Scintillating Sanchita


After returning to India in 2005, Sanchita Ajjampur wanted to design a line of clothing that would embody the distinctive style of the modern traveller and collector and the spirit of the urban nomad. Her vision was to make clothes that can be worn anywhere in the world and she started the brand Sanchita. Sanchita started out designing for women and later on expanded into footwear and accessories. She debuted in 2010 with the menswear collection. Her style is an original and synergic blend of global styles with an Indian essence. Sasha Madan talks to the bright and talented designer.


Give a brief description of your brand Sanchita
Sanchita is a unique compendium of recherche pieces of timeless expression and affordable quality. Interspersed with playful and free-flowing elements, my collections play with textural sensuality, decoration is shaped into an eloquent narrative and the finishings are haute couture.

What is the inspiration behind the brand?

Iam a lover of art, nature, culture, creativity, diversity and individualism.Iam inspired by all these as well as the places i have lived in and spent time in during my journey in life so far. My mother has been another great inspiration. Her style, her outlook on life and her strength as a woman have hugely inspired and encouraged me to start my own label. The products created are borderless and are inspired by various parts of the world depending on each collection.

What is your  latest collection about?

My latest collection comprises avant-garde jewellery reconfigured from the intricate artistry of the Mughal Empire, melding traditional crafts and modern sensibilities,unexpected combinations of elements from folk ornamentation and jewelled bugs, onhand tatted fringes and accessories, veritable images of animal headed chimeras and winged animal characters drift fleetingly on glazed hides, ink drawings in mineral tones abstracted and diminished to a miscellany of luscious blooms on supple leather, ballet shoes and bags with supple, engineered hides handcrafted with gathered cultural references and reworked old traditions. The spring/summer 2012 apparel collection explores Japanese structures and blurs formal deco elements and streamline design with couture finishings to create a modernist resort look. It is a story of asymmetries and draping, elliptical and ovoid vests and tees with gathered paper-bag waists `and hems, conical and drop-waist tops and knee-length dresses artfully embellished with textured ton-sûr-ton and contrasting degrade floral appliques. Floaty kaftans in striking new twists and vibrant graphic motifs, voluptuous evening gowns with harness-style shoulder straps, intriguing accessories with a story to tell, harem-style, semi-structured and lounge pants. It is a celebration of conceptual craft and narrative decoration in materials dipped into tropical colours and popsicle tints, such as watermelon, cherry, root beer, grape, lime, pineapple, ice and blueberry.


Sanchita dress

What is the USP of the brand Sanchita?

Creativity and wearability fuse together with Sanchita because trends/fashion phases are not as important as an inspiration. The nomadic essence of the Sanchita brand bows to modernity, skillfully fusing fashion and art into eclectic and original clothing concepts on a quest for a rare and natural beauty. The core ideology of the brand is “a modern nomad”. The brand is mainly for the cosmopolitan women who seek work of timeless expression and develop an emotional bond with the products.


What is the price range of the apparel, footwear and accessories designed by you?

I design clothes for those who understand the work put into each piece that I create. Exclusivity is part and parcel of the product as the collection is the result of months of research, development and technical innovation. The price of the product is based on a carefully calculated formula of the cost of manufacturing and wholesale and MRP margins. The pricing strategy directly affects the final sales and brand value. The price range depends on the style of the clothes and starts from Rs3000, the footwear is in the range of  Rs3500-Rs10,000 and accessories cost Rs2000-Rs10,000


What materials do you use in apparel, shoes and accessories?

We use natural and eco-friendly materials tested for quality from lab dips and toxic-controlled finishings, the use and innovation of heritage embroidery and ornamentation crafts. Materials range from tie-and-dye nappa, foil-coated nappa and knitted multicolour nappa to glazed kidskin and jute. My collections are made by the sister company Sanfab India Pvt Ltd., founded by my brother and me. The company is based on a European production model. Our factory is based in Bangalore and we employ a total of 550 people, including 150 master embroiderers and craftsmen. The goal of the company is to create a stable environment for talented and vanishing resources, promoting ancient crafts and innovation and investing in professional growth.

strong>Who are your target audience?

The women’s collection is designed for a seductive, fragile yet strong woman who uses her femininity to dress more than her fantasy, desires and beauty. A modern nomad whose fashion style weaves dreams to master the mundane. The global travelling community and its outsider lifestyle is the inspiration for my menswear range, which dips into regional influences, is rich in hand-me-down appeal and timeless expression.

What is the retail presence?
In India the brand sells in approximately 38 stores located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Goa, including the two flagship stores at The Leela Galleria in Bengaluru and White in New Delhi. Worldwide, the collection retails in concept stores through showrooms in Milan, Paris and Dusseldorf.
Do you sell online?
I use the net as a showcase but nothing can replace the personal satisfaction that comes from capturing the visual impact and feel of a product through physical contact. It is important to appreciate not only the look but also the personal experience of choosing a Sanchita item, to explore the semantic nuances, textures and colours as well as trying the fit and choosing the coordinates and accessories to team with the chosen outfit. The USP of the Sanchita brand is the play on senses that only comes across fully when you can actually see and touch the piece. Although that doesn’t mean I’m ruling out future plans for e-commerce. We are a fairly small company and prefer to take it one step at a time.

What are the current shoes & accessory trends according to you?
Sandals, soft and pointy flats, ballet shoes, high and low-wedged sandals with bold, graphic cuts, mystical plumes and radical styling are in vogue. Totes, clutches, frame bags are hot this season. These can be worn with chunky Mogul jewellery and heavy duty cuffs.
What are your future plans?
I recently showcased my AW12/13 collection at the WILFW in February, India’s most acclaimed fashion show, in collaboration with Fiamma. I was also at the 27th India International Leather Fair (IILF) in Chennai, a major event on the leather industry’s calendar slated for Jan 31 to Feb 2 sponsored by Swarovski, and showed how they incorporate their crystals and stones into original embellishments on leather, suede and nappa using a mix of special techniques and heritage crafts. My collections were showcased at the recently held LFW in Mumbai. Iam looking forward to showcasing my collections at the upcoming fashion weeks like the Bangalore Fashion Week (BFW).

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