LOOKING for something bold and different in a sari? Check out Zari on Facebook, the four-month-old label by Anju Shankar and friend Sujatha Kartic that already has 7,168 likes.“People have been talking about our colour combinations. Plus, we don’t mind putting four colours like pink, orange, blue and red in one sari,”says Shankar, whose first collection sold out in a week.
It’s in genes
“I started my career as a stylist for Sangeetha Mahayudham on Sun TV (2008) and followed it with advertisements like Chennai Shopping Mall with Kajal Agarwal and Khazana Jewellers with Tamannaah,” she shares, adding that in between she was designing for her family friends which gave her the ‘confidence’ to come up with her own clothing line.
The fine arts graduate is confident about pulling it off even without a formal design degree.
“I grew up watching my grandfather K Kannan (a producer and a costume designer who worked on 700 movies) and assisted my cousin sister, Daksha Pillai, who designed for Pizza,” says the designer.
While her favourite designers are Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Arora for “his daring wacky out f i ts” and Vikram Phadnis for the variety in his bridal collection, she counts her grandfather as her biggest inspiration.
The saris come in bold colours in raw silk, tussar, chiffon, geogette net, kota, and brasso. The designer meets orders from Nigeria, UAE, the US, Netherlands, Singapore and Australia.
Her festive collection, comprising of 28 saris with a heavy border in Banarasi, wire, stone and cut works, was sold out in an hour.
“We are now doing repeat orders,” smiles Shankar, who is currently working on he r next - “sequinned and cocktail saris in black and red.”
She also does customisation and has designed lehengas for sangeets.
“We are coming up with salwar sets and heavy dupatta with patchwork, block prints and sequins. There’s plans for a store in Teynampet in January,” the designer discloses,adding that she wi l l also introduce bridal wear.