CHENNAI: It’s not quite often that we come across handloom wear exclusively for men. Among the limited options in the city, Thonje was set up six months back. Thonje in a South African language Chichewa means cotton. True to the name, the apparels are made of cotton, shibori and modal silk. Thonje was founded in Bengaluru in 2016 by brothers-cum-entrepreneurs - Nirav Shah and Alpesh Doshi. “I love dressing up and experimenting.
My passion for clothing pushed me to start Thonje. Men do not have many options, especially in handloom. I wanted to offer contemporary and ethnic wear in affordable pricing. Considering men are attached to stripes and checks formal wear, it does take time for them to try quirky patterns. Fashion is evolving and so are men’s choices,” said Nirav, who has a degree from National Institute of Fashion Designing, Bengaluru.
The brand offers shirts, unisex dhotis, collared short kurtas, cross-cut kurtas, seven button kurtas, blazers, and Nehru jackets. The shirts and kurtas have a neutral look and make for a comfortable workwear. With pockets and fancy collar patterns,they can be worn for an evening party too.
“We design the outfit and get them stitched at our unit in Bengaluru. The printing process takes place in Gujarat and Rajasthan by artisan clusters. The temperature there is conducive for block-printing so we prefer getting it done there. The fabrics are sourced and woven in southern parts of India. Women also like our clothing options,” said Nirav.
Their latest summer capsule collection is available with boho Indie designs. The brand caters to all age groups. Some of the quirky prints in the vegetable dyed palette include geometric block prints, buddha, coin, paisley, and warli.
Their colour palette comprises olive green, crimson, brown, beige, indigo, and rustic red. “Some are skeptical about pulling off such bold prints while others are open to stand out. People are slowly getting comfortable with the designs. We do have pop-ups and exhibitions in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The sizes are structured, fabric is light on the skin, and breezy. Most importantly, these are for men,” he said.