major obstacle, but in the end, all came out well together
It’s been 15 years in this industry, the trends and fashions have changed vividly. What are the major changes you witnessed? How did you keep up with the updated changes in the fashion world?
Sailesh Singhania: Fashion is always evolving and change will always come, an optimistic change I witnessed is the Indian attire came back in vogue, like the 6 yards of elegance; the saree has come back in fashion.
Apart from this, I have also seen the Indian handloom and heritage weave gaining appreciation over the recent years.
What are your expectations with this collection? What is an element you think would attract the audience?
Sailesh Singhania: Weaving each saree is a laborious process, and the Indian handloom industry is dying, I expect that the handwork of the weaver and the beauty of the craft gets recognized and appreciated.
My efforts lie in creating a sustainable world, wherein our artisans can thrive and are celebrated. This collection is a testament of our efforts and I strive to bring to the fore the sheer talent that our weavers posses. The colours are a celebration of summer freshness, a coalescence of opulent whites and neutral tones intertwined with enigmatic gold threads; I feel the classy colors and the rich heritage fabrics is an element that would attract the audience.