KOCHI: There is no one better than Sukanya Bhataacharya herself to represent ‘Prathaa’. Founder of the label which translates to ‘weaving traditions’, Sukanya is in Kochi as part of Chennai-based brand Lime Soda’s two-day pop-up fashion event, ‘Summer Hues’ at French Toast, Kacheripady.
Based out of Mumbai, Prathaa celebrated its third year anniversary in March. Sukanya’s brainchild solely focuses on weavers and handlooms.
“Travelling took me to the interior villages of India. For someone who finds fabric therapeutic, I realised there were a lot of beautiful weaves and art in India nearing extinction. This triggered Prathaa,” says Sukanya, whose attire speaks for the brand. Dressed in saree, which is a clear fusion of the ethnic and boho, Sukanya has channelled her vision onto the brand. “I love Indian cotton weaves. There is a subtle fusion of both ethnic and boho in the label. There is a reflection of my bohemian personality in the brand,” she says.
The former branding consultant believes in the restoration of weaves. “If a group of like-minded people come together, I’m positive the dying craft can be revived,” she continues. As for Prathaa, the ‘Pra’ is in the Devanagari script, while the ‘thaa’ is in English. “The label explains the aspect of fusion. It is about weaving traditions and serving two ends of the spectrum. At one end, I serve our weavers and create a market for them. At the other, it’s the customers. We want the latter to make informed purchases. Making clothes and selling them is comparatively an easier job than connecting two ends of the spectrum,” the fashion entrepreneur says.
Unlike other brands, Prathaa’s consumers span three generations. “It is for the grandmother, the mother, and daughter. I can’t define a fixed age group, my customer is evolved and makes classy choices. I study my consumers as per psychographics. And I’ve found they are extremely good humans,” she says, mentioning about the times her customers have welcomed her home during her travels. Sukanya’s dreams are more than big. “There is a lack of education within the market. People buy power looms instead of handlooms. A lack of awareness stops them from differentiating between the two. In future, I’d like to conduct workshops and demonstrate the subtle nuances of weaving to our customers. My vision is beyond tailoring. It is not about competition, but collaboration,” she says. When questioned if she follows current trends, she laughs, “We create stuff that becomes trends.”