In 2004 Anupama Dayal launched her eponymous label "Anupamaa" in New Delhi. With a focus on the revival of ancient hand printing and needlework techniques, her unique pashmina scarfs, saris and dresses celebrate the essence of Indian culture. Now we can also bring Anupamaa into our homes with a cheerful collection of table cloths, pillows and poufs that are guaranteed to add a touch of vibrant charm to any room in your home!
How does travel inspire your collection?
I often think about this. My collection is inspired by the fresh perspective of what I see on my travels that I bring home to my own country.
How does your collection showcase the soul of India?
India never stops inspiring me. I have lived in over 15 different parts of the country -- in the Himalayas, in villages, near rivers, in big cities. Every day when I look out of the window of my home or car, there is always a sight that fills me with excitement and jump-starts my creativity.
Give us an idea of the day in the life of Anupamaa.
My workday is a storm of activity -- supervising production, sampling, meetings with craftspeople, buyers, clients, journalists. I like to end work while there is still daylight and spend fun time with my children. I have some social commitments during the week, both professional and with friends. I also like to have some creative time in the evenings. I end my day with a book. I sleep early and I sleep very well!
What is your relationship like with the local artisans who make your product?
I feel like I grew up surrounded by local artisans. My mother is a diehard textile aficionado. We moved a lot around the country. Wherever we went, we tried to absorb the local arts and crafts.
How do you introduce glamour to handprinting and needlework techniques?
It's not a conscious goal. The search is for true handcrafted luxury. Glamour is a byproduct, it happens without searching.
Which city do you most identify Anupamaa with and why?
Anupamaa is inspired by the spirit of India but also connects to anywhere in the world where women are rooted in culture. I identify with most cities in the world and Anupamaa sits comfortably on the shoulders of any woman who is comfortable with herself.
Describe Anupamaa in 3 words.
Color, handcraft, unique.
Your collection of products keeps growing, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
We continuously add product, and differentiate and update existing products. Our Gulabi jewelry line is our first line with semi-precious gems. On the horizon is also an Anupamaa Home collection.
Who is your Muse? Describe the Anupamaa woman.
The essential Anupamaa woman is a free spirit. Her thirst for beauty and timelessness of fashion transcends trendy. She understands that fashion is a powerfully transformational tool.
Tell us about your favorite piece (or one of them) and where you were inspired to create it.
My favorite piece is the accidental or incidental creation of the now well-known Anupamaa pashmina. I was helping my friend Indrani Dasgupta, a top Indian model, shop for her wedding. We were with Kashmiri craftspeople. My role was to choose the best cashmere weaves as a textile expert. That done, she dumped the scarves on me and said "You didn't think I was going to wear these 'plain Jane scarves, did you?’ I want Anupamaa!" That is really how the Anupamaa scarf line was born.
How would you describe your own style? Please name the three staples of your wardrobe you could never live without.
I like organic, easy, and unusual. I tend to put my look together according to my mood. I respect the culture I am living in whether I'm traveling or in my own city. I love Anupamaa shirts, tunics, and scarves, footwear from Goan designer Edwin Pinto, and some basic tees from Uniqlo or Gap.
Your collection has a strong global vibe, what are some of your favorite cities to visit and why?
I love Paris, Hanoi, Istanbul, Cairo, my home city of Delhi, and many more. I like cities that have a strong history and a continuing art and craft tradition.
What are some destinations on your bucket list?
Bolivia, Chile, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Nagaland, and South Africa.
How would you describe your travel style?
I am a complete gypsy when I travel. I travel very light, eat everything, try to learn recipes, and will search the world for a single textile if I've fallen in love with it.
Which upcoming travel plans are you most excited about and why?
I'm traveling to Cambodia next year. I'm also excited about going to Odisha, an Indian state of great cultural riches, and the one that I was born in. I'm itching to rediscover it this year. I want to revisit the beautiful state of Kashmir that I haven't seen in a decade.
Souk or Department Store?
Souk, souk, souk.
DIY or Concierge Service?
Balance of both.
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing?
If I love it, then I will would rather buy everything than nothing!
Camping or 5-Star Hotel?
Both are necessary!
Drive or be Driven?
Room service or Street Food?
If forced to choose, I'll take street food. Though I do love room service, too.
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag?