Sabyasachi Mukherjee is a noted Indian Fashion Designer hailing from the colourful city of Kolkata in India. Born to a middle class Bengali family, with a mother who worked as an Arts Professor in a Government College and a father who lost his job when Sabyasachi was just 15 years old, the family went through a number of rough patches, financial instability being a recurring theme.
Nonetheless, the young lad found himself deeply fascinated by his mother’s profession which largely revolved around handicrafts. By the time he reached the 6th grade, he had already decided that he wanted to be a designer. The news did not go down well with his parents, but they dismissed the idea, considering it to be just a ‘phase’. However, the apparent phase began to turn into a craze, when Sabyasachi designed his first sari in the 12th grade. Although he did not know the details of fashion technology at that point, if there was one thing he knew, it was that he wanted to become a fashion designer.
He wished to receive a formal education in fashion for which he wanted to study at NIFT (National Institute of fashion Technology) but his parents vehemently opposed the idea. They wanted him to become an engineer, and like most other parents, they couldn’t understand how designing clothes could be an appropriate career choice for a boy, hence they downright refused to fund his admission. However, his passion for design had become too intense to be done away with, so he sold his books to pay for the admission form, and it came as no surprise when he passed the exam with flying colours. From then onwards, it has been an uphill journey for the budding designer.
He graduated from NIFT in the summer of 1999 with three major awards to his name. Wasting no time at all, he started his label 'Sabyasachi' which began with a humble workforce of three people. Eventually, the label went on to become one of the leading brands in contemporary fashion, which also has a strong social perspective. In the year 2001, Sabyasachi won the Femina British Council’s award for most outstanding young Designer of India, which earned him an internship in England, under the legendary designer Georgina von Etzdor. Returning home with a hoard of innovative and edgy design ideas, Sabyasachi started retailing in all major stores in India. The following year, Sabyasachi took part in the India Fashion Week, where he earned rave reviews from the national as well as international media for his awe-inspiring debut collection.
Today, apart from being known as one of the fashion virtuosos of the nation, Mukherjee is also a valued part of the Associate Designer Members of Fashion Design Council of India and the youngest board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema. After making waves at the Indian fashion scene, Sabyasachi went on to make his debut on the international runway in 2003, with the Mercedes Benz New Asia Fashion week in Singapore. This in turn led him to a workshop in Paris by the renowned Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaia. Back in India, his collection "Kora" shown at the Lakme Fashion Week 2003, included unbleached and hand woven fabrics with hand embroidery also added to his stature as a fashion extraordinaire.
The following years brought him more success and also landed him a place in the list of ten most influential Indians by a Singapore based Business. One of his collections inspired by hand block printing and embroidery was sold at the Browns & Selfridges in London and was also requested to showcase his collections at the eminent Oxford University annual black tie charity dinner fashion show.
They say, when you put in a piece of cloth and a few threads, you get a garment, but when you put in international style coupled with ethnic panache, you get a Sabyasachi attire! The use of unusual fabrics, fusion of styles, patch-work in vibrant colours, evoke images of ancient and medieval ages, which is truly a form of international styling with an Indian soul. He truly believes that clothes should just be an extension of one's intellect.
Sabyasachi tries to maintain a noncommercial balance in an aggressively competitive commercial industry. Apart from designing for men and women, Sabyasachi has also started a kids’ wear line, as he believes that by using Indian techniques and hand looms for garments, children can be made sensitive towards the rich heritage of Indian clothing, which speaks volumes about his love for the indigenous threads.