A by Anuhba
SF Fashion Week gave the VSR an amazing opportunity to meet all types of people within the Bay Area fashion community. Previously, we spotlighted one of our favorite designers from Saturday’s runway show. Now, we’d like to draw your attention to another incredible designer we saw that weekend.
A by Anuhba, an organic designer brand focusing on women’s coats, was founded by Anuhba Srivastav. Anuhba was born in Lucknow, India, capital city of Uttar Pradesh, near New Delhi, and attended school in Pune, the second largest city in Maharashtra. She told me that she had wanted to be a designer since the 9th grade. So, while living in India, she worked as an assistant designer for Ritu Beri, an internationally known designer from New Delhi and the first person of Asian descent to head the French fashion brand Jean-Louis Scherrer.
In 2010, Anuhba interned for two months in New York as a design assistant for Donna Karan / DKNY. Abuhba told me that is was “life-changing” and that she “learned a great deal about international fashion and design.” Anuhba had visited the U.S periodically since 2008, and moved here permanently in January of 2013. Having already started her brand and showing her first exhibition in New Delhi in 2012, she wanted to take her collection to international levels, thus the move to San Francisco was a practical one. In 2013, she was a part of SFFW’s emerging designers, and said that it helped her to become involved in San Francisco culture and local fashion.
A by Anuhba‘s mission is to create organic, sustainable, and classic fashion for women that will last a lifetime. Focusing on outerwear, the signature style is Nehru jackets transformed into chic trench coats for women. The Nehru jacket is usually associated with menswear, but Anuhba wants to break that stereotype and introduce modern styles, colors, and ideas into her women’s coats. Being an organic brand, all of the materials and fabrics used are hand-made by Indian artisans. “Kahdi” is an Indian term used to describe handspun or handwoven clothes, something A by Anuhba takes great pride in producing.
I asked Anuhba about her collections, and she told me that the SFFW 2014 collection was particularly challenging. In last year’s collection, the coats and jackets were all cotton. This year, however, she took on the challenge of using wool as a primary fabric, mixing it with organic Italian silk to create beautiful pieces. When looking at Anuhba and her team’s work, you can see the amazing dedication put into each piece of clothing. She described how even the button holes of the jackets are hand-made, something that is not usually done in clothing. Did you know it can take almost an entire day just to create one single button hole for a jacket? Well, it does! You can imagine my awe when learning about the skill that goes into these beautiful coats and jackets.
Anuhba hopes that through her designs and loyalty to Indian craftsmanship, she can redefine what it means to be a designer brand and make organic, hand-made clothing a norm in the fashion world. Her work is truly beautiful, and her team of artists that work within the A by Anuhba brand know their craft. I’m sure that with the help of people like her, the fashion community can indeed become a place of wholesome, organic clothing, both in the materials themselves as well as how they are created. – E.