A sari from the Thira collection
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Heritage is a dominant factor in shaping your aesthetics and sensibilities. Hailing from Kannur aka ‘the land of looms and lore’, NIFT graduates Krishna K and Hiba Maryam are relying on their homeland’s textile tradition (dating back to the 16th century according to certain accounts) to drive their nascent brand Suee.
What started off as a product sampling for a Central Government-entrusted academic project has led to this month-old label that aims to promote Indian weaves styled in western silhouettes. “The underground water in Kannur is excellent for dyeing and helps retain the hues. We use such geographical factors to our advantage and wish to bring handloom into the mainstream through innovative designs,” says Krishna, whose firm uses pigments derived from natural materials like turmeric and acid-free vat dyes in their product line.
Suee’s initial works include two collections featuring artisans from 10 weaving societies from the Kannur cluster. The first named Thira has a red and black theme inspired by the folk art form of the region called Theyyam and highlights womenswear and kids wear. “Even though the government is promoting small-scale industries, the wages of weavers are dependent on the length of fabric they create in a day. This affects their creativity as plain and effortless work is more profitable than detailed work like on saris,” says the 23-year-old, referring to the ethnic wear-dominant set including kurtas and stoles.
Addressing the present generation’s lack of intimacy with handloom—among both buyers and craftspersons—the duo’s second line (Launch series) focuses on the modern office-going millennial and is inclusive of men. This collection sports natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, and khadi weaved into western outfits including blazers and straight pants in sober colours like pale blue and grey. “To rope in a new generation of artisans, we’re planning to share profits with the creator of each product,” informs Hiba, also hinting at an upcoming collection focussed on a colour palette of green and white. Expanding the horizon, the brand has brought in a creative head Kiran Prem and is currently sampling ornaments devised by Payyanur bell metal workers. Available online. Kurtis from `1,200 onwards Details: sueestore.com