HIGHLIGHTING THE SARI: Design beyond design.
The Design Museum in London’s Kensington will be hosting the first large-scale exhibition in the U.K. on the Indian sari, titled “The Offbeat Sari.”
The exhibition will run from May 19 to Sept. 17 with tickets on sale now.
Priya Khanchandani, the museum’s head of curatorial, leads the showcase, which will bring together more than 90 examples of saris on loan from designers and studios across India.
“There’s a huge South Asian diaspora here in London, so Indian fashion obviously connects with them, but I think the cultural sector is changing and people from different backgrounds with different voices are being given the opportunity to tell different stories,” Khanchandani told WWD at the press conference for the exhibition.
The exhibition will unfold in three parts, covering the themes of transformations, identity and resistance and new materialities.
The first section will focus on the sari’s historical context and how it waned in popularity in the ’90s; the design innovation of the one-piece cloth, and the sari in contemporary art.
Khanchandani wants to use the exhibition to tackle any stereotypes surrounding the sari.
“India’s fashion scene is one of the biggest in the world and it’s time for it to be known beyond its shores,” she said.
“This is not ceremonial wear or something religious or for special occasions. This is street culture and everyday wear in which young people are expressing themselves and it’s extremely relevant,” added Khanchandani, explaining that the sari is worn by women to express female identity and empowerment. She referenced images of women skateboarding and mountain climbing in the garment.
The exhibition moves on to unfolding the gender politicalization of the sari. The sari is traditionally made by men, from the embroidery to the craftwork, which were part of everyday family life, but that isn’t commonly true now as contemporary saris are generally made in workshops and studios.
In the exhibition, Khanchandani explores a handful of men adopting the sari across India.
The last part of the show centers on the technicalities of the sari, which will be demonstrated with hung examples rather than the use of mannequins. The section will highlight India’s expansive textile industry and the way it’s moving into the 21st century.
An example Khanchandani spoke about was Rimzim Dadu’s gold sculptural sari made from hair-thin stainless steel wires.
“I want design in this institution to break out into all sorts of spaces, but fashion in particular, it has all sorts of possibilities that are not often fully explored,” Tim Marlow, chief executive officer and director of the museum, told WWD last year. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED
MARKING THE YEAR: Brooks Brothers is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit by creating a capsule collection with Gold House, a leading changemaking organization for Asians and Pacific Islanders.
The limited-edition capsule for men and women features classic Brooks Brothers pieces such as the candy stripe button-down oxford, Fair Isle sweater and French terry sweatshirt, all updated with a rabbit motif in honor of Lunar New Year.
For every item sold, Brooks Brothers will donate $5 to Gold House, which works to fortify relationships among the Asian Pacific community and with other marginalized communities; invests in the next generation of Asian Pacific founders, creatives and social impact leaders, and promotes Asian Pacific projects.
“We are proud to support Gold House, the leading organization dedicated to the success and visibility of Asians and Pacific Islanders,” said Ken Ohashi, chief executive officer of Brooks Brothers. “For Lunar New Year, and all year-round, we are invested in fostering achievement and accomplishment of all individuals across our diverse communities.”
Bing Chen, CEO and cofounder of Gold House, added: “Gold House is grateful for Brooks Brothers’ commitments to the Asian and Pacific Islander community. We are excited to collaborate with one of the world’s most storied and heralded brands.”
The collection is available for sale at select Brooks Brothers stores around the world as well as online. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
A YOGA CAUSE: Equinox will launch BodyNext Yoga by Equinox in partnership with The Body Agency Collective, a nonprofit committed to advancing gender health care equality and serving marginalized women and girls around the world.
Equinox has teamed up with The Body Agency and its founder, Kate Roberts, a global social entrepreneur and women’s health advocate, to provide girls and women with the right to healthy bodies and safe care.
This month, Equinox will launch BodyNext Yoga by Equinox, hosting 90-minute fundraising yoga events in Washington, D.C., and New York. These events will begin with an educational portion presented by The Body Agency for guests, followed by a one-hour yoga class led by Equinox instructors.
BodyNext Yoga by Equinox will raise funds to distribute The Body Agency Dignity Kits, which are curated for women and girls enduring humanitarian crises around the globe and need basic essentials to help maintain their confidence, self-esteem and safety. Each Dignity Kit costs $49 and will be made up of products focused on good hygiene and health.
The first class will be held in D.C. on Jan. 21 followed by New York City on Feb. 4, with each class spot costing $100, the price of donating about two Dignity Kits. The first event takes place at Equinox Sports Club, 1170 22nd Street NW in Washington, D.C., while the New York event takes place at the Equinox Sports Club at 160 Columbus Avenue. People can sign up for the class and also donate to the organization online. — LISA LOCKWOOD
JUST READ IT: Need a little inspiration before the start of the spring sports season? Nike is ready to help.
Next month, the sporting goods giant will release “No Finish Line,” a new book that encourages the next generation of athletes to image “the infinite possibilities of design and sport.”
Nike, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, takes a look back at its history and also offers its vision for the next half-century.
The book includes a forward by John Hoke, Nike’s chief design officer, as well as a speculative fiction piece by journalist Geoff Manaugh and essays by Sam Grawe, who wrote the book “Nike: Better Is Temporary,” who describes five major changes that design may undergo in the coming years after interviewing more than a dozen Nike designers, scientists, engineers, researchers and executives.
“It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it,” Hoke wrote. “At Nike, we wholeheartedly agree. For over 50 years, we’ve endeavored to create a better future for athletes. This compels us forward, always. When we say, ‘There is no finish line,’ it’s not a lazy reference to an unending grind or destination-less journey, but rather an expression of our belief in the limitless potential of sport — and design.”
The book touches on sport research, technology and manufacturing and includes illustrations by Bráulio Amado and synthesized imagery by PWR.
The pocket-size paperback will retail for $26 and will be available beginning Feb. 14 at bookstores in the U.S., Europe and Asia. — J.E.P.