In a Conversation With Odisha’s Fashion Designer: Jagriti Biswal

by Priya Bharti

Jagriti Biswal, an emerging fashion designer from Odisha, is hitting the heights in the fashion world today. Jagriti is basically from Odisha with a motto of reviving the actual tradition of  India. She loves to take risks in the field of designing be it Indo-western fusion, handlooms, or any new fusion. The young designer is kind and down to earth which is appreciable all over.

Our Senior Reporter Priya Bharti had a conversation with her. Let’s know more about the designer in her own words…

Excerpts of the conversation

Q. It’s quite tough to convince parents about fashion, designing, journalism, or anything beyond! So did you do that?

And. It’s tough but I pursued my course at the School of Fashion Technology which is a government college, so I had one thing in my mind I needed to do that, and my dad is very particular about the things. He’s like, if you are choosing anything then you have to give your best to it. So I prepared my mind that had to get the scholarship in order to go to Milan.

Q. Tell Us what fashion means according to you; define fashion in your words.

Ans. Fashion means expressiveness; Fashion means I have the freedom to express what I am. Yes, and I do not think. If there is anything called strength, there is anything called as you need to do this in order to look good. I believe in that. I feel fashion is a language and is the only language in which you can express yourself.

Q. At what age did you have the thought of being a fashion designer?

Ans. Well, I was in class 5th when I had this thought.

Q. Tell us more about your work.

Ans. I was working at Sahi Exports and working for Zara as well as a fashion designer. I was working in the Denim Section for Zara’s upcoming.

Q. There must be something that sparked your interest in fashion designing! What is that?

Ans. Yeah, I have to become a fashion designer. The thing is, I used to always travel with my mom too, since a very young age, she always buys the fabric, you know, hand. She always wears handloom and handicrafts. Yeah, so she won’t buy it from shops. She’ll go to the interior in order to buy that. Weavers and artisans, she’ll meet weavers and artisans from interiors and then buy from them. So she used to take me with her because she knew I had an interest in these things. I started learning about those handlooms, handicrafts, and textiles and soon I developed a soft corner for them.  I have fused pieces of denim a lot. I keep on experimenting with things.

Q. What kept you motivated?

Ans. Working with weavers and artisans all over India, and trying to use their craft, their brains, as per the trends with my creativity, and make something new and of course their smiles kept me motivated.

Q. OK, so you have your own startup also, right! What’s your startup about?

Ans. Yeah, And I too left my job for that it’s about me and goes by the thought of reviving the tradition of India. I think handlooms handicrafts. Those Weavers, those artisans, are the living tradition of our country. I think that is the thing we can pride ourselves upon. So and that is somewhere going off because. If I go to any other designer stores, I just want to give an example if I’m going there; what I see is a day are trying to uplift handler, but you’re just making sarees! Which is not, which is not marketable on a larger scale. Bring something new! Hire designers.

Bringing something new is what I think. So my goal, my main goal is. If I am going to say suppose wrapped now and I am learning about the different arts and all these things. I am picking that up. I am learning what they’re doing, you know, the whole process, the mythology behind it. Why? Why not the colors, the type of fabrics they’re using. Everything. I’m learning. I’m coming back. I am using my brain, so I suppose this is the trend that is following.

Q. What are your further plans for designing! What are you up to?

Ans. I have Pattachitra on denim and many more things going on. I have so many things that are done and many are about to be! As I said I keep on experimenting. I vibe, this is my age to experiment, so I keep on designing the newest collections as much as I can in order to bring something new because my goal for the long term is to, make this long-living tradition of the handlooms and handicrafts alive.

Q. Can you please tell me who inspired you to become a fashion designer?

Ans. My grandmother. Yeah, because she always used to do crochet. She used to make dolls and all these things, you know! All sand embroideries are quite offbeat for fashion designers.

Q. What do you love to design the most?

Ans. The Indian version is worth it! I feel it is literally 6 yards of grace.  But when I go for designing, I am a little experimental in nature. I am very experimental and find out something new.

Q. So your personal styling is Learning something new, right?

Ans. Something new always excites me, so if we ask about our differentiation from other designers.

Q. So, do let us know what the biggest lesson of your fashion design journey is?

Ans. Recently, I was in a very good place. I was earning good, I was happy. I was watching the essence. Everything was happening but in between that, What happened is that I got a little scared. I had the fear factor coming up. And I couldn’t fight it, maybe because I wasn’t having a good vibe, There are a lot of things that you need to do when you’re coming up as a brand. And I’m obviously not great at everything.  I cannot be analytic and creative at the same time. So at that phase, there needs to be someone who has to take up the analytic part.

In short Do not mess up with things much, seek help or switch to better, this is a lesson I learned. I switched, and now I am at a level best. It’s only because I switched off this fear factor. So if you have fear, take some time back, sit down, analyze, learn, see other entrepreneurs, talk to other entrepreneurs, talk to small businesses, learn things, and absorb everything that is possible.

Q. So something you would like to share with our audience some something inspirational or something motivating.

Ans. I just want to say one thing to the young generation, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, try to do something where you can help someone. Always try to help if you can. If you have the privileges. Just do it. Do not think anything; just do it. Whatever field you are in, even if you are an engineer, you can do it even if you are an architect. You can do it even if you are an architect. You can use your spare time to build homes for the needy. So whatever field you are in, you would not have to spend too much in order to make it. So just make it. That’s nice. Use your power user privileges to help whoever you want. This is your age, so you can really do it. You do not have any other button on you, so just help is what I think.

Moral (Be the superhero of your own story Start, Struggle, Survive, Share, Spread Love)

By – Priya Bharti 

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