2014 may have been Rahul Mishra’s year, but 2015 surely looks like it belongs to Sanjay Garg. Born and raised in a small village called Mubarikpur in Rajasthan, Garg comes from a well-to-do business background. After quitting the Indian Institute of Craft & Design, he soon left to join NIFT in New Delhi, which helped him build the sensibilities required for textile design.
The designer then went on to work for store, Shades Of India, and also started taking on other small projects like the Chanderi Cluster Development Programme, where he came across weavers in the Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh. That’s when he had his aha! moment and made it his mission to make simplicity a brand statement.
Garg launched label Raw Mango in 2008 with the intention to revitalize traditional techniques to create contemporary Indian hand-woven textiles. By introducing design interventions at the weaving stage, the idea was to make textiles softer and easier to drape. The main purpose of this was to get the younger generation to develop an interest in handloom saris. He then took conventional Indian motifs like house sparrows, parrots, trees, lotuses, marigolds, cows, coins and created Indian wear in divine shades!
Today, with more than 450 craftspeople working at the helm, the brand is focused on making saris, dupattas, stoles and fabrics with minimalism as the predominant theme. Garg doesn’t believe in using “gimmickry or glamour” in his collections, instead each piece is aimed at delivering high quality pieces backed by great design. Not one to make a big show about his winning collections, he lets his work speak for himself and hardly uses any advertising. While most designers love seeing their creations splashed across fashion magazines, Sanjay Garg couldn’t be bothered. He believes curiosity is the greatest marketing tool and that is what brings his clients to him.
The designer isn’t so keen about fashion shows either. Despite being in the industry for so many years, he debuted his first ever runway collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014. The showcase included lush fabrics, which took the form of empire waist dresses, kurta-pyjama suits, and heritage saris.
The fashion fraternity simply can’t get enough of his designs. His stunning creations have been featured in Vogue, Elle, Verve, and Harper’s Bazaar Bride.
In fact, Bollywood is going gaga over his creations too! From Kajol and Sonam Kapoor to Dia Mirza, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kangana Ranaut, the stunning ladies are clearly fans of his saris! Soha Ali Khan, who tied the knot recently, also sported his a fuschia pink lehenga by him for her reception.
Garg’s sights are set on seeing Indian textiles on the global map. With a visionary approach, he only chooses to work with young craftsmen and weavers open to new ideas. His strong belief of beauty lying in imperfections is the driving force behind the brand. Without a doubt, our eyes are eagerly awaiting what Raw Mango comes up with next!
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