Designer Malini Ramani believes that fashion cannot be confining and limiting to an artist. At times, a simple leap of faith is all one needs fulfil your dreams. A forerunner when it comes to resort wear in the country, Ramani, has decided to bid adieu to the business of fashion, putting an end to a two-decade innings in the industry.
"I love designing clothes, shoes, cushions, lampshades, I am a designer at heart. But I did not want to be put in a box," she reveals to IANSlife. She firmly believs it is the right time experience something new, and took the decision no earlier than three weeks ago.
But what made designer, who is loved by the fashion circle take such a momentous decision? To give up the hustle and bustle of the fashion circuits? To close down her Delhi and Goa stores?
Why did she take a decision to break free from fashion? "This was a well thought out decision, it is something that I was considering for some time," she replied. Ramani was one of the first to introducing glamour to traditional silhouettes and now she's trading in the 'sexy life' for a sustainable road ahead.
"I love designing clothes, shoes, cushions, lampshades, I am a designer at heart. But I did not want to be put in a box, heading to only one direction of being "this type" of fashion designer, who has to follow these kind of rules, and has make things in a particular way, etc... it was just not working for me anymore. Having said so, I love designing clothes, it has always been the number one passion in my life," she reveals.
Malini is not ignorant to the crisis created by the ongoing pandemic, and believes, "due to whole situation that is happening around the world, with a dark cloud hovering around everyone's head, this is not the time to be designing bright, shiny attires suited for parties. It is not something aligned to my beliefs." The fashion industry is one of the worst hit businesses as result of the economic slowdown created by SARS-COV-2; some of the worlds biggest luxury houses and high street brands are feeling the heat. Indian fashion designers haven't been spared either.
"Given that the industry is experiencing continuing issues like high inventories, running costs and rents, while orders have been very lean due to the lockdown, business has been very grim. The stores are closed, and it has been terrible," says Ramani. "But there are a lot of stakeholders who have been very fair, for example, Emporio (Mall). It is incredible to see people with such big hearts who can understand the situation. It is their way of helping out," she adds.
How does she think the fashion industry is responding to these difficult times? "Things are very unpredictable right now. Everybody is trying to survive from one day to the next. I cannot speak for everyone else, so I will not generalise, each person is dealing it in their own way. Maybe someone is losing a loved one, or someone is struggling with their kids, so it is difficult to judge anyone. But people are coping and helping others to survive and being empathetic to the situation," she replies.
Besides being a fashion designer, Malini is a self confessed mixed media artist, who also ran a restaurant in Goa, called 'Congo', chosen as one of the best night spots in the world by 'Traveller' magazine. The Kundalini Yoga Teacher hopes to spend more time in Rishikesh and to focus on sustainable and holistic initiatives going forward.
Can one expect a new brand from the house of 'Malini Ramani'? "I will definitely come up with a new line. But at the moment I am taking a little break. I have been running a factory, and a business, working with my tailors, staff, weavers and many other stakeholders for the last twenty years. For the first time in this period, I just want a few months for myself, with a free mind-- I will be studying more, getting to learn more about well-being and holistic living," she revealed.
As the veteran moves on to new experiences, what words of wisdom would she like to share with young fledglings who are keen to make a name in fashion? To this Ramani sums up, "Not only designers, anyone who has a business, or looking forward to start one in fashion or any industry my advice is that do not give up on your dreams. Also, do not get stuck too. The trick is to go with the flow. If an idea comes, and you are stuck on this one idea and it hits a dead-end, just look the other way because there is road leading to the other direction, which you should pursue. The key is to be more fluid and flexible. This is exactly what the current scenario has taught us...it is all about the flexibility."