Designer Ritu Kumar celebrates her artisan colleagues

ritu kumar 2One of India’s most respected names in fashion, Padma Shri awardee Ritu Kumar has announced an initiative to highlight her true partners in fashion. Her new  ‘Many Hands Make Beautiful Work’ campaign presents the people, skill and story behind its textiles. You can check out the video campaign here. While Indian arts, crafts and weaves are famous the world over, the artisans themselves are forgotten in the glitz and glamour of designer packaging and uptown stores. With her new campaign, Kumar aims to highlight the many unknown heroes who work behind the scenes and their precise craftsmanship.

Produced by Mummy Daddy Media Pvt Ltd and directed by filmmaker Chintan Gohil, the 30-second videos narrate the story behind the identity, craftsmanship and the revival of Indian textiles and crafts.

One of the stories presented is of SK Hasim Ali, a hand embroiderer who works with Ritu Kumar, a brand that now has a presence in over 35 stores in India and Dubai. The designer recalls her association with Ali: “He was very young and could not even afford the bus fare to Kolkata from his village. In the initial years, he used to travel on the top of the roof of the bus to save ticket fare, to bring the potli of fabrics to me. I did not know how impoverished his family was till I went to the village to see him once. This is when I decided to support him to set up his own entrepreneurial venture and he has never looked back since.” Kumar helped Ali start a small embroidery unit in a shed near his hut, in his native village and the enterprise grew from three fellow embroiderers to supporting nearly 50 families in his village.

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