There is no denying that Indian arts, crafts, and local traditions are unparalleled the world over, often inspiring global fashion trends. Bunaai, launched in 2016, is a popular Indian brand that has made its presence felt by creating ethnic fashion in a contemporary format. On the eve of the Independence Day, founder Pari Choudhary speaks exclusively to The Daily Guardian about her intrinsically Indian fashion label. Excerpts from the interview:
Q. When did you launch Bunaai and what was your vision for it?
A. My love for fashion began when I was a teenager; I would create beautiful versions of clothing for myself. At the age of 17, I dreamt of being an entrepreneur and even started my personal blog in 2014. Once I finished college in 2016, I launched Bunaai.
My vision with this ready-to-wear brand was to offer versatile yet powerful casual wear for women of all ages. Right from childhood, I have been inspired by the culture and traditions of my homeland—Rajasthan. Hence, experimenting with textiles, vibrant prints, and detailed craftsmanship, came easily to me.
As women, we have always been pitted against beauty standards set by society. As the female founder and creative head of a women-oriented brand, I create designs that let every woman look and feel beautiful, just as she is.
Q. Has it been difficult for you to set up your business in an overly competitive industry?
A. It hasn’t been a cake walk for sure! We retail exclusively on our website www.bunaai.com, and as an e-commerce business, we were up against other online stores as well as brick and mortar brands. Initially, this made it difficult to gain the trust and confidence of customers.
However, my amazing team worked diligently over the years. We learnt digital marketing techniques and left no stone unturned when it came to customer servicing. We have now delivered over a million orders around the world and are counted as one of the most trusted brands and an inspiration for others.
Q. What sets Bunaai apart from its competitors?
A. Our USP has always been to provide our valued customers, or the #WomenOfBunaai as we lovingly refer to them, the latest styles while remaining true to our roots and heritage. Collections crafted from traditional designs and prints in a modern format, set Bunaai apart. We believe in embracing the essence of our ethnic beauty.
Q. Indian homegrown brands are enjoying their moment in the sun. Have you seen a surge in growth since the pandemic? Why do you think that is?
A. Yes, this is true. We have witnessed a surge since the pandemic in terms of sales, crossing a million followers on Instagram, and numerous famed collaborations. Earlier, Indians were smitten by foreign brands but never really admired homegrown labels. Fortunately, this has changed. Indian fashion labels collectively came together to help the artisan community and preserve our heritage as far as possible.
Q. Which is your most popular offering? Why do you believe it is so popular?
A. Even though we have varied categories ranging from ethnic ensembles to home accessories to jewellery and footwear, which are all popular in their own right; our Suit Sets receive the maximum love from our customers.
We really love to experiment with these, while focusing on comfort and on-trend demands. Our Suit Sets are fabricated with the best available cotton, silk doriya, and georgette, and in a host of prints and designs from traditional Bagru to contemporary polkas or florals. I believe our wide range that is suitable for various occasions, makes this our most popular offering.
Q. How do you ensure that your pieces appeal to the younger generation?
A. In my opinion, being fashionable doesn’t mean shunning traditional prints and styles of clothing. Rather, it means carrying those styles with confidence and beauty. At Bunaai, we offer every woman, regardless of her age, a one-stop destination for exquisite style and the latest fashions.
With every collection, we try our best to stay updated with the market trends. So, whether it is traditional Suit Sets, new age Jumpsuits or Dresses, or quirky jewellery, we aim to cater to a variety of women.
Q. What celebrities have favoured your designs?
A. I feel Bunaai has been lucky in terms of receiving love from famed celebrities. Bollywood actresses like Sonakshi Sinha, Bhumi Pedneker, Shivaleeka Oberoi, as well as leading faces of television like Ridhi Dogra, Divyanka Tripathi, Dipika Kakkar Ibrahim, Shivangi Joshi, Nisha Rawal and many others have been spotted in Bunaai. Though each moment is memorable, I am particularly proud of our recent collaboration with actress Surbhi Jyoti.
Over the years, numerous celebrities have reached out to us, expressing their interest in collaborating with us. This is such a delightful feeling and takes me back to my 17-year-old self who dreamt of all this day and night.
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FORMAT OF PRIYANKA’S NEW SHOW, THE ACTIVIST, CHANGED
WASHINGTON: After facing huge backlash, Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ new series ‘The Activist’ is now being reconfigured. As per Variety, the makers have shifted its five-episode format to a one-time documentary special. Many social media users slammed the show for being tone-deaf and insensitive. CBS and producing partners Global Citizen and Live Nation issued this statement, “The Activist’ was designed to show a wide audience, the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others. But it has become apparent the format of the show distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort. So we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a primetime documentary special (air date to be announced), it will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in. Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organisation of their choice.”
CHRIS PRATT TO BANKROLL ‘STRANDED ASSET’
WASHINGTON: Hollywood star Chris Pratt is all set to produce the action-comedy ‘Stranded Asset’, which is written by Sam Richardson and Jen D’Angelo.
According to Variety, the upcoming film reunites the trio after their successful collaboration on ‘The Tomorrow War’, which Pratt executive produced and starred in alongside Richardson. D’Angelo was the on-set writer for the sci-fi feature. Pratt will produce ‘Stranded Asset’ through his Indivisible Productions banner. Sam Richardson will also star in the film. More details of the project have not been announced yet.
TABU TO STAR IN VISHAL BHARDWAJ’S FILM ‘KHUFIYA’
MUMBAI: Tabu is all set to work with ace filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj again in ‘Khufiya’, which will release on Netflix.
Based on an espionage novel ‘Escape to Nowhere’ by Amar Bhushan, ‘Khufiya’ is a a spy thriller. Excited to reunite with Bhardwaj, Tabu shared on Instagram, “Expect nothing but sheer thrill. Excited to announce my re-uniting with @vishalrbhardwaj for #Khufiya. Coming very soon on @netflix_in. Khufiya is a one of a kind project, extremely close to my heart and I am excited to be a part of this gripping spy thriller. As always, it’s a delight working with VB (Vishal Bhardwaj) again, and feels like homecoming.” ‘Khufiya’ is a story about Krishna Mehra, an R&AW operative who is assigned to track down India’s defence secrets. Bhardwaj is trying to create an edgy espionage film that contrasts the slow burn of intelligence and surveillance work with deep-rooted emotional conflicts.
BIG B MISSES PRE-PANDEMIC ‘SUNDAY DARSHAN’ WITH FANS
MUMBAI: Waving to fans gathered outside his Jalsa residence used to be megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s Sunday morning routine. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Big B stopped the ritual. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, Amitabh took a stroll down memory lane and expressed his sadness on not being able to meet his well-wishers. “Thank you well wisher .. yes .. when will those Sunday well wishers at Jalsa return,” he wrote. Alongside the note, Big B posted an image of himself surrounded by imaginary fans and he was seen embracing them as the human connection has gotten a bit lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Amitabh is busy hosting the new season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Speaking of films, he will be seen in ‘Good Bye’, ‘Brahmastra’, and ‘The Intern’ remake.
JACQUELINE GETS CANDID WITH ARJUN ON ‘BAK BAK WITH BABA’
MUMBAI: Arjun Kapoor recently invited Jacqueline Fernandez on his digital chat show ‘Bak Bak with Baba’. Arjun questioned Jacqueline on crushes, food, and how she tackles trolls on social media. Talking about her first crush, Jacqueline said, “There was somebody in school but I can’t name him. I also had a huge crush on Leonardo DiCaprio after watching ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Titanic’ and Ricardo from ‘Backstreet Boys’.” Arjun asked her “How important is food to you?” She shared, “though I feel it’s nice to celebrate with food as everyone enjoys it, there was a phase in my 20’s when I did turn to food and that was late at night. I lived alone so it was like cake, ice cream, anything crispy. I did have a terrible relationship with food and then went starving for a week and that’s really bad. So, now it’s about knowing that I don’t need to turn to it, tomorrow is another day and we will get through it.”
ANANYA, SIDDHANT & ADARSH BAG NEW FILM, ‘KHO GAYE HUM KAHAN’
MUMBAI: Ananya Panday, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Adarsh Gourav will be seen sharing screen space in Excel Entertainment and Tiger Baby’s new film ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’.
Young, fresh and relevant, ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is a ‘digital’ age story of three friends in the city of Bombay. The film is written by Zoya Akhtar, Arjun Varain Singh and Reema Kagti, produced by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The film will be the directorial debut of Arjun Varain Singh featuring the young and talented Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday and Adarsh Gourav. While Siddhant became a household name (MC Sher) after the success of Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’, fans are excited to see the talented actor share screen space with Ananya. It would also be interesting to see Adarsh in the mix, whose last breakout performance in the Netflix film ‘The White Tiger’ garnered immense praise and appreciation.
On the occasion of writer-producer Reema Kagti’s birthday, Excel Entertainment & Tiger Baby have launched the poster and video—announcing the release of their next theatrical project, ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in 2023.
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