December 30, 2015

Introducing The Ink Bucket, Mr. Bowerbird & SUO: MFI by Myntra

by Anusha Narayanan

Fashion is a choice, an expression and a personal statement. It is design, it is whimsical, it is serious, it is what we choose for ourselves, it is comfort, it is a trendsetter and it can even be a simple reflection of ourselves – likes, dislikes, cares, don’t-cares, all of it. In this third of a four-part series for Myntra Fashion Incubator, we spoke to three of MFI’s recently-launched brands, The Ink Bucket, SUO and Mr. Bowerbird.

The Ink Bucket, Vidhi Khandelwal

vidhi_mfi by myntra

Mating passion with enterprise and infusing her thoughts, her illustrations and sketches on paper, with the material pleasure of possessing lifestyle goods, The Ink Bucket (TIB) by Vidhi Khandelwal was a career choice she made when she realised she could not stay away from her diaries and drawing tools for long. Amidst indecisiveness of which exact career to choose from, between being a chef and doing a Masters in Business Development, she stuck to her drawings and decided to step it up to the next level.

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Vidhi says, with a tinge of nostalgia, when asked what the vision for The Ink Bucket (TIB) is, ” Today’s generation is growing up in a paperless world. A world where Hallmark stores barely exist because people now send e-vites and e- cards. TIB is an attempt to bring back the traditional tools and create products capable of bringing a smile to your face. With that, I wish to extend TIB to home and lifestyle accessories and focus on inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and most importantly having fun.”

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Of the lot, hers is a style which is unique for its evident personal touch – illustrations. But she doesn’t follow a pattern or a fixed process it seems. ” Be it a dog that I see, or a car that almost gave me butterflies in my stomach, or an ice cream that I am craving for, or a Bollywood song I want to dance on. Drawing is my first love.  There are times when I know what exactly I have to draw, and there are times when I start doodling without an end goal in mind. I think it’s great to make it up as you go along.”

The Ink Bucket (TIB) brings the old world charm to the new world design, emphasising on creating flexible, creative, hand-drawn prints, and products with an emotional connect. “Our products are simple to use and understand and wish to make you stand out in the digital age,”  she adds.

Mr. Bowerbird, Mohammed Javed Khan

Javed_mfi by myntra

Keeping it casual, yet suave, and to some extent, creating something nondescript could very well become a favourite among new-age hipsters is Mr. Bowerbird, a brand started by Mohammed Javed Khan, who studied at NIFT and worked with Louis-Philippe before this.

Mr. Bowerbird is a menswear brand that focusses on making ‘everyday favourites’. “Every piece is designed in a way to be paired with anything else in collection. The idea is blur the difference between formal and casual and dress smart,” says Javed.

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Clean, simply done, never overpowering in the ensemble or on the consumer, Mr. Bowerbird sits in the wardrobe of all ages perfectly. Of his inspiration, Javed reminisces, “Old clothes of my grandfather are a rich and practical source of inspiration, I have preserved everything that he owned when he was alive. He worked in post office and was a collector by nature.”

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All said and done, fashion is also a business, and we asked Javed, how the transition from being an employee to an entrepreneur was, especially in a field as cut-throat as his. “When you decide to quit an 8-hour full-time job and start on your own you actually get into 24-hour full-time job. You end up getting a lot more busy and involved than a job. You dream about it, dreams don’t let you sleep. You start believing in God and praying a lot more because you realise your capacity and what’s beyond your capacity. I think you become a better person when you start something.”

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What makes his brand stand out from the rest? Perhaps it is the sensibility with which Javed answers this question, or the simplicity of his designs.  There isn’t the need to “make statements” per se, or fabricate an image: “I do not want to change the face of fashion, I actually don’t believe in fashion,” he says, “but I believe in clothing and I would like people to dress up well and comfortably without having worries about trends.”

SUO, Anwar Khan

Anwar_mfi by myntra

One of the homegrown designers, who has risen up from the grassroots of  not really “designing” clothes but stitching them, is Anwar Khan, who alongside his fashion degree from L.S. Raheja college, bought a sewing machine, hired a karigar and started his own shop to pay for his tuition fees for college. “My brand SUO which means ‘to stitch’ in Latin truly emerged from my passion for stitching. SUO is all about craftsmanship of tailoring,” he says. ” Whatever I learnt in the design institute, I applied it in my freelance projects and by the end of 3rd year, my sewing machine became my best friend.”

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Undoubtedly, SUO finds its roots in the kaarigars and tailors and the traditional methods of making clothes, of engineering and not really designing garments, and needless to say, it promises to fit anyone who adorns it, to their liking.

About his process, Anwar says, “Though it’s my very 1st commercial collection I went through the traditional process of designing mood board, story board, design developments, flats sketching etc. But I keep sketching and refining my range 2-3 times to get it better before proceeding further. Most important is to get your tech pack done as simples as it is with as much details as you can because it’s the only source of interaction between you and your vendor.”

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Anwar, young and ambitious, says competition isn’t how he perceives his fellow designers, inside or outside of MFI, as his individuality and his vision for this brand, is to truly represent all the undervalued kaarigars whom many would consider tailors, and not artists in the true sense. He asserts, “I want SUO to stand for these tailoring artists and speak for them. It will be great if SUO becomes the voice of these artists.”

With more to come from MFI in the next and the last article of this series, we hope the colours, life and designs that Brands of MFI introduce to the world, keep getting brighter.

This is part of a four-part series on Myntra Fashion Incubator and its Designers. For the rest of the articles in this series, click here.
To know more about MFI, visit the website and keep an eye on their Facebook page.

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1 Comment

  1. JAVED KHAN

    12.30.2015

    Reply

    All Designs are awesome…

    Waiting for SUO to launch….

    Great work team..Appreciate your efforts.

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