Its appearance alone is enough to identify brocade. Defined by raised woven patterns, the rich fabric is highly favored for evening wear and wedding ensembles. When Raw Mango entered the Indian fashion spotlight 12 years ago in 2008, no one would have guessed the magnitude of impact the new label would have on Indian hand looms, the resurgence of brocade and celebrity trends. Over time, Sanjay Garg’s fashion brand became a well-loved name, especially by Bollywood’s stars. From Alia Bhatt to Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor to Anushka Sharma, it has complemented the chic and contemporary ethnic aesthetic of many celebrities.
Think brocade and its association with the traditional saree is immediate. For Sanjay, it went beyond that. The possibilities of brocade may even seem boundless. On the prime role it played in Raw Mango’s collections, Sanjay says, “Varanasi brocades denote a textile and is not necessarily only related to sarees. One needs to look at product diversification in order to think about a sustainable future for textiles, and brocade offers that possibility.”
Accepting traditional Indian wear and its garments the way they were always viewed wasn’t a question for Sanjay. With a keen focus on textiles, Raw Mango has transformed quintessential brocade and lent it a minimally chic, modern aesthetic that is coveted today. “From engineered panel lehengas, to new motifs of monkeys and angels being woven or quilted brocade jackets, we have addressed various vacuums. Whereby the purists see brocade within particular classic design parameters, we question the visual imagery of textiles and are able to offer new options to the market,” confirms Sanjay.