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5 Things to Know About Sabyasachi, the Indian Designer Behind the Latest H&M Collab

This collaboration marks the first time the Swedish retailer has worked with an Indian designer.

After recent collaborations with Italian couturier Giambattista Valli, Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz, and Canada-born, England-based designer Erdem Moralioglu, H&M has announced a new first: a collaboration with an Indian designer.

16 years after the inaugural high fashion team-up with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004, the Swedish brand has tapped one of India’s most prominent and successful designers, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, for a first-of-its-kind project.

“I am happy to announce the collaboration with H&M as it allows us the opportunity to share the Sabyasachi aesthetic to a wider audience in India and worldwide,” the designer told Vogue India. “Having done couture for the majority of my career, it is very exciting to bring that finesse and craft to ‘ready-to-wear’ and to create whimsical and fluid silhouettes that bring relaxed sophistication to everyday life.”

His collection for H&M includes printed dresses, blouses and saris, and will be available in-store and online globally on April 16. Read on for five things to know about the designer, whose deft contemporary use of traditional Indian textiles and crafts has made him a household name in his native country.

1. He is Bollywood’s most in-demand designer
Mukherjee, who is based in Kolkata, West Bengal (a state in Western India), recently celebrated 20 years in the fashion industry. Over the course of two decades, he has dressed some of Bollywood’s biggest superstars for everything from red carpet appearances to film shoots to personal engagements, and has also designed costumes for several Hindi films. As one of the most prominent weddingwear designers in the country, he’s also the couturier of choice for many high-profile Indian weddings. In 2018, he designed both Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s outfits for their Hindu wedding ceremony, and has also created the wedding ensembles for other Bollywood A-listers such as Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma.

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Priyanka Chopra @priyankachopra makes for a stunning bride in a custom red Sabyasachi lehenga. Hand-embroidered and hand-cut organza flowers, French knots in silk floss, delicate Siam-red crystals and layer upon layer of threadwork embroidery creates this piece of impossible couture. 110 embroiderers from Calcutta, India took 3720 hours to create this modern masterpiece. As an ode to the resplendence of Mughal jewellery, her wedding jewellery was crafted with uncut diamonds, emeralds and Japanese cultured pearls in 22 karat gold and had delicate tiny stars in uncut diamonds to give a sense of whimsy to an important traditional piece. Nick Jonas @nickjonas wears a hand-quilted silk sherwani with a hand-embroidered chikan dupatta and a chanderi tissue safa. His rose cut kalgi and Syndicate diamond necklace are from the Sabyasachi Heritage Jewelry collection. @sabyasachijewelry Image Courtesy: People Magazine (c) Purple Pebble America, LLC and NJJ Entertainment, LLC 2018. @people Photography by @josevilla / @gettyimages Priyanka’s shoes by Sabyasachi Accessories @sabyasachiaccessories Nick’s shoes by Christian Louboutin @louboutinworld Wardrobe @stylebyami Makeup: @mickeycontractor Hair: @hairbypriyanka Wedding Design: Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla @abujanisandeepkhosla Venue: Umaid Bhawan Palace @umaidbhawanpalace #Sabyasachi #PriyankaChopra #NickJonas #Nickyanka #ChristianLouboutin #BridesOfSabyasachi #GroomsOfSabyasachi #SabyasachiBride #SabyasachiGroom #DestinationWedding #SabyasachiJewelry #SabyasachiAccessories #TheWorldOfSabyasachi @bridesofsabyasachi @groomsofsabyasachi

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2. He has presented his collections at several international fashion weeks
Known for old-world, ornate designs that take countless man hours to produce, Mukherjee’s work has earned accolades from both Indian and international organizations. Over the course of his career, he has presented his work at several global fashion weeks. He was the first Indian designer to showcase a collection in Milan, in 2004, and has since presented his line at New York, London and Miami Fashion Weeks. In India, he regularly presents his work at both Lakme Fashion Week (in Mumbai) and Lotus India Fashion Week (in Delhi), where his shows—bursting with designs rich in texture, colour and craftsmanship—are some of the most anticipated on the schedule.

3. He has collaborated with Christian Louboutin on multiple occasions
Legendary footwear designer Christian Louboutin bumped into Mukherjee at his Mumbai store several years ago and has worked with the designer numerous times since then, creating men’s and women’s shoes inspired by the designer’s rich visual imagery. Featuring studs, spikes and Indian embroidery and textiles, the shoes are a reflection both of Louboutin’s and Mukherjee’s distinct styles. The two have since expanded the collaboration to include handbags crafted out of silk, velvet, brocade and sequins.

4. He has done a homeware line with Pottery Barn
Back in 2016, Mukherjee made his first foray into the world of homeware with an exclusive collection for Pottery Barn. A series of vibrantly printed plates, platters and trays formed the crux of his kitchen collection for the brand, while colourful bedding, luxurious rugs and embroidered cushions rounded out the rest of the home decor line.

5. He’s opening a flagship store in New York
So far, not much is known about the store except that it’s set to open in September 2020. But that’s not the only New York association the Indian heritage brand is looking forward to this year. Sabyasachi’s line of handcrafted fine jewellery will also be available for purchase at a “selling exhibition” at Manhattan’s Bergdorf Goodman department store between January and March 2020.

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