Kerala-based designer Jebin Johny is on cloud nine after the actor wore it when she was promoting Zoya Factor
When Sonam Kapoor wore a white and red sari (Big Ben sari) from Vazhakulam-based designer Jebin Johny’s Autumn Winter’19 collection, ‘Migration’, it was, for him, the ‘ultimate’. He says, unable to hide his excitement, “It takes my brand to another level! That is what I would think if someone like her wore a garment from one of my peers’ collections.” Incidentally, around four saris of the type have been sold out as a result.
The actor wore it when she was promoting her latest film Zoya Factor, and set social media buzzing way beyond anything Jebin anticipated. Sonam’s stylist is a friend of the designer’s from when he participated in the Lakme Fashion Week (2015). Last year he had sent a sari for the actor, but it that didn’t pan out, this time around he has struck gold. His interpretation and design sensibility are rooted in Kerala and for this collection, inspiration comes from Theyyam.
AW’19 is inspired by “migration”. “An NRI, when he goes overseas, migrates to God-like status with the move or that’s how we perceive them. In Theyyam, an ordinary mortal becomes a God.” Juxtaposed with the Theyyam motif is the Big Ben, “because, as a kid, I have heard people talk about going to England or wanting to go there. That ties up with the migration theme.” He too landed up there, at the University of Northampton, where he did his Masters in fashion design and textiles.
This, however, is not his first brush with celebrity, notable among them is Vidya Balan who wore a sari designed by him and very recently actor Kalki Koechlin who wore a handloom cotton ruffle dress from his Spring Summer’18 collection. All his garments are made using handloomed Koothampally fabric, printed in Bengaluru and made in Vazhakkulam. The prints are designed by the 29-year-old designer himself. An influencer posting on social media, Jebin agrees, helps in sale, visibility and most importantly, recognition. As a result of the images being posted, it has created curiosity about his label and also ended up in sales of other garments from other collections.
He is driven by conscientiousness and its by products — sustainability, being eco-friendly and indulging in fair trade practices. His yardage is printed —block, screen, and digital—in Bengaluru, using eco-friendly dyes. “The attempt is to practice sustainability, I don’t claim a 100%, but definitely a large percentage.”
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