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Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg – Saga of Reviving Indian Handloom

Vanita Jain
3 Oct 2018
Vanita Jain

An ever smiling multi-tasker and an avid traveller. You can either find her frantically typing blogs for months or lost in the mountains for days!

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Is it possible to weave the country’s rich handloom heritage into a famous contemporary fashion brand and become the flag bearer of reviving the endangered art? Ladies and gentlemen, we bring to you Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg.

Brand Story - Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg

Raw Mango is a high-end fashion brand celebrates contemporary Indian fashion and it is making wearing saris cool! Its customer base varies from 20 to 50-year-old, from a common woman to Sonam Kapoor and Sonia Gandhi of the world.

Sanjay Garg: Designer’s Short Biography

Sanjay Garg, 37, is the founder of Fashion Brand ‘Raw Mango’. Garg’s humble early life started in Rajasthan’s Alwar District and so did his tryst with handloom and beautiful traditional women wear. He studied in vernacular medium and decided to move to Jaipur for exploring himself and his life. During his graduation with National Institute of Technology, Delhi, Garg became more intrigued with wraps & wefts of handloom.

In 2006, during a textile project with the Shades of India, a textile company he came in touch with the Chanderi Weavers in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh. That’s where he found his calling in the ‘Six Yards’. Also, this project compelled him to think more deeply on the subjects like - why did women not fond of wearing Saris anymore; why is the state of Indian Handloom so dismal and Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg came into ideation phase.

In 2008, when Raw Mango made it to the market, it instantly filled the void of Power Clothing for Indian Women. It made Sari a power woman’s clothing where other women sat up noticed and wanted to be related to it, wear it!

Raw Mango by Sanjay Garg – The Story of Indian Haute Couture

Raw Mango, Sanjay Garg’s brain child is outcome of his belief that beauty lies in imperfections. Hence “Raw Mango” defined it appropriately!

The brand is known was contemporizing Sari with its handwoven fabrics, bright colours, quirky motifs and rare silhouettes. Raw Mango, Delhi based brand, has carved a niche for itself with its minimalist approach towards fashion and its unweathering commitment to the craft!

Unlike traditional Chanderi fabric, which is known for its earthy toned palette and extensive intricate designs infused with a lot of elements, Raw mango stood out because it clubbed modern design sensibilities and expanded the colour palette. The main motive of the brand is to breathe a new life into Handloom crafts and sustain them.

Since the first project with Chanderi weavers; Raw Mango has managed to bring together 400+ weavers from the Benaras, Lucknow & West Bengal. All these efforts of the brand have led to bringing the modern Indian Customer who loves contemporary Indian fashion closer to the endangered rich heritage of handwoven textiles.

Today after a decade, Raw Mango sells through four stores across the country, multiple high-end exhibitions and online stores. The saris can take few days to months to come into life with offbeat motifs like the animal and floral prints. 

Achievements of Raw Mango Celebrating Sustainability and Minimalism

Early this year, a sari from the archive collection was displayed in an exhibition called “Items: I Fashion Modern” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA). This is not the first time Raw Mango has made it to the museum. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London has a couple of saris from Raw Mango.

Sanjay Garg went onto becoming British Council's Young Fashion Entrepreneur Award winner in 2010 for his commendable work with Chanderi weavers.

How is Raw Mango so different yet popular?

As a brand, Raw Mango has managed to position itself as a brand which focuses on design and culture and not in the niche fashion industry which is done for media houses in the metropolises. It represents itself as a ‘medium of expression’ for textile, the human condition, the societal realism, design and of course, culture.

Known for staying away from fashion weeks, Raw Mango founder Sanjay Garg in conversation with Femina says, his art and handloom has limitations. It cannot produce collections twice a year which has a very limited impact and no one cares about it. Hence, they channelize their energies for the wider audience.

All the photos of the brand are in the documentary style setting. They intend to show their fashion lines on ordinary women of all ages, shapes, sized, sans make-up, posing in natural settings. Their saris imperfectly draped, crushed made it instantly relatable.

The appealing value of this famous Indian fashion label lies in the socialites and famous women who do not want to be seen wearing their money. The Minimalism of the brand perfectly caters this need. The brand ranges between few thousands to lakhs.

They have been pioneers of brocade lehngas which no one thought of before 2014. Also, this is the first brand which made mashru saris. There were no Mashru Saris before Sanjay Garg brought them in the market.

Raw Mango has successfully completed a decade and managed to stand out from the mainstream fashion industry still leave a remarkable impact. All thanks to Sanjay Garg’s vision of a homegrown which is deep rooted in the culture still is completely relevant to the global fashion market and makes it one of the manjor contemporary Indian fashion label to check and follow.

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