Behind the Label | Aish

Enter the whimsical world of Aish. Founder Nupur Goenka created a place where the ancient Indian techniques of weaving and embroidery create scarves, shawls and sarongs with unique contemporary style.

Enter the whimsical world of Aish. Founder Nupur Goenka created a place where the ancient Indian techniques of weaving and embroidery  create  scarves, shawls and sarongs with unique contemporary style. 

  

 

What inspired you to create your collection?

 

My love of textiles and a curiosity of the craft led me down this path; although, the ultimate inspiration is travel and voyage. I strive for a unique local experience wherever I go. I always seek artisanal style and craft. All this has taught me one big lesson ? I  need to appreciate what is in my own backyard. Below is a quote that I read on Semester at Sea 13 years ago, and it still motivates me.

 

 

?We shall not cease from exploration

 

 

And the end of all our exploring

 

 

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.?

T.S. Eliot,

 

Four Quartets

 

 

 

 

What does Aish mean?

 

The Urdu word ?Aish? is a verb and it has a very simple and sometimes decadent meaning ? to take delight in luxury and pleasure.

 

 

What is unique about your process of production? How do you come up with the designs for your scarfs?

 

We work with an ?editing? mindset.  An old Jamdani saree is our canvas and we start by editing out what seems extraneous to our concept. The result is an Aish scarf with a 2000-year-old Indian motif, a color combination picked up from a surfboard spotted on the shiny beaches of California, which is finally worn as a cool cotton shawl in Tokyo.

 

  

What is Jamdani?

 

Jamdani is a 2000-year-old weaving technique and is still hand-designed in the same time-honored way. Two weavers sit side by side to create delicate designs on the finest muslin, thread by thread, on a wooden loom, with no electricity. The design is inserted by hand with a needle during the weaving process. An Aish Roxy scarf takes two people 7 days to complete. It's the ultimate luxurious accessory, crafted to keep you stylishly cool in the summer.Intricate and older Jamdani creations are included in the permanent exhibitions of The Victoria and Albert Museum in London and The Smithsonian in New York.

 

 

What is your favorite Aish piece?

All of them. If they aren?t my favorite, I don?t make it.

 

  

What are your favorite "secrets" about Calcutta?

 

1. Cheeni(sugar) toast and tea, early in the morning in Dalhousie.

2. An afternoon at the Marble Palace in Chorbagan ? staring at Rembrandts.

3. Finding the many new budding designers and embroiderers in the old winding lanes of the city.

 

 

Who is your Muse? Describe the Aish Girl.

 

I like to see how women and men with very different style languages adopt the same scarf. The only thing that is needed is an appreciation for the imperfect, to embrace the irregularities. If they want each piece to be alike and flawless, they will not be wearing Aish. A homogeneous world is a boring place.

 

 

 

Globetrotter Stats:

Souk or Department Stores?

Souk

DIY or Concierge Service? 

DIY

Buy Everything or Buy Nothing? 

I am stuck between the material and the immaterial.

Camping or 5-Star Hotel?

A little bit here and a little bit there. I like to enjoy them both.

Drive or be Driven? 

Be Driven

Room Service or Street Food? 

Street Food

Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag? 

Carry on Bag

 

To shop the collection from Aish, please click here.