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Leh studios

A Vision for Fashion Post Covid with Leh Studios

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Amidst rising conversations around local, handmade, slow fashion in a world that will now be defined by the luxury in the essential than the opulence in excess, Himi’s Leh Studios presents itself as a prototype of how the young creatives of the day envision the future. Leh Studios weaves in gender-free and size-free philosophies in each of its creations unfalteringly, like it was the only way to make clothes in 2020 (which it is). His clothes are unhinged from social normcore, much like the designer himself.

Leh Studios | Entrepret

For the designer, who has worked at ace design houses like péro, Rahul Mishra, and Lovebirds Studio, the future is a hushed palette of khadi denims, hand-made by artisans in a small Delhi studio; his first collection ‘Home Sweet Home’ is a spillover from his memories of his hometown and of the mundane ecstasies of home itself. 

We caught up with the young designer to understand his vision for Leh Studios, the inspiration behind his first collection ‘Home Sweet Home’, how he started out in the fashion industry, and more.

  1. Tell me a little about your background in fashion. Did you study fashion design? 

I did complete my degree in B.Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Shillong, and it is of great value to me and my family since I’m the first generation to do so.

  1. How did you start working in the fashion industry?

Since my first summer holiday at NIFT, I’ve been on the lookout for opportunities at magazines, designers, buyers, etc & that’s where it all started back in 2010.

Leh Studios | Entrepret

  1. You have worked with a number of ace design houses and designers. What do you think are your three greatest takeaways from that work experience?

– It has truly been a learning curve since I did want to experience wearing many hats which did not end up being successful each time, but definitely, it moved me each time to go for the next.

– Believing your instincts and energy is where it all starts. Especially for us as a new generation of creatives who seek to create a balance between our ancestral learnings and its representation today.

– Building a team only with the creatives who really understand the heart of the brand and value the process instead of the final product.

  1. A lot of people have a very rosy, often erroneous, perception of working in the fashion industry? Did you too? Or did you have an expectation vs. reality moment after you started working?

Actually, I’ve only been allowed to enroll after getting fed with the idea that “it isn’t gonna be easy”, hence I kept an open mind to wear many hats irrespective of whether I’m hired for the said job role or not. 

  1. Tell me a little about what moved you to start Leh Studios?

The need to share the narrative deeply rooted in Asian culture, valuing the importance of stories, and balancing art and aesthetics.

Leh Studios | Entrepret

  1. What are some of the challenges, logistical and financial, that you faced when Leh Studios was still in its formative stages?

I would say Leh is still in its formative stage and it does take a good amount of organizational skills to navigate through logistics and finances.

  1. What do you think some of the most undiscussed issues in the Indian fashion market are?

The Indian fashion market has its own essence and luckily I’ve been around peers who believed in communication as power. I don’t think there is anything that is undiscussed, it’s an open book, one should just know how to read it.

  1. How would you define the guiding philosophy of your brand?

At Leh Studios, it starts with a ‘think global act local’ approach that gets layered with a variety of emotions, moods, and experiences and turns out dipped in fashion.

     9. What was the process like of planning your first collection ‘Home Sweet Home’ and its campaign shoot?

It starts from a very personal approach of revisiting memories and my personal collections of clothing/books objects collected over the years, some hand me downs and some thrifted which gets cut-slashed and spread with our narratives, colors, textiles, surfaces etc. It is almost like presenting a visual autobiography; like turning emotions into something tangible.

Home Sweet Home explores the ecstasy in the ordinary, it’s an approach to reflect the highs and lows which makes a home a place like no other.

     10. What are your thoughts on sustainability and how are you incorporating it in your design practice?

Our community of artisans has worked towards reviving the Swadeshi movement by creating fabrics like khadi denim, handwoven 100% linens, or handwoven 100% silks for Leh Studios. Even our signature handwork artistry adds the most promising detail in our designs.

      11.  Lastly, as a young designer and entrepreneur, what are some of the biggest changes you would like to see in the industry?

We need to start valuing our homelands and the people who make it homefrom artisans to creators, guiding teachers to practitionerslistening to each one will have a huge impact on how we operate and what this industry means to us as new generation creatives.