How It Grew From A One Room Store To An International Success
Almost every girl dreams of wearing a Sabyasachi outfit!
Back in 2012, Oprah Winfrey visited Sabyasachi store in Mumbai, ignoring all other designers. Carving a niche for himself in a world of fashion, Sabyasachi Mukherjee is one of the Associate Designer Members of Fashion Design Council of India and the youngest board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema. Sabyasachi, which started off as a local fashion label in 1999 with a workforce of three people, is today a renowned name in the fashion industry. Sabyasachi is the only Indian designer to be invited to showcase his label at the Milan Fashion Week 2004. When one thinks Sabyasachi, one thinks sarees. As of now, the brand has flagship stores located in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Limited pieces are also showcased by other retailers in various parts of India, as well as select international retailers in California, Atlanta, London and Dubai.
The journey of Sabyasachi Mukherjee so far!
Since the very beginning of his childhood, Mukherjee had a keen interest in handicrafts and craftsmanship. He was born in a middle class Bengali family. His mother was a professor in a Government College and his father had an average job. Growing up he always took the famous designer Rohit Khosla as an inspiration. At the age of 15, Sabyasachi decided to express his interest in fashion. However, at the same time his father lost his job. His parents refused to support him in his decision and they had no financial sources to pay for his further studies.
He ran away from home and worked as a waiter in Goa for a short period as his parents refused to give him the money for his NIFT exam. Being determined about his passion, Sabyasachi then sold all his books and solely paid for his education through relentless hard work. After graduating from NIFT in 1999, he decided to come up with his own label with a Rs. 20,000 borrowed from his sister. The store started off with only three employees at hand. He used to fix beds in the workshop and made his work his life. He would work on his designs through the night sometimes and this trend continued relentlessly for about five years. Sabyasachi debuted at the Indian Fashion Week in 2002. The Women’s Wear Daily praised and proclaimed him as the future of Indian Fashion and this encouraged him further to follow his dreams. Going forward, he made his first international runway debut in 2003 with the Grand Winner Award at the Mercedes Benz New Asia Fashion week in Singapore. The man was receiving immense praise from everyone and this was just the beginning. Sabyasachi went on to represent his label in several fashion events and 2006 was the turning point of his career. He was asked to showcase his collection The Nair Sisters at the prestigious Oxford University annual black tie charity dinner fashion show. That is when he grabbed everyone’s attention and people across the globe started recognising him. He represented his exquisite range of designs at the New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Bridal Asia, Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week and the list goes on. Sabyasachi definitely knows the art of making an outfit look striking and phenomenal. In the year 2012, the designer styled a calendar for which Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia dressed up as famous painter Frida Kahlo who has been the designer’s inspiration. Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s Autumn Winter 2015 collection at Amazon India Couture Week (AICW) was a collaboration with French luxury footwear and fashion designer Christian Louboutin.
Apart from his national and international ventures, Sabyasachi works for a cause as well. He started a project called Save the Saree, where he retails hand woven Indian sarees on a nonprofit basis priced at Rs. 3500 and the entire proceed goes to the weavers of Murshidabad.This initiative is also strongly supported by Bollywood divas like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Vidya Balan.
He made his fashion label Sabyasachi’s debut in the film industry with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Black for which he won the National Award in 2005 for the Best Costume Designer for a feature film. Impressed by his incredible designs, many Bollywood films featured Sabyasachi’s label in their films including Baabul, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Raavan, Guzaarish, Paa, No One Killed Jessica and English Vinglish.
Recently, Anushka Sharma wore a pale pink lehenga and Virat Kohli wore an ivory raw silk sherwani designed by Sabyasachi at their not so high profile wedding.
Apart from these celebrities, Sabyasachi’s clienteles include Samantha Akkineni, Aliaa Bhatt, Rani Mukerji, Sridevi, Tabu, Shabana Azmi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sushmita Sen and Kareena Kapoor Khan and several other actors.
Apart from our national beauties, International actresses who opted for Sabyasachi are Renée Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon.
For the last 15 years, Sabyasachi Mukherjee has pioneered the use of Indian handlooms in his designs. His iconic Khadi, cotton and silk handcrafted outfits have won the hearts of people from all over the world.