Wearing our patriotic pride on our sleeves is not a new concept, but the social media generation of today prefers taking it to another level. Nothing defines this need for avid self-expression than indie casual wear brand Motherland. V Sunil, co-founder of the fashion label, spoke exclusively to The Sunday Guardian about the phenomenal rise of Motherland, in a short span of time. Excerpts:
Co-founder V Sunil
Q: What is the story of Motherland? How did it come about? When did it begin?
A: Back in 2011, we launched the Motherland magazine that offered a fresh perspective on Indian subculture, counter culture and pop culture. In 2019, its phenomenal success made it evolve into a pop culture platform for urban necessities and lifestyle accessories and to showcase the work of emerging artists.
Q: Why did you choose the medium of casual clothing to spread your message?
A: We have always believed in the power of the T-shirt. Any good idea should be simple enough to put on a tee. If the idea resonates with people and is delivered with a sense of depth and style, it should always work. There are so many examples around the world, whether it is sports, military or city branding, T-shirts have always played a big role and continue to do so. Can a tee save the world? Probably not. But, it can surely spread a message.
Q: What is the USP of Motherland?
A: Motherland is not just a brand, but also an ecosystem of content, merchandise, projects, and even snacks! It is about building a community of like-minded thinkers. In that sense, our USP is our spirit of collaboration.
Q: Who is the Motherland muse? Your ideal customer?
A: Our ideal customers are young kids in small towns with big dreams, who want to look stylish while proudly claiming their Indian identity on their chests.
Q: Please share a few memories or rewarding moments from your entrepreneurial journey so far?
A: Our JDH project was extremely special to us. Co-founded by Motherland, the Jodhpur (JDH) Urban Regeneration Project is an ongoing effort to restore the historic Blue City to its former glory. Built on strong partnerships, the project lies at the intersection between new ideas, local community, technology and sustainability. Since its launch in January 2015, JDH has seen through the restoration of an ancient stepwell, Toorji ka Jhalra, a communal clean-up effort to eradicate litter, and the addition of hip eateries and a luxury shopping hub featuring India’s finest lifestyle labels. Now a melting pot of culture for tourists and locals alike, the restoration is a shining example of how social infrastructure and cultural capital can build commerce and community, which are the guiding forces behind all Motherland ventures.
Q: How do you use social media to drive your business?
A: I feel our ideas flow seamlessly from T-shirts to caps to magazines to music videos and now through social media. The latter allows us to build a specific sensibility and vibe for the brand. Often brands struggle to maintain a meaningful message while executing their vision in a strong and stylish manner.
Q: How do you choose the causes you support through your designs?
A: Motherland is a lifestyle brand that is rooted in the Indian DNA. Our mission is to create products that have a strong yet inclusive Indian identity. For example, our ‘White Tiger’ shirt was inspired by the Indian military and one of its most celebrated fighting units, INAS 300. The specially designed graphic elements and iconography commemorate the squadron’s first deck landing, an event that still holds significance 60 years on. In 2019, we designed the ‘Voter’ to urge people to do their duty, and the ‘Dark & Lovely’ T-shirt to signify our protest against colourism. These go beyond being simple slogan tees. For a long time, Indian brands have fed consumers tactless and cliched messaging on clothing. Now, more than ever, there is room for a more meaningful conversation.
At the same time, while some ideas fit well on a T-shirt, others like ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ spread across every medium, including a song and a music video, for which we collaborated with Delhi-based hip-hop duo, Khirkee 17.
Q: Please tell us about your new collection and the cause it supports.
A: We recently launched our ‘RIP Patriarchy’ and ‘Goa’ collections. Our ‘RIP Patriarchy’ T-shirt has been worn and loved by authors, IAS officers, lawyers, chefs, celebrities and comics alike. Our ‘Forever Goa’ T-shirt, as the name suggests, tries to encapsulate the unmatched vibe of the place.
Q: What is your next collection going to be about?
A: Our upcoming launch is centred around the Yamuna river. For this project, we have collaborated with the University of Virginia and Tulane University. Through the partnership, we have explored the vision of transforming the river into an environmental nucleus for citizens and the process of anchoring our cities within their original ecology.
Q: What is the price range of your products and where do you retail them?
A: Our collections feature super-modern, India-inspired gear. They include unisex tees and polo shirts with remixed national and regional motifs, tricoloured totes, caps, super snacks, magazines, and stationery. The prices range from Rs 100 to Rs 1950. We retail through our website https://motherlandsuperstore.com/ and also have stockists across the country.
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CELEBS SLAM MEDIA FOR MOBBING SRK DURING HIS VISIT TO JAIL TO MEET ARYAN
NEW DELHI: Social media was flooded with reactions from fans and celebrities slamming paparazzi for mobbing Shah Rukh Khan as he arrived to meet son Aryan at the Arthur Road jail Thursday morning.
SRK on Wednesday paid a visit to his son Aryan Khan, who is lodged in Arthur Road Jail. Aryan was arrested on 3 October in connection with a drug seizure on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. According to jail authorities, the actor left after a brief meeting with his son.
The ‘insensitive’ reporting by the media during the superstar’s visit angered fans and the film and TV fraternity. Celebrities including Hansal Mehta, Sonu Sood, and others slammed the paparazzi on Twitter.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta wrote, “Being a celebrity, being a star, being from ‘Bollywood’ means your emotion, your torment and your concern as a father become a matter of public consumption, heartless abuse and ruthless judgement.”
Sonu Sood slammed media by writing, “Before running after someone’s feelings with a camera, remember, God’s camera is sitting on you. Because not every news is news.”
Re-tweeting the video of SRK being mobbed ruthlessly outside the Arthur jail, Pooja Bhatt wrote, “Dear members of the press. I know times are tougher than ever and there is immense pressure on you’ll from your respective employers to grab a byte even if it means compromising your own health and safety but how do you’ll explain this pack like behaviour to your own children? Tragic.”
‘DDLJ’ TURNS 26: KAJOL EXPRESSES GRATITUDE TO FANS FOR LOVE
NEW DELHI: On the occasion of the 26th anniversary of her super-hit movie ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaengye’, Kajol penned a note of thanks to all her fans for showering their love to the cinematic marvel throughout the years. Taking to Instagram, Kajol shared the iconic train sequence from the movie co-starring superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role. Sharing the iconic scene, Kajol wrote, “Simran caught the train 26 years back and we are still thanking everyone for all this love.”
The film had shattered all box office records and is one of the biggest all-time blockbusters in the history of Hindi cinema. It also went on to become the longest-running Hindi film of all time. DDLJ is also the winner of a record-breaking (at the time) 10 Filmfare Awards and the film literally changed the face of Bollywood globally.
NEW CAST REVEALED FOR KEANU’S ‘JOHN WICK’ PREQUEL SERIES
WASHINGTON: Hubert Point-Du-Jour, Jessica Allain, Mishel Prada, Nhung Kate, and Ben Robson have been set as leads opposite Colin Woodell and Mel Gibson in ‘The Continental’, prequel to the Keanu Reeves film series ‘John Wick’.
According to Deadline, ‘The Continental’ will explore the origin behind the hotel-for-assassins, which increasingly has become the centerpiece of the ‘John Wick’ universe. This will be accomplished through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott (Woodell), who is dragged into the Hell-scape of a 1975 New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Hubert will play Miles; Allain will portray Lou; Prada will play KD, Nhung Kate will play Yen and Robson will portray the role of Frankie.
Gibson will play a new character named Cormac. However, not many details about the roles have been revealed yet. With the ‘John Wick’ prequel series, Gibson will make a full return to the small screen for the first time since the 1980s.
As per Deadline, executive producers Greg Coolidge (Wayne, Ride Along) and Kirk Ward (Wayne) are writing the event series and also serving as show-runners.
Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, Stahelski, Kolstad, David Leitch, Shawn Simmons, Paul Wernick, and Rhett Reese will also serve as executive producers. Reportedly, ‘The Continental’ will be a three-night event series.
SHAHID BAGS ACTION-PACKED FILM ‘BULL’
MUMBAI: Get ready to witness your favourite star Shahid Kapoor in an action avatar in the new film titled ‘Bull’.
As per Deadline, the upcoming film is set in the 1980s inspired by events from the life of Brigadier Bulsara. Debutant Aditya Nimbalkar will helm the project. Excited about the film, Shahid said, “’Bull’ is a full blown action film inspired by real events from the life of Brigadier Bulsara. It is a privilege to play a paratrooper who lead his boys through a historic and selfless mission that has now become iconic for its precision and bravado. The opportunity to play a paratrooper is exhilarating and truly an honour.”
T-Series’ head honcho Bhushan Kumar is producing ‘Bull’ alongside Guilty By Association partners Amar Butala and Garima Mehta. Most probably, ‘Bull’ will go on floors in early 2022.
SANJAY SHARES ADORABLE PICTURES OF HIS TWINS ON THEIR BIRTHDAY
MUMBAI: Star couple Sanjay Dutt and Maanayata Dutt’s twins Iqra and Shahraan turned a year older on Thursday.
Marking the special occasion, Sanjay took to Instagram and penned a sweet wish for his kids. “Happy birthday to my precious children! May love and happiness follow you wherever you go,” he wrote. Alongside the sweet birthday note, Sanjay posted a collage featuring images of him spending quality time with Iqra and Shahraan.
Maanayata, too, took to her Instagram account to wish her children a happy birthday. She shared a photograph, in which the twins can be seen cutting their birthday cake. “Keep dreaming and achieving!! Spread you wings and spread happiness…Love… laugh and live…. happy birthday @duttshahraan & @duttiqra.I love you,” she captioned the post.
Iqra and Shahraan were born in 2010. Sanjay is also a father to Trishala Dutta, whom he shares with his late first wife Richa Sharma.
FARDEEN, RITEISH’S ‘VISFOT’ GOES ON FLOORS
MUMBAI: Fardeen Khan and Riteish Deshmukh-starrer ‘Visfot’ went on floors on Tuesday. The film, which marks Fardeen Khan’s re-entry into Bollywood after an 11-year-hiatus, is being directed by Kookie Gulati and also stars Priya Bapat in a pivotal role. ‘Visfot’ is the official remake of ‘Rock, Paper and Scissors’ (2012), Venezuela’s entry to the Academy Awards that year for the Best Foreign Language film section.
The story of ‘Visfot’ oscillates between the chawls of Dongri and the high-rises of the city of Mumbai and will be shot in real locations. Fardeen and Riteish were last seen together in ‘Heyy Babyy’ and will be teaming up for this film after a gap of 14 years.
‘Visfot’, presented by T-Series and Sanjay Gupta, is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Anuradha Gupta and Sanjay Gupta.
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