Founders | Women Series | Rina Singh
Women series is a monthly edit to explore creative entrepreneurship amongst women globally. Through this series, we wish to understand creative journeys, challenges, inspirations and develop a community. This month we interviewed Rina Singh of EKA, an indie textile based fashion brand.
Tell me about how your creative journey started. Did you have creative influences growing up? What education/ training did you receive?
I've lived across Kurukeshtra my hometown, Saharanpur my maternal hometown, Rajasthan and boarding in Himachal.So I've been influenced by daily of agriculturists to pursue a simple living and also life in a boarding taught me articulation of my thoughts.I would always make clothes and curios at home whether or not a designer yet, I still was considered good at making and styling. Later after finishing my graduation at Jodhpur university, I pursued studying fashion on scholarship at Wigan & Leigh College.I later went on to finish my course in UK. A post graduate diploma in fashion.
What has been the source of inspiration for you( people, travel, places, cultures etc)?
Largely Culture, I am from a family of agriculturists. So simple living, making locally, and wearing ethical clothes ( adder of khadder or khadi ) , growing our own food, sourcing local means of sustainable living.. had been ingrained in y life philosophy early on. later through education and working with Nift and later on with ITC and travelling across the globe made me more aware of local knowledge and wisdom. I am extremely charmed by rural life in India, my weavers their life style has a simplicity that motivates me. and also getting the kind of response we get to the earnestly of the product from across the world adds fuel to the fire, of going back and toiling agin. It gives us larger recognition and originality of thought.
Can you also talk about your experience of working in the Indian Design industry and the challenges you face. With a growing trend of Artisanal products, how do you keep your story and product relevant? Do you think your cultural identity brought influences at work?
Indian Design Industry like the country itself is varied.there is no single way to describe it. there is a taste for 'more' and there is a growing taste for 'less' on the clothes. theres is a rising awareness for ethically produced, natural textiles and home grown designs thats ore relevant to climate, culture and is not driven by trend. It is a step in the right direction I think, So long as we are able to keep our focus intact and grow our consumers.. I always go back to restart fro the roots and work strongly on the product. each season is a learning, each season the product is evolved and edited, and that no one else can learn, unless the sae path is followed. So i thin k "more the merrier".. Nothing takes away your story, your learnings and your product so long as I don't waver with the changing market and loose focus on what i set out to do.Yes culture definitely effects the work and its outcome, its representative of entire lifestyle and thought cycle and doesn't only pertain to a season or a trend.There fore there is longevity of a value preposition or idea, or a reconnection each season with the originality of the collection.
What is the step forward for your personal projects? Would you like to share any? Could you comment about 'being a creative soul' and How does travel facilitate your ideas?
I am still exploring so much. the mind opens to cross cultural collaborations, in materials, spaces and products. Creativity if fuelled with the right thought can only grow, it expands and evolves, it finds a direction on its own, starts editing, starts emulating, and reconnecting. Its amazing how it flourishes with travel, finding new expressions to common ideology, like even noticing how differently the doors , the ceilings, the space design, the architecture, the colours could be fro one place to another. its all design driven., Creativity i think frees you of boundaries of many kinds, its un limiting and expansive.
"the blessing is you are always true to your self, and the band is you are always true to your self "