Travel+Leisure India & South Asia’s champion of Brand India – Design is Raghavendra Rathore who serves as flag bearer of heritage and culture in textiles through traditional craftsmanship. In a conversation with the publication, the designer talks about bringing sustainability to couture, the future of Indian fashion, and more.
Excerpts from the interview with Raghavendra Rathore
T+L India: Apart from the bandhgala, what is your favourite aspect of Indian clothing?
Raghavendra Rathore: Owing its origins to the heritage clothing worn by aristocracy in court, the waistcoat—a derivative of the bandhgala—has become one of the most popular men’s outfits in India. The Jodhpuri waistcoat can be paired beautifully with formal pants or tapered slick modern jeans and therefore stands to be the most versatile outfit in my wardrobe.
T+L India: You were one of the first designers to use the ‘Brand India’ positioning for an Indian company. What does this mean to you?
Raghavendra Rathore: Being an ambassador for Brand India Design and Fashion on a global platform, our brand is positioned as a flagbearer of heritage and culture through the traditional craftsmanship that we are known for. We take great pride in taking inspiration from our roots and translating them into heirloom pieces that can be treasured for years.
T+L India: What is the need of the hour for Indian fashion, according to you? What direction do you see it taking?
Raghavendra Rathore: The world is making great strides towards sustainability. Interestingly, India was a forerunner in the concept of sustainability stemming from khadi to natural dyes and all things natural. To inculcate this thought and belief not only at the brand level but also amongst the consumers is of utmost importance.
T+L India: What is in the offing for Raghavendra Rathore, the brand?
Raghavendra Rathore: As a brand, Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur has always tried to bring innovation in the realm of fashion and design with a consistent offering of accessories—be it through the integration of new technology, incorporating artificial intelligence, or the ready-to-wear label RR Blue that is a perfect example of fast-moving vibrant styles for a discerning clientele that is aware of classic aesthetics but is looking for chic- contemporary looks.
T+L India: What is the one thing the world needs to learn from Indian fashion industry?
Raghavendra Rathore: That heritage and culture can create art and in this case, through clothing and accessories.
T+L India: There is a lot of talk about sustainable fashion. What are your tips for buyers regarding this?
Raghavendra Rathore: Be conscious and make the effort of being aware of what you are purchasing, and of its journey. You will be surprised how just a little bit of effort can have a greater impact than you can imagine.
Favourite fashion destination: Narlai near Ranakpur
Favourite fashion trend: ’30s and ’40s fashion style
Related: Meet The T+L Champion Of Indian Couture: Manish Malhotra, The Designer Who Put Indian Fashion On The World Map