What if you could wear all those wonderful, trendy ensembles that you repin on your pinterest wall? That too, without paying a bomb for them! This is the thought that inspired Ankita Bajaj, a brand and marketing professional, to start her own line of clothing—The Sewing Machine.
It all started with the hunt for a pair of culottes
Armed with no formal training in design but a desire to create affordable fashion inspired by the latest European high-street fashion, Ankita took to the sewing machine. When asked how her journey into fashion apparel started, she quips, “When I started, I did not even know the difference between pure silk and jute silk and raw silk… I wanted a pair of culotte pants that I saw on Pinterest and could not find it anywhere in India, so I ordered from an international website. When the product came, I was like, this is easy to create. So I went ahead, bought some fabric and got a few culottes stitched for me in different fabric.” And from there, she went on to design skirts, palazzo, dresses, crop tops—whatever took her fancy.
Find anything from an Indian hand-embroidered jacket, to a funky, digital-printed crop top
A brand that initially started as the personal closet of the designer has evolved into two lines of clothing—Desi and Videsi— to cater to the diverse fashion sensibilities of the Indian women. Desi silhouettes and fabrics like hand-dyed cotton, block print, silks are made into fashionable indo-western attires. The Videsi line, on the other hand, features the latest trends from International market, with the focus currently being on midi skirts, crop tops, dresses, palazzos and culottes. So, one can find anything from an Indian hand-embroidered jacket, to a funky, digital-printed crop top in Ankita’s collection.
Classy yet casual, Ankita’s designs are for women who want something unique but affordable. “The sewing machine will be appreciated by someone who wants to wear comfortable yet stylish multi-functional silhouettes which can be worn to office but also to a dinner party,” says the designer about her label.
Style tips for Spring-Summer 2015
We asked Ankita for some style tips for our readers and this is what she had to say: Fashion is individual. Wear something you are comfortable with. Mix fashion with your personality and comfort. Ankita recommends women to add more skirts to their wardrobe as it can easily be styled up or down depending on the occasion. She says, “Wear lots of skirts… calf, ankle, and knee. A skirt makes a statement without trying too hard.”
“My mom-in-law gave me the seed money”
Funding is one of the major hiccups in starting a business. Instead of waiting to be funded by a VC, Ankita decided to start small and arranged for seed funding from within the family, thanks to her generous mother-in-law. So how has been her entrepreneurial journey so far?—we asked. “I have been an entrepreneur by accident and it’s been a mixed bag. Everybody is designing clothes these days and I thought it going to be easy but it wasn’t. It is always a journey of discovering and doing everything by yourself—from figuring out markets to shop for fabric to finding tailors to stitch the clothes for you” says Ankita. Life as an entrepreneur may not be easy but for people like Ankita nothing is as satisfying as seeing their creations being appreciated by people. “It’s very exciting when people share their pictures wearing clothes designed by me… it’s so much fun to observe the different ways in which they style and pair up those pieces,” signs off Ankita.
Skip the wait and get fashion before it hits the street— online
Now you can buy the latest collection from The Sewing Machine and other niche Bangalore-based designers online at the Bangalore Local Store on Junglee.com. Pay using your debit and credit card and get them delivered straight to you.