The Kashmir Collection, created for the Usha Silai label under the mentorship of Rohit Bal that was showcased at Lakmé Fashion Week in January this year, will be available at the designer’s store in Defence Colony, New Delhi. Usha Silai is the sustainable fashion label launched by Usha International in 2018 in consultation with IMG Reliance. This is the third collection under the Usha Silai label and reiterates Usha’s commitment to preserving and growing local talent and crafts while creating a go-to-market platform for the women.
The Usha Silai label was conceptualized to highlight the potential of the Usha Silai School initiative that started in 2011 and today has under its umbrella 20,350 Silai Schools training women in the remotest parts of India how to sew, empowering them to earn from their homes. Women who have already been trained at the Usha Silai Schools and have the aptitude to learn the finer nuances of creating designer garments are mentored and upskilled to create the Usha Silai label collection. Every garment in the Usha Silai label collection focuses on quality and creativity and goes through stringent quality checks. This collection by Rohit Bal is truly unique, in that, the women from Kashmir who created it raised the bar for themselves, learning new techniques and the finesse this collection demanded. As a person who is from Kashmir and understands life as it is there, Rohit Bal uses motifs, colours, cuts, and fabrics to bring alive its timeless beauty in his inimitable style.
This collection showcases the intricacy of Kashmiri embroidery in the garments stitched by the Usha Silai women in Kashmir. Rohit Bal has used organic fabrics like cotton, silk blends, Chanderis, silk organzas and velvets with motifs of vibrant flowers of Kashmir to highlight the local craft.
All profits earned on the Usha Silai label garments are ploughed back to these women, enabling them to earn up to INR 5,000 per garment. This additional income is transforming their lives by helping their families access better education, nutrition, and medical aid. The intent is to empower each of them to amalgamate the local culture with what they have learnt, helping release their creative and entrepreneurial spirit.