What began as simple stitching and embroidery techniques taught by Ankita’s mother Sunita to empower war widows, turned into a quaint in house boutique where Ankita grasped the intricacies of sewing, stitching, patterning among various other skills that she would later go on to using in designing garments for Saaj. The label was established in 2005 with Sunita being the core of the fashion house, who handled all the merchandising and production of goods, Avantica who used her extensive knowledge of business management to delicately steer the interface between the financials and supply chains, in order for complete transparency and accuracy and Ankita whose creative vision, designs, expertise in marketing and balancing inter personal buyer relationships created a wonderful synergy which is still present. The trio worked long hours, exchanging creative insights with one another, utilising their individual set of skills, capitalising on their collective experience with immense tact, to steer Saaj on the path to success.
SAAJ today is empanelled in the Fashion Design Council of India amongst many profound designer brands. The flagship store is located in New Delhi and the designer label houses its collections in 40 designer boutiques as well as multi designer stores across the country. The label also retails through stores all over London, New York, L.A, Australia, Canada, France, Spain, South Africa, Kenya, Singapore and the Middle East. It’s been an interesting journey from the start up till now, from their first Wills India Fashion Week showcasing in March 2010, a collection called ‘The Sounds of Leh’, which was an instant revelation of the artistic potential of the brand and from it paved the way for their next show which was held in October 2011 and brought about one of the biggest changes to the world of Indian fashion by introducing bold futuristic neon’s in their collection ‘Tangy Candy, that became an instant rage.
Saaj showcased their collections every year and soon took the international market by storm in late 2012, when they showcased their collection in Dubai, where they did an opening show for the renowned British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, followed by hosting a fashion event in Hong Kong. The year 2013 became a pivotal year that marked the beginning of Saaj being globally recognised as a designer label after it showcased its designs at Prêt-a-Porter,Paris, and made a successful breakthrough with their collection, becoming retailers to the European Market and all the main fashion hubs of the world. Saaj has two boutique stores that are housed in the fashion center of the capital city New Delhi. The first store retails fun vibrant fusion wear & prêt wear and the second, houses the label’s finest couture collection. The boutique stores are a place to shop for everyone that feels young at heart and are willing to bring their own inherent unique quality to the surface.
Any successful business is the culminated effort of artistic talent and vision, ability to explore every business opportunity and a sound and reliable manufacturing supply chain. This philosophy is embodied by the three SAAJ ladies, who have ensured that step by step they have created and handled the brand image, brand product quality and unique brand style sense and have carved their passion into a debt free successful business today.
Ankita is known to create designs that are synonymous with fearless versatility that subtly interpret the intellect of the wearer through the careful deconstruction and inter play of colour.
The young designer although born in Delhi, travelled extensively through her childhood to various parts of India, with her family, where she was exposed the importance of the Indian heritage, as it related to her interest in design that she retained as tricks of the trade and important reference points in understanding the theoretic of designing.
Avantica is known for her sense of handling and organizing business and spear heading Saaj to greater heights. An Engineer by qualification she has vast experience working with leading advertising and marketing agency and consultancies. But when Ankita started the label Saaj, she immediately took the responsibility and joined in.
Her intuitive and adaptable personality enables her to for see future trends and market dynamics which assist the label’s wide global reach.
Sunita is the backbone and the strength of the brand. Coming from humble police service background of her family she was and is very empathetic towards the plight of soldiers’ wives and families. Her tryst with fashion started as an empowering tool to teach, assist and enable war widows to become independent and earn a livelihood.
Being resourceful and a never give-up spirit is her charisma that fires the brand. Fashion is her soul calling and through the brand she sees it come alive everyday.