Varana is a fashion and lifestyle brand founded by Indian graphic designer Sujata Keshavan. Charlotte Pasha talks to her about quality and celebrating artisanal work.


How did you get into fashion?


“In India I grew up with beautiful fabrics around me.

“I was awestruck by the skill and complexity displayed in their making. India has a vast tradition of weaving and printing of fabrics that goes back thousands of years.

“I wanted to make design from this region relevant to the rest of the world.”

What does Varana offer?

“Beautiful crafted furniture, textiles and art, in addition to our main offering which is fashion.

“As an artisanal luxury brand that celebrates history, culture and craftsmanship, we use the best natural fibres with an emphasis on the hand made.

“At our heart are the gifted artisans we work with. We hope to create new markets for the makers, giving them a livelihood and fostering pride in their skills.”


Where are Varana’s pieces crafted?

“The fabrics are woven, printed or knitted in different parts of the sub-continent from the Himalaya in the North, Rajasthan in the West, Bengal in the East and in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the South.

“The garments are designed and sewn in our atelier in Bangalore.

“Our textile designers are from India, the fashion designers and pattern makers are from Italy and France and our knitwear designer is from Japan.”


Tell me about the 2019 collection?

“This year we are working with the idea of The Tree of Life.

“Using an 18th century Palampore chintz painting as inspiration, we’ve deconstructed the elements and rendered them through appliqué cut work and ari hand embroidery.

“Birds and flowers from the original painting have been re-designed into prints. We’ve used colours for spring and jewel tones for winter.”


Why is Mayfair right for the flagship?

“London is truly cosmopolitan and its people are very receptive to new ideas.

“Dover Street has some terrific stores like Victoria Beckham, Jimmy Choo and some wonderful art galleries.”


What is next for Varana?

“America is definitely on our radar since we get a lot of customers from there. We plan to do many exciting things!”


For the full interview in the Mayfair Times, read here.

To find out more about Varana, read here.