The story behind four Delhi designers

Creators flourishing in India's capital

A decade ago, Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar left Toronto to explore the culture of craftsmanship in India, travelling and studying art forms such as bandhani (tie-dye) textiles. Despite lacking formal design credentials, the pair launched NorBlack NorWhite from scratch.

Based in Delhi, they are evolving to be more cultural platform than fashion brand – a ‘ women-led, brown creative house, exploring the grey space of culture via style, space and stories’.

‘I’ve always thought of fashion as a very democratic space where you can let your body be the canvas for communication,’ says Ruchika Sachdeva. The Delhi-born designer, who graduated from London College of Fashion and interned with Vivienne Westwood, founded Bodice in 2011.

Sustainability: Bodice uses naturally fermented indigo and plant-based dyes, sources cotton from weavers in South India, wool from Kullu in the Himalayas, and buttons from renewable sources.

After graduating in 2004, graphic artist, illustrator, sculptor and visual storyteller Aman Khanna set up his own design studio in London (Infomen) and in Delhi (Infonauts). Claymen is his line of playful handmade objects and small sculptures.

Claymen sculptures are created ‘from a careful observation of the common man and his dilemmas’. Claymen sculptures ‘are peaceful, contemplative and quiet’, Aman says.

Founded by Gursi Singh and Amrita Khanna, womenswear brand Lovebirds ‘makes quiet, mature acts of norm-breaking, one dress at a time’. They draw inspiration from graphic design and architecture more than runway trends, with clean lines and relaxed tailoring.

Lovebirds sources raw materials locally and production is done in its Delhi studio. There is a focus on reducing waste – pieces can be sent back to be fixed, and upcycling is a priority.