Thoroughly natural and instinctive is how one can identify Arati Monappa’s designs. With an experience of more than 20 years in the business of fabric and fashion designing, Arati Monappa is the probably one of the few designers who personally ensure that their products are natural and that their creations are purely energy efficient and eco-friendly ones.
Her Emergence as a Natural Designer
Arati Monappa started her career as a designer from Ahmedabad. The label Arati that came into the scene nearly 20 years back saw its birth in 1995. Arati had been working in collaboration with a team of craftsmen who specialized in handicrafts, right from designing fabrics for export as well as dyeing them. Arati’s flair for designing blended finely with the craftsmen’s handicraft resulting in the culmination of the brand Arati.
A Look at Her Metamorphosis
Before the designer label Arati shot into the scene, her works were primarily marketed under the brand name Melange, a leading chain of women’s ethnic apparels. After launching her label, the designer, who had been in touch with different groups of craftsmen, decided to involve them under her umbrella project. She did this in an effort to improve their living standards.
Arati, in association with the All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association, brought the terms and conditions on table keeping the welfare of the artisans as the primary motive behind their employment.
While on one side, the workers were employed to encourage their work and direct it in the right direction under her flagship, on the other hand, Arati ensured that the profits earned were being utilized for providing better living conditions, education to their children and making more equipments and basic infrastructure available to them that they’d be able to utilize for other clients as well.
Her Achievements Along the Way
The year 1996 witnessed Arati invading the domain of home furnishings. The crafting and designing procedures remained the same, but the labour required was intense. The designs were eye-catching, each one redefining uniqueness while serving as a fine example of exceptional handicraft in fabric.
This was followed by an exhibition of Arati’s sari designs by the Silk Export Promotion Council in Paris. Arati was no longer a national name; she had evolved into an international brand name many recognized with.
The next year, in 1998, Arati migrated from Ahmedabad to the business centre of the nation, Mumbai. Her unique designs became a rage and to maintain her distinct style, Arati completely avoided going fully commercial. Her designs were limited too, with only a few put up at exhibitions and rest made to order.
In the year 2000, Arati was awarded the Kingfisher Fashion Award along with a few others as one of the leading names in design from the southern peninsula. The designer also targeted the Lakme Fashion Week with her array of earthy palettes of red, blue, green and different shades of brown and black, the ramp sure beheld the magic of simplicity and originality fashion could be remoulded into just with someone’s ideas working in a fine balance with the fading handicraft.
The motifs, texture of fabrics and their arrangements on the cloth to reproduce something completely unique requires extreme imagination from Arati. Arati’s natural work with silks, motifs, coconut fibre and combs to get the designs and above all, her instincts to find that right blend of colour, fabric and pattern make her a class apart.
She currently works from her boutique, Serenity, which is based out of Bangalore. Arati still uses minimalistic advertisements to keep her costs low and utilize more funds for the welfare of all artisans and craftsmen.