It is said the a person fuelled with passion is unstoppable. These words ring true in the case of Monika Chordia over at Praan:t. A trained interior designer who used to do freelancing, she took a long sabbatical from work for her kids and ended it with a leap of faith into the fashion industry. Speaking about fashion, she says that she was always inclined towards design and the creative field. Fashion gave her a platform to freely express her artistry, blossoming into her now beyond successful label.
Although she has become a big name in the industry today, Ms. Chordia’s immense success is the fruit of a humble amalgam of hard work, sincerity and a burning passion to create. Always having a keen interest in Indian printing and weaving techniques, she formed praan:t. Her signature style of handwoven pieces originated from a penchant towards Indian handicrafts.
While the world looks at working mothers as superheroes, for her, her children are the real superheroes. She credits her daughter, Priyanka, for designing as well as helping her carry out research for her first ever line, as well as her son Prateek for being a massive help.
When asked to reference an artwork to describe her life, she talks about her own paintings. Her paintings inspire her work as well, being converted into wooden blocks which in turn form the design of her pieces. Even the fabric used for the pieces is created by Mrs. Chordia herself, which she has termed the USP of praan:t. Even the weaving process is a harmonious process wherein the colors are thought of first, the fabric then woven, and then the garment is made.
Further on the uniqueness of praan:t as a label, she mentions that the pieces have a little twist and bling added to them. Hardly any of the labels working with regional and raw fabrics do that. The contemporariness of the design and the cuts used in the pieces further give an original look, setting her designs apart from the crowd, asking to be looked at.
The designer claims to have learned a lot at the job, patience being one of the biggest. For all the difficult times she has received from her karigars, she admires their hard work and speaks fondly of the happiness that is evident on their faces after each completed design.
In the past, she has done a show with the Times, and was also appreciated when she presented her work in Bombay. She is now being contacted by many to participate in exhibitions in events, whereas it used to be the other way around, with her making the requests. While climbing the ladder to success, she has also made tables turn.
Looking back, she talks about how the world has changed, and how she has changed with it. ‘It’s a journey that everyone goes through. ‘The way you evolve, your designs also evolve. Your mindset also matters.’ she comments. A huge reason for her success has been her open mindset and ability to change with the times. For now, she is ready for whatever the future brings. Not having an achievement-oriented work ethic, she finds happiness in being able to do what she loves every day, further highlighting that success reaches out to those who are fully committed and passionate towards their work.
Every year she hosts three exhibitions, one highlighting chikankari work from Lucknow, one with Banarasi hand weavers, and one for bandhani. These three art forms are generally promoted at praan:t as well. She believes that when designers work with and mutually help each other, the fashion world triumphs. Such outlooks of people like Mrs. Chordia are what build bridges for talent to walk across into the spotlight.