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Online: the next ‘big thing’, it’s the future of fashion, says ace designer Asra Syed

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Asra Syed

Asra Syed, an ace fashion designer whose designs are a piece of art joined NewsX for an exclusive interview session. Asra is a self-made designer who is inspiring others with her journey now. She says always wanted to be out there. “I wanted to make what I am good at. I wanted to have my own designs”. Like most of the girls, while growing up, Asra liked shopping but she also had ideas that she wanted to execute. “So the whole idea was to be creative out there and show what we can do”.

Asra’s initial inspiration comes from her very surroundings. She had designer friends who were already into designing professionally before her. “So working, interning with them, learning and understanding how designing works I decided I want to take it forward by pursuing fashion designing”. Asra did her degree from Mod’Art International for 3 years. “Ever since I joined college I was like I want a label called Asra. So it is something that I have been looking forward to, so it means a lot, I worked to be here today”.

The source of her constant inspiration that keeps her going comes from her everyday life. “When I dream, I get ideas. I see something, some colours or someone walking on the road and some outfit they are wearing and how I can incorporate that into my designs. Architecture, anything inspires me. I am wild when it comes to getting inspired by things”.

Asra’s journey had its ups and downs. There surely was a time when she was a newbie in the industry. “Initially when I just decided that I want to do this I had not worked enough in the industry so I have learnt everything on my own experiences. So it was a little tough, it took me two years to have my team in place, to have my place, to have my store and how I am going to go about, the kind of line I want to display, what are my inspirations, like a lot of things” But as days passed, with experiences, that changed and Asra and her team progressed every day.
Every successful business has a uniqueness of its own. ”

Her muse she says is an everyday woman, a woman who inspires all. ”The muse of our brand is someone who is a hard-working woman, she’s family-oriented because we are into couture and we do bridal as well”. So mainly they focus on executive wear since there are not many executive brands from India. “We have a lot of other brands like Zara and XYZ. I felt like there is this gap that we need to bridge where we are having elegant and classy silhouettes for women who are working. So our executive wear is very inspired by all those things. We want a bold but we want a working, outgoing personality”. Also, according to Asra their USP is that they “want to make you look good, so anything that we make, we make sure that you look good in it”.

In these unfortunate COVID times, the nationwide lockdown had impacted almost all the businesses across the globe. Asra’s business also faced some issues that they surely didn’t see coming. “Since we are also into bridal couture, it did affect us largely. Since not many weddings are taking place and it did affect our business in a very different way”. However, people are now getting back to normal, taking precautionary measures. “We are trying to get back to our clients and trying to tell them that we are all hygienic and working nicely and we want to deliver our best”.

Since everything just stopped for the last three months, Asra says that she hopes that now people will be coming out, there will be more marriages and there will be more people going to work. “It’s a great market I see for us now”. In these uncertain and complex times, Asra and her team changed their way of working. “We did a lot of video calls, we called our clients and did as much as calls that we could on WhatsApp. Also, we were making sure that our employees are not at risk while working for us”. According to Asra, they didn’t have a lot so they were doing more of ready-to-wear clothes for their clients. Asra mentioned that they are into bridal couture as well. “There were too many people who got married during the lockdown as well. Some were not willing to get married so they had smaller functions, so we were carrying those out during this time”.

Businesses have gone completely online during coronavirus times and the trend of online shopping has exponentially increased. According to Asra, online is the next “big thing”, it’s the future of fashion. “We are working on our website. All this while we were working on our social media and through our store”.
She thinks that people will be more comfortable sitting at their homes and shopping overcoming and having a look themselves at the clothes. But keeping that in mind, she also recognizes that not everyone is comfortable shopping online. “We are taking appointments, having appointments so we do not crowd the place and give everyone time to have a look at our collection if they are interested, so we are just keeping all these things in mind”.

Speaking of plans, Asra said that sky is the limit for her. “We definitely see ourselves going international. International in the sense I would like to have stores everywhere in the world, we are working towards it and Inshallah, one day we will make it”.

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Kankatala expands to North India

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South India-based legacy brand, Kankatala Sarees, known as the ‘Queen of Sarees’, launched its first retail outlet in Delhi and the 13th in the country. The store will house handpicked handloom marvels from 50 major weaving clusters of India. Kankatala, rooted in South India for more than seven decades ,has its major presence in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and now has expanded to North India.

The Delhi store was unveiled recently by renowned actress Karisma Kapoor, who was seen in an authentic Kanchipuram Silk marvel from Kankatala and looked stunning as always. The inauguration was done in the presence of Mallikharjuna Rao Kankatala, Chairman & Managing Director, Kankatala Sarees, along with the entire Kankatala Family including the third-generation Directors Arvind, Bharat, and Anirudh Kankatala.

Kankatala is one of the oldest saree brands, which already has a presence in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, and has represented the age-old weaving techniques for over 78 years. The brand has always been known for pioneering trends in its market and has been growing steadily.

“We have spent three generations representing authentic handlooms in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and to the Indian diaspora. Our journey started in 1942, in the lanes of Vizag where our founder and my father, Appalaraju Kankatala sold handloom sarees on a bicycle. From the modest lanes of Vizag to the Capital of India, the 78 years’ journey has been marvellous. We are glad to launch our 13th exclusive retail outlet in Delhi. We wish to receive the same love from the people of Delhi as we have been receiving from other parts of the country,” said Mallikharjuna Rao Kankatala, Chairman & Managing Director, Kankatala.

“With a vision to revive the charm of Indian handloom in India, we are planning to expand to other cities such as Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata. We are also looking at going international in the near future. All these stores will be company-owned-company-operated as we do not want to lose our uniqueness of the handpicked products and the personalised touch that we give to our valued customers,” added Mallikharjuna.

The much-elated Chief Guest Karisma Kapoor said, “It is a pleasure for me to launch the very first store in North India of a brand which has a 78-year-old legacy behind it. I was amazed to know that from the year 1943 till date, every Handloom saree is personally handpicked by a family member of Kankatala themselves. The variety of handloom sarees that I saw here is breathtaking.”

Designed for the comfort of Queens of Kankatala, the interior of the Delhi store is contemporary and classy. The store will house handpicked handloom marvels from 50 major weaving clusters of India starting from Rs 5000 and going up to Rs 5 lakh and above, making it a one-stop saree destination for every budget, occasion, and style.

The store will host authentic handwoven marvels that are one-of-a-kind, including signature Kanchipuram, Banarasi, Patola, Ikat, Paithani, Kota, Uppada, Khadi, Jamdani, Organza, Kalamkari, Gadwal, Tussar, and many more.

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Do’s and Don’ts for CBSE Term 1 Boards preparation

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Everyone is pulling up their socks as CBSE Class 10 And 12 Datesheet 2021 for Term 1 Board Exams is released. Now, only a few weeks are left for the exams, and it is a crucial time to give a final touch to your preparation. The major news after the announcement of CBSE Class 10 & 12 Term 1 Date Sheet 2021 for major subjects is that the CBSE has announced the date sheet 2021 for minor subjects as well. If you are the one who is also appearing for CBSE Board Exam 2021, then there are a few amazing tips that you NEED for Term 1. In the end, you’ll find ways to easily score high in CBSE Board Exam 2021:

1. DON’T SKIP STEP FOR WELL-VERSED PRACTICE

Getting acquainted with the updated syllabus of CBSE Board Exam 2021 is one of the most important things that you should never miss upon.

Every student has prepared for the CBSE Board Exam 2021 as per the syllabus but is a good practice to check the updated one in this last month once more.

You can check the updated CBSE syllabus for the board exam on the official site of CBSE at CBSEACADEMIC.NIC.IN

You need to focus only on those topics or chapters that are mentioned for term 1 exams.

Don’t ever skip any of Class 10 & 12 MCQs Official Resources Provided By CBSE. May it be CBSE Official Question Banks, CBSE Official MCQs Sample Papers Class 10 & 12 For Term 1 Boards, Online Study Material provided at https://diksha.gov.in/

2. A DECISIVE SUBJECT WISE EXAM CRACKER

(a) CBSE has hinted upon a sort of format for MCQs Class 10 & 12 questions for each subject via live videos for teachers. It might be a handy add on approach for CBSE Class 10 & 12 Term 1 Boards students. Here’s the link for that: http://www.cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/Circulars/2021/88_Circular_2021.pdf.

MCQs Question in Boards might be expected to test cognitive skills and analytical thinking of students

For every subject, NCERT books, NCERT exemplar, and PYQS are must practice. These resources constitute important questions. The MCQs for CBSE Class 10 & 12 Term 1 Boards are likely to be reframed from these questions It becomes the need of the hour to stay familiar with the exam pattern as no one has witnessed this pattern in the CBSE regime.

(b) The Best Seller MCQs Based Oswaal CBSE Sample Papers Class 10 & 12 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22 have most likely MCQs reframed from NCERT Books, Exemplars, PYQs, all official CBSE resources and all MCQs typologies (Case-Based, Reasoning-Assertion, Stand-Alone). In this book, cognitive exam tools for comprehensive and integrated quick learning such as mind maps, mnemonics, revision notes, blended exam-based learning via concept videos might prove handy in memory recall at exam time.

You may also study with Oswaal CBSE MCQs Question Banks for Term 1 Board Exams 2021 for chapter-wise topic-wise exam preparation. Here’s the recommended link for MCQs Based Oswaal CBSE Sample Papers Class 10 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22: https://bit.ly/3vzuq0t MCQs Based Oswaal CBSE Sample Papers Class 10 For Term 1 Board Exams 2021-22: https://bit.ly/3C9yreG

The syllabus is also divided into two terms by keeping the concept of connectivity in mind.

With this division of syllabus, students can’t leave anything optional as the syllabus is already limited for the CBSE board exam 2021. Moreover, students can even get a glimpse of the pattern by visiting the official site of CBSE.

3. SUBJECT-WISE MUST FOLLOW COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH

For the 10th& 12 MCQs Based Term 1 Board Exams, we need to first classify the chapters into 3 categories: easy, tricky, and difficult. Then we need to anonymously prepare for these chapters for every subject as per the mark weightage in the boards. Here’s the reference video for Preparing MCQs Based CBSE Class 10 Maths Board Exam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK852achTK4

Students need to prepare their studies in the same format for every subject for CBSE Class 10 & 12.

4. MIND MAPS: A GREAT RESOURCE

Students face a lot of difficulty in remembering everything they come across the syllabus. In this situation, mind maps play a critical role in giving a new dimension to your preparation. When you are studying something, make a diagrammatic representation of it in your mind or take the help of Oswaal Samplepapers where you’ll get the Mind Maps for every chapter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3bwJadzKWI

Studies have also revealed that pictures have a long-lasting impression as compared to the theory. Try to make a connection of the topic you are studying with the previous one. When you are stuck in the exam at a particular question then try to remember in which chapter you have studied it. After that, try to remember under which topic you studied it and on which corner of the page it was present.

5. EXAM TIME CONFIDENCE BOOSTER, A 360 PREPARATION EXAM APPROACH

At this time, you only need to evaluate the preparation that you have done so far. Mock tests are the true way that can help you introspect your preparation journey. When you take the mock tests in a time-bound fashion, you realise where you are lacking. Is it on the time management part? Is it regarding your preparation? Are you getting nervous?

So, with the assistance of mock tests, you get answers to all such questions. This ultimately helps you to go a step further and work on the area where you are lacking. Here’s the recommended link for Weekly Newly Updated Chapter-wise & Comprehensive Mock Tests For MCQs Based Term 1 Board Exams for CBSE Class 10 & 12: https://bit.ly/3E6HJbG Here, you may also 360 live analysis of your online exam score too via detailed solutions

6. THE ULTIMATE KEY TO SHINE

The more you practice, the closer you get to your goal. You should practice an ample number of sample papers to score high in your CBSE Board exam 2021. Sample paper comprises all the latest typologies in addition to the great pool of important questions that are important from an examination point of view. After solving a sample paper, you can even check your answers and calculate your entire score. You can even check the answers to the questions that you were unable to attempt so that they can help you on the day of the exam.

7. DO’S TO FOLLOW WHILE IN EXAM HALL

Students will need to answer the assertion and reasoning-based questions and all MCQs Typologies of Questions in the time frame of 90 minutes. Students need to give the first 10 minutes to thorough reading of all questions. Thereafter, they can easily classify questions into easy, tricky, and difficulties. The next 70 minutes to be dedicated to completely solving the exam paper in ascending order of difficulties. Thereafter, the last 10 minutes to be given to complete revise the attempted exam papers. Beware to deploy your logic carefully while solving tricky questions, as they might be having closely matching options

BOTTOM LINE

While students encircled a wrong option in the OMR sheet, he/she may cross it. CBSE has provided an extra circle in OMR, where students may write the correct option.

You should follow the above-specified strategy for the CBSE Board exam 2021. Moreover, if you want to get an edge over others then the CBSE Sample Papers for Class 10 and 12 are a true friend for you. You can get them to boost up your preparation and score high.

So, just buck up your preparation and All the Best for upcoming board exams!

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WANT TO INCREASE KIDS’ VEGETABLE INTAKE? HERE’S HOW YOU CAN DO IT

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Parents, take note! Filling half of a child’s plate with fruits and vegetables isn’t just recommended by the United States Dietary Guidelines, it also helps increase the amount of produce that kids end up eating, according to a new Penn State research.

The findings of the study were published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’. In the controlled feeding study, the researchers tested two strategies for encouraging kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The first was simply adding 50% more to fruit and vegetable side dishes at kids’ meals throughout the day. The second was substituting 50% more fruits and vegetables for an equivalent weight of the other foods. For example, if they added 50g veggies to the lunch meal, they also subtracted 50g mac and cheese.

The researchers found that adding more fruit and vegetable side dishes resulted in the kids eating 24% more veggies and 33% more fruit compared to the control menus. Substituting fruits and veggies for some of the other foods resulted in kids consuming 41% more veggies and 38% more fruit.

Barbara Rolls, Helen A. Guthrie Chair and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State, said the findings suggest ways parents, caregivers and schools can help encourage healthy eating.

“When deciding what to feed kids, it’s easy to remember that half of the food should be fruits and vegetables,” said Rolls. “If you start seeing that you’re serving too much and have more waste, you could cut back the higher calorie-dense food while adding more produce. Experiment and have some fun trying different fruits and vegetables to see what they like and so you can serve meals with a sensitivity to their personal taste.”

“For most foods, kids will eat more when served larger portions, so we wanted to test whether increasing the number of fruits and vegetables that are served over five days would increase intake,” said Liane Roe, a research nutritionist at Penn State. “We also wondered whether substituting produce for other foods would increase intake more than simply adding extra fruits and veggies.”

For the study, the researchers recruited 53 children between the ages of three and five who were enrolled in Pennsylvania childcare centres. Each participant was served all their meals and snacks for five days during three different periods in random order. For the control period, they were served meals they typically got in their childcare centre, and for the period testing the addition strategy, the portions of fruits and vegetables were increased by 50%. For the period testing the substitution strategy, fruits and vegetables were increased by 50% and the other foods were reduced by an equivalent weight.

“We served the children all of their meals, snacks, and beverages for five consecutive days, and we weighed all the items we served, as well as the leftovers, to measure intake,” said Roe. “We sent home evening and morning snacks for the kids, but the majority of the meals were served in the childcare centre.”

As a caution, Rolls said that even though the study was successful in getting kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, the majority of the kids still didn’t eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables for their age group—about a cup and a half—although they did reach this target for fruits.

The researchers said that in addition to the strategies in the current study, there are additional things parents and caregivers can do to increase intake. “Serving fruits and vegetables as a first course or snacks when kids are hungry can boost their intake, as can incorporating them into mixed dishes,” said Rolls. “For example, you can blend some cauliflower or squash into a sauce for mac and cheese or add fruit puree into a brownie or cake mix. You don’t decrease the palatability of the dish, but the kids are eating more produce. You should also encourage them to eat the whole veggies on their own, as well as incorporating them into other foods.” The National Institutes of Health helped support this research.

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5 MUST-HAVE JEWELLERY PIECES FOR KARVA CHAUTH

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As we spent yet another year at home in our pyjamas, the ongoing festive season has given us the perfect excuse to dress up! It is that time of the year when festivity in India is in its full swing. India boasts of an array of significant festivals, of which Karva Chauth, marks one important celebration for married couples.

Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands.

Undoubtedly, like every year, ladies would be stressed about choosing the perfect outfit for the special day. But do you think your search will be limited to finding a good dress? Of course not!

With your sartorial choices taking the front seat, do not forget to have your hands on the must-have jewellery pieces that not only compliment your clothes but also your personality.

Bhavesh Navlakha, founder of online fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi helped ANI list the trending jewellery pieces that would be a one-time investment for you to perfectly style your outfit not only for Karva Chauth but also for the entire festive season:

1. Pearl choker: Chokers are never out of style and are a beautiful addition to accentuate Indian outfits. The choker lends an edginess to your chosen ethnic outfit. An elegant pearl choker can elevate any outfit and give a rather classy look without being too heavy.

2. Long-chain jhumkis: Long-chain jhumkis, also referred to as Bahubali-inspired earrings, is a style statement that acts as the perfect addition to any ethnic outfit. It is a contemporary take on traditional earrings which adds a touch of glamour to your outfit without the need for any more jewellery.

3. Pearl bangles: Bangles are one of the most traditional accessories used in India. Bangles are a versatile jewellery piece that compliments our ethnic outfits. Adding jewellery pieces to your wrist acts as the perfect accessory to just about every Indian outfit.

4. Jhumkis: Jhumkis are immensely popular as one of the most worn jewellery pieces and is loved by everyone for their intricate design. Jhumkis can be paired with Indian ethnic outfits and also western outfits to create an eye-pleasing ensemble.

5. Kundan neckpiece: Kundan neckpieces look elegant and sophisticated and can glam up your outfit in no time. Not just for Karva Chauth, but Kundan sets can be worn by pairing them with your favourite outfit and layering the necklaces.

With jewellery trends constantly evolving and changing every year, we find it hard to keep ourselves updated on them. So, now that we have got you all covered, style your outfit with the above-mentioned jewellery pieces, making your ensemble not only look great but also speaking volumes for you!

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Needledust launches its first-ever store in Mumbai

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India’s first-ever designer jutti label, Needledust is thrilled to announce the launch of their first-ever store in Mumbai at Reliance’s first premium mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, Jio World Drive.

Housing more than 90+ premium and luxury brands, JIO World Driver is an exciting hub for luxury, fashion, shopping and entertainment. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and spanning across an area of 17.5 acres at Maker Maxity, Jio World Drive is Mumbai’s newest, vibrant urban hangout. The precinct is home to 72 prominent International and Indian brands, 27 culinary outlets with cuisines from across the globe, Mumbai’s first rooftop Jio Drive-In Theatre, an open-air weekend community market, pet-friendly services, a dedicated pop-up experience and other bespoke services. With an international consumer base, Needledust launched in 2014 with an original first of its kind product in the designer jutti space.

Following the immense success of their existing stores in Delhi & Chandigarh and a spectacular online presence on Needledust.com, this is a significant milestone for the brand as they open their doors to the tinsel town. 

Needledust brings to you a line of bespoke fine leather juttis that speak the charm of a true old school artisan with a desire to recreate this age-old craft for those who wear, admire, preserve its elegance and culture.

The celebrated label is all about unbridled passion for the revival of the jutti and unmatched craftsmanship, amalgamating the finesse of old royal moulds with innovative design and embroidery patterns that impeccably reflect 21st-century aesthetics.

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MANUBHAI JEWELLERS LAUNCHES AN EXCLUSIVE BRIDAL JEWELLERY COLLECTION FOR NEW BRIDES-TO-BE

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This wedding season, Manubhai Jewellers, a leading jewellery brand for over 30 years has made the process of finding the perfect jewellery for all the brides-to-be more special and remarkable. The brand has launched a new campaign called “Wedding by Manubhai” that features jewellery for every function – Sangeet, Mehendi and Wedding -along with a special traditional experience for all the new brides-to-be to wish them good luck and prosperity.

Speaking about the new campaign, Samir Sagar, Director, Manubhai Jewellers, said, “We at Manubhai Jewellers have been creating intricate and beautiful pieces of jewellery that balance between tradition and contemporary design to suit every occasion. For the wedding season, we want to take the opportunity to highlight the traditional values associated with our brand and offer a new bridal experience.” Manubhai Jewellers are popularly known for their specially crafted and curated collections in Mumbai. With a retail presence in Borivali, they cater to every customer’s needs ranging from beautiful modern diamond pieces to fanciful and chic gold wear, to traditional Kundan and Jadau jewellery. The brand is one of the few jewellers in Mumbai creating bespoke designs in Polki, Temple and Antique.

Additionally, Manubhai Jewellers are also committed to specialising in bridal jewellery called Madhuban. The Madhuban collection features beautifully handcrafted inspirational jewellery displayed in the store with a royal theme. Manubhai’s traditional concepts stand are brilliantly reflected through the indigenous craftsmanship of the Madhuban collection and has made the brand popular among the best jewellery shops in Mumbai. Further, all jewellers at Manubhai are hallmarked and certified.

Further, to make the moment special for new brides, Manubhai Jewellers have also introduced “Madhuban Delight” wherein the bride is first welcomed in a traditional way with the ‘Aarti thali’ and then gifted with a ‘Potli’ – a traditional drawstring bag that contains silver coins, vermilion, rice and Swastik that symbolise good luck, prosperity and imply the underlying cultural significance of ceremonial rituals.

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