Bringing stories of desi design and craft to the fore, this young entrepreneur is celebrating India and its diverse talents.
Passion stems from a deeper connect with certain life experiences. Deepa Reddy too was first inspired to make fashion her calling when she laid eyes on the intricately-woven saris that her grandmother had, and observed with rare abandon, her grandmother’s fashion sensibilities.
“This inspiration stayed with me through the years. Finally, I decided to foray into the world of fashion,” says the girl behind The Open Trunk, an online portal for woman of all ages for designer clothes and accessories from Indian weaves, textiles and karigars. Deepa aspired to bring together a rich diversity of Indian weaves, styles, fibres, shades, prints and crafts.
The aim was to bring to the fore a graceful and rich legacy of Indian textiles and craftwork that highlights traditional and contemporary fashion for women. “I believe that India has a very rich legacy with arts and crafts. We wanted to promote weaver’s stories and make fashion forward outfits while bridging the age gap,” says Deepa, who has searched for desi designers and karigars who offer this special Indian essence, and has also personally handpicked them.
The girl born and bred in Bengaluru comes from a business family and thus, venturing into her own niche was always on the cards. It was only a matter of time. Her ideas resonate from a simple belief that Indian women need choices that are not heavy on the pocket, with an understanding of the diverse age groups and their needs, “We started on July 11, 2016. Passionate about providing quality Indian clothing that is not extremely expensive but curated with understanding, we recognised the gap for fashion for the elderly and decided to foray into this niche segment. We thoroughly enjoy women who, irrespective of their years, love putting their best foot forward. Everybody vies for quality clothing which is my belief and offering,” Deepa explains.
Of the Indian designers, she has her own personal favourites, “I admire Anamika Khanna and Sabyasachi Mukherjee along with Tarun Tahilliani and a whole host of Indian designers,” she says.
But her memories of the early days starting out are of how fashion itself brought people together, “We have many memorable moments. I remember a mother and daughter duo who were so encouraging of each other’s choices that it left me feeling happy that fashion can bring forth a bond and a smile on every person’s face, and we could bridge the gap,” she adds.
The rich and vibrant work of Sabyasachi Mukherjee has always fascinated Deepa, and for her, it is his design and sensibility that left an indelible mark. Which is probably also something that guides her on her forays across workshops and karigars.
Travelling and shopping are the two activities Deepa loves to indulge in, because they are both a work in progress, and a chance to explore new ideas and craftmenship. “I enjoy shopping in London the most. I do enjoy browsing online and also discovering new designers with a quirky yet vintage appeal during my trips abroad.”