Fashion Designer Sangeetha Rajesh’s unique method in choosing models to display her works is heartwarming in Hyderabad. This concept is making waves in fashion world.
We have all heard about walk for a cause or themed fashions shows, but designer Sangeetha Rajesh’s perception of a fashion show is slightly different. She combined her interest in fashion designing and her compassion for children with special needs by employing the mothers of such kids as models (along with other models) to display her works.
“This is my way of spreading the message about these kids to the public. They are a blessing, and not a burden. Most of these kids come from a lower middle class background and the kind of struggle their parents undergo for their kids is unbelievable. So, in a way, this is my way of honouring all those parents who don’t cast away these kids, but fight for them everyday.”
In 2008, Sangeetha started a school with ‘inclusive education’ called Smiles, which caters to children with special needs. “Spending time with these kids and teaching them has altered my personality for the better. I can’t imagine anything that’s more satisfactory,” says Sangeetha, whose school currently has a strength 100 students.
When asked about her plans to expand the school, Sangeetha says, “I believe in personal teaching. Parents leave their kids with me in the hopes that I’ll care for them, as I do for my own kids. I don’t want my attention divided. I started this school to help these special children and not for any personal gain. So, I don’t plan on expanding any time soon.”
In 2011, Sangeetha started her own designing brand called Looms. “I’ve been all over the country, looking and learning about different fabrics, prints, among other things at the grassroot level.”
But, she soon realised that the fashion industry is highly competitive. “I wanted my designs and ideas to be copy-proof and that’s how I landed with Kalamkari works,” she says, on her choice to work with the fabrics. “Kalamkari isn’t an easy fabric to bring to the market; it has its own complications. There is a mind-set that Kalamkari is meant either for the rich or for a fashion show, and that it doesn’t fall in the ‘party-wear’ category. I wanted to make it accessible to the general public as well and doing that was a herculean task. After a lot of planning and hard work, I achieved it,” she adds proudly.
“There is always a risk of things not clicking, and that is a risk I’m willing to take. For example, if I come up with 10 ideas, eight of them don’t work out. So, I have to take the fall out of those eight ideas, if I want the remaining two to succeed. It takes 30 days to 3 months in bringing out a single Kalamkari sari,” she explains.
At the moment, Sangeetha is busy working with her website which is scheduled to launch in March this year. The website will allow people to purchase her creations online. The designer says, “We’re planning on expanding our horizons by working with other Indian fabrics like bandhini and plan on opening up branches in Chennai and Bengaluru within the next three years.” #KhabarLive