‘Need to make Khadi the fabric of the moment’
Ace fashion designer Ritu Beri is on a mission to give Khadi a makeover and try to set it in the global fashion scenario. She believes the powerful pre-Independence fabric of India now needs to be made the “fabric of the moment”.
The designer, who personally loves Khadi, has been appointed an advisor by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) — a statutory body that is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of Khadi and other village industries in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.
“It’s a grand fabric of India. I will try to give Khadi a makeover to set its foot in the global fashion scenario. Khadi is a breathable, comfortable and ‘Made in India’ organic fabric. However, it has never been considered fashionable. It was the powerful pre-Independence fabric of India and now we need to make it the fabric of the moment,” said Beri in an interview.
The designer, who has designed for stars like Nicole Kidman, Katrina Kaif, Akshay Kumar, and Rani Mukerji is known for her clean cuts and sharp tailoring of western silhouettes. And now, she is geared up to make Khadi a global fabric to reckon with. “We plan to do lots of initiatives, including fashion shows, showcasing Khadi creations. We plan to do shows for kids and adults in Khadi. We will be doing impressive promotions and exhibitions related to Khadi,” Beri said.
“I have had an experience of 25 years in fashion designing clothes for international and national celebrities. Through the association, I will try to increase the out-reach of Khadi, both locally and globally,” said the National Institute of Fashion Technology alumnus, whose one of the first few collections launched in 1990 was in Khadi. Beri is also trying to take Khadi to colleges and universities.
“Khadi has always been associated with the politicians. It has been the signature fabric for politicians, leaders and educators. Youngsters have, unfortunately, found it boring and unfashionable,” Beri noted.
“We shall try to take Khadi to colleges and universities,” said the designer, who was not only bestowed the ‘Order of Civil Merit’ —a civilian award by the Spanish government — but was also conferred with the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), one of the highest civilian awards of the French government.