Can you tell us about how/ when Antar Agni was born?
I started my label in March 2014. Clothing wasn’t my very first choice of the avenue in design. However, after experimenting in various fields of work, I had this massive urge to prove myself to myself. My first step then became to filter my strengths, and that’s when I realised that apparel design was my path.
What was the tipping point for you for wanting to launch this label?
After a lot soul searching and hit and miss in many fields, I tried to cross out things that I couldn’t do, and shortlist things I had some sort of training/ prior experience in and can bring genuity to, that made me start with clothing.
How has the brand evolved so far, and what makes Antar Agni unique?
We are humbled by the response we have received on clothing that when we launched felt experimental but has now entered the mainstream, it feels wonderful to see people come out of their comfort zone and try new things. I make products that are personality enhancing and makes one feel good about oneself.
The inspiration behind Into the Light comes from the collective consciousness, what kind of audience, in your opinion, would attract to this collection?
Through this collection, we celebrate the balance of quietude in nature and ourselves, journeying against the narrow confines of gender. So, twin with your partner, borrow from them, exchange pieces from your wardrobe, we’ve aimed at making that a possibility.
Future plans/ collaborations for the brand?
Men’s fashion has been on the move and is constantly changing. The acceptance level has gone up, and the belief in sensible and smart clothing has made more impact than before. Androgyny and gender fluid fashion are the languages of the day. This has been one of the major shifts. Also, we see men coming out of the basic T-shirts and shirts pattern and moving more towards experimenting in terms of silhouettes and drapes, both in formal and casual wear.
There are a few things we have in the pipeline involving a few craft clusters. We’re excited to get started on this.
Ujjawal Dubey on the importance of managing the business aspect of fashion?
Business is something that is was always very keen of but knew nothing of and ended up learning it on the job. I have come to really enjoy the business part, I feel it is all about people and interactions and the energy derived through that which leads to better commerce and that is what I love about it.
Ujjawal Dubey on advises for young designers on how to succeed in the industry?
I truly believe in the power of being consistent, the effort needs to be consistent and one needs to always be open to learning new things and criticism. I guess the keywords are consistency, perseverance, mental freedom and flexibility.