Designing a Difference
Vivacious and in sync with fashion, Banee Batta is an unlikely designer one would encounter in PSS. ‘Working in PSS has made me realise that I want to only work for non profit. It’s here that I get the most satisfaction to see my design ideology has the power to making a difference in someone’s life.’
Born and brought up in Doon, she joined NIFT Bombay to do her textile designing after her schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary. On completion of the course she taught for a year at a Design Institute but wanted to do her Masters. She got through Istituto Marangoni , Milan, spending a year doing Surface and Textile design, scored the highest in the last semester. She returned to India to take up a job working as a trainee with Louis Vuitton – but left within four months to take up a teaching design in Graphic Era university. Within two months she realised it was not what she wanted and she joined PSSS. It has been two years that she insists has been the most riveting and satisfying.
Together with Astha the two designers have built a rock solid partnership that help them to create new designs as well as bring their indivdual strengths to enhance collective growth of PSSS. Both the designers besides creating new designs also take on the onus to work with individual clients once the marketing person makes the initial contact. This helps in understanding and creating specific designs for corporates, stores and boutique hotels and spas. ‘We have realised that marketing our products is important’ , so Banee helps out with photo shoots, creating catalogue and helping with website helps in better PR and create personal contact, as the real game begins with marketing and PR.’
PSSS’s order from Vana, an exclusive boutique spa, for their fifth anniversary made them come up with exclusive designs using Vana’s peepal leaf logo for memorabilia and notebooks got them a lot of praise and repeat orders. Around the same time they got two travel companies – an Australia based Adventure World Travel and another called Learning Journeys. The two designers along with Chinni designed exclusively as per the desired expectation creating tote bags, luggage tags, travel pouches and folders.
‘Our handwork is respected all over the world especially our cause of women empowerment, proper diet, training and self dependency has gained a lot of ground with like minded people who want to give back to the community.’
After the Lakme Fashion Week, both designers believe they are still taking baby steps with ready made garments. PSS quilted jackets are available in Either Or in Pune, Angadi Galleria in Bangalore – where their meticulous finish and attention to detail helped them. All India Artisan Craft Workers Welfare Association is also helping PSS promote their garments as well as help out with research and development. In a continued cycle of giving the PSS also attracts a lot of interns from fashion institutes across the country. Aided with theme and direction the interns are helped by an artisan assigned to them. Says Banee, ‘There are so many brands like PERO that started from Rajasthan and does great work with embellishment have gone all the way to Milan and have become international brands. There are many celebrities who flaunt their work. We too should push our boundaries our patchwork, applique, embroidery, quilting should be able to face international market. Right now we are busy building our brand name – Purkul Stree Shakti.’