October 11, 2019 Asmita Aggarwal

Designs on Prints

Dia Ajmera from the famed Amrapali jewellery family converted her love for art into a clothing line that pushes inclusivity with the philosophy one size fits all

By Asmita Aggarwal

Her uncle Rajesh Ajmera runs the successful Amrapali jewellery group and her father has a burgeoning precious jewellery business, but Dia never courted shine, in fact never wears it too. The young gun trained her lens on sketching and honed her skills at the Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore and decided to launch her label in 2014. The dancer by day, who even taught zumba to earn her pocket money in the island city, while studying design, knew from the beginning that starting a brand would be the ultimate goal.

Pasha, meaning ‘powerful’ in Turkish, also a nickname of her four year younger brother, seemed apt for a line of clothing that intermingled the East with the West. “I always loved prints and when I was younger I aspired to be an artist,” says Dia. Painting florals and still life, Singapore gave her good exposure to communication, design, photography, social media —all the skills you need to run your own business.

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Seeing her passion for fashion, her final year project was showcased at the Audi Fashion Week boosting her confidence and will to go solo away from the family business, even though her father has been her biggest supporter. “He always told me to create your own job, never go and look for one,” she remembers.

Pasha offers what Dia actually wears in reality, dhoti pants, crop tops, drop-crotch trousers, to sari drapes added to dresses in a predominant pastel palette, even when she works with brightness. “My first love is flowers, but now I have added abstract to this lexicon and I mix it up with hand embroidery and sequins,” she says. The beauty of her ideology is that most ensembles are one size fits all, so it inclusive in terms of philosophy. There is a drawstring added at the back of dresses to adjust how much you want it to fit giving that option to the wearer and also the overriding idea of comfort. “Fashion is not stiff upper lipped now, women want easy clothing, quirky bags and layers which they can play with; this is reflected in the way they dress for weddings too where overt was a norm even that is going subtle,” she explains.

LMIFW’20 will see pleating, draping, and prints mixed in a fun fusion way in ensembles you can wear casually as well as for a formal event. “I also do a capsule line of ikats and handloom fabrics, but it is just the beginning,” she explains. And this year saw the launch of her ‘baby’ line titled Neyasa, where she recycles waste fabrics and makes juttis out of it. “One day I saw huge boris lined up near the office warehouse, waiting to be thrown away. I decided to create something out of katrans, mojaris seemed like the perfect fit,” she explains.

Dia is now looking at expanding her client base even though her ecommerce website is doing well, she hopes to be able to take retail to new heights by opening the doors to sell at other portals. “I wish to give more Instagram ads, as that is really going to be the future of how you can get many more people to know about your brand as even on my e-commerce site, most buyers are international. I want to dress Bollywood celebrities and influencers to create a buzz as your ensemble does get instantly noticed,” she concludes.

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Fashion Design Council of India