Saturday, 9 May 2015

M A D E  i n  I N D I A

Text: Hina Nitesh

European designer duo Jonas Grier and Liane de Selys had been living and working in India for a long time before they decided to launch their own label - JOLI. The venture that began about five years ago is a result of the designers' deep understanding of our country. 

In their works, the common man and the contemporary urban scenario in which he thrives, is represented. Combine this with the traditional craftsmanship and you have an exclusive product - one that is 'Proudly made in India'

The design concept is simple - elements seen on a day to day basis on the streets are taken as inspiration. As a design exercise it is broken down into simpler elements and at times integrated with other local elements to create an exclusive final piece which has not lost its original feel. 

Their products tell the story of both the rich heritage of the country as well as the life its citizens lead in the present. It is probably this human link that makes their products vibrant and appealing across class.

As designers, they acknowledge their role towards a sustainable future. For this, they ensure that their products are made with the use of existing materials and new raw material is not produced for them specifically. For instance, their printed lungi bags are made from actual lungis.

The other aspect is that for them there is no compromise on the quality. They have recognised the skill of Indian craftsmen and hence for them their products are associated with the tag of 'proudly made in India'.

Originally intended to be a handbag line, Joli today has diversified into sectors like apparel as well. However, despite the expansion, the theme of representing the core of contemporary India remains undiluted.

Sometimes, all that a designer does is look at things from a different perspective. This is precisely what this team of two designers from Europe has done. 

What we in India would perceive as standard, has not only been questioned by them but given a whole new definition. The best part is the link with the roots that always remains and the pride that each product has in it.

All Images: Courtesy : JOLI, Proudly made in India
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