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Akshat Bansal | 29
Akshat Bansal believes in having the best of both worlds. This is perhaps why his craft, while using conventional handmade tailoring techniques, is also technologically forward in its utilisation of fabric and styles. The Delhi-based founder of Bloni says his approach is to “create something relevant to the world”. By relevant, he means clothing that is gender-and-size-fluid with oversized silhouettes, and also affordable.
After debuting with his brand in 2017, he is now launching a diffusion line in March, which will be available across major retail outlets in the country. In the last two years, his collections have reimagined the usage of the traditional chanderi fabric, and presented fabric made of marine plastic waste, among other things. “The idea is to blend craft and technology to come up with sustainable solutions that are also fashion-forward,” says Bansal, who only creates western wear.
Bansal studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi and after training as a menswear designer under Tarun Tahiliani, he got a degree from Central Saint Martins in London, and apprenticed in Savile Row to hone his skills in handmade tailoring techniques.
While Bloni was launched with a bank loan of `25 lakh and borrowings of an equal amount from friends and extended family, Bansal hopes to turn a profit this year, and also take his brand to China and the Middle East.
Tina Tahiliani Parikh, executive director of Ensemble, had worked with Bansal when he was first starting out. “His first black-and-white collection used a particular kind of dye, like shibori, which was beautiful. He shows a lot of promise.”