A slow fashion platform pioneering the systemic change of how fashion operates, IKKIVI is a space for independent Indian designers who empower the artisan, revive culture and stay rooted in timeless design.
Why do so many misperceptions of Indian fashion still exist in an international market where everyone is always looking for the next best thing?
Cue IKKIVI, a slow fashion platform pioneering the systemic change of how fashion operates. They source and promote independent Indian designers who empower the artisan, revive culture and stay rooted in timeless design.
According to Nivi Murthy, founder of IKKIVI, independent designers don’t often have the resources to grow their businesses to a global platform because of the extent of labor required to be the creative and design leads. A platform like IKKIVI allows designers to communicate their stories and creative abilities to a global audience, letting designers hone in on their craft.
In a time where India is increasingly mirroring the Western world, to the influx of fast fashion giants entering India’s market (from Zara to H&M), more than ever is a platform necessary to highlight the craft of India.
Not to mention an incredibly diverse landscape of textiles and crafts belonging to each region: from Punjab’s phulkari embroidery, Rajasthan for tie-dye, Gujarat for Bandhan, and more.
Indigenous production (or Swadeshi) has been a major pillar of the Indian consciousness since the struggle against British rule. The colonial dismantling of India’s textile industry was followed by the rise of cheap mass production— creating the foundation of exploitative fast fashion models today. However, during the struggle for independence, piles of imported cloth from England (the import of which had all but destroyed India’s own industry) were publicly burnt, and long forgotten methods of hand spinning and weaving were revived as a form of resistance.
The brands that IKIVVI curates are rooted in indigenous Indian aesthetics — whether it’s the fabrics, techniques, or theme behind the collection.
Most designers have small units and produce limited quantities that make their styles unique and meaningful, and are inherently sustainable and ethical from the fabrics used to the familial relationship with their artisan partners.
For IKKIVI, each product and collection translates to a story to narrate.
Rewriting the narrative
There’s a lot to work against with the cliche conceptions of India (especially by Westerners): whether we’re talking about the nation serving as an exotic backdrop, colonial fantasies, or the idea that India is just a low-cost, center for cheap labor.
In many ways, the IKKVI platform proposes a new version of Indian minimalism, which is both recognizable in global fashion, whilst articulating uniquely Indian elements: design sensibility, knowledge of the craft, great finishing and long lasting products.
Wearing the Meron Top by Mishé.
The top features a beautiful slate grey shade that is featured through out Mishe’s collection for the season, a black & beige pattern made with cotton jute handwoven by artisans in Bengal, and hand embroidered details with handspun and naturally dyed thread from Uttarkhand.
Makeup by Virginia Vera.
Digital photos by Sanjida Bintekama.
Film photos by Liliet Rosa.
Styling by Odie Senesh.
Shot on location at Meet In Place, New York.