Gnaana to debut kidswear clothing line Rayil in UK
Gnaana Company, LLC, parent company of South Asian educational toy company Gnaana, will be launching a new clothing line for kids. The clothing line will be operated as a new division under the brand name Rayil. The name is a transliteration of the Tamil word for “train.”
The clothing line is a joint collaboration with New Delhi fashion designer Moutushi Sarkar. Sarkar, a graduate of India's prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology, has designed for such global brands as Urban Outfitters, Rene Derhy and Derhy-Kids, Miss Selfridge and Esprit. She specializes in experimenting with innovative silhouettes and surface treatments.
Rayil will make its debut to retail buyers in London at the Bubble Trade Show on June 17 and 18 with a Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The line will feature modular mix-and-match separates for boys and girls, which can be worn alone as Western wear or combined together as traditional Indian salwar suits and lehenga cholis.
“We are using traditional Indian silhouettes and adding Western styling,” says Sarkar. “For example, we are designing the salwar tops so they can function as stand alone dresses and the cholis in a longer wrap-style so they can be paired with shorter skirts and pants. We also have tailored waistbands on the skirts and a paper-bag waist on the leggings. The idea was for kids to have truly versatile East-West pieces for easy mix-and-match with their existing wardrobe,” says Sarkar.
The initial collection will have 31 pieces for boys and girls in sizes 2-8, including tops, tunics, skirts, dresses, stoles and an outerwear cape. The pieces will be made with 100% natural fabrics using certified lead-free embellishments.
“There is a large void in the ethnic clothing market right now when it comes to refined, well-tailored outfits for kids,” says Aruna Hatti, founder of Gnaana. “There are a few places where you can buy Indian wear for kids, but the variety is lacking and the quality is inconsistent.”
The hallmark of the Rayil brand will be the use of traditional fabrics from the famous silk and cotton weaving centers in India. The debut collection will feature pieces in Benarasi silk from the Benaras region in Uttar Pradesh, Chanderi silk from the Chanderi region in Madhya Pradesh and cotton Khadi – a fabric popularized by Gandhi during the Indian Independence Movement. For each subsequent season, collections will use fabrics from different regions of India and highlight their specialized craft techniques.
“It's a journey of Indian fabrics,” says Hatti. “We are emphasizing the pureness of the natural fabrics and the craft.”
The clothing will feature minimal embellishment – a departure from the heavy beading and zardozi embroidery that currently dominates children's ethnic wear.
“The glitzy styles may be appropriate for an Indian wedding or Diwali, but children should have options for smaller, casual events," says Hatti.
"They shouldn't have to feel that wearing 'Indian' clothes on a more daily basis is inappropriate. Rayil's collection will let kids blend their Western and Indian worlds, in beautiful fabrics that connect them with their heritage. It's a reflection of their identity and of how kids live their lives today – a true mix of the East and the West.”
Gnaana Company LLC