“Whatever you become, you will always miss who you were,” a phrase that could only be coined by one India’s most popular wordsmiths, Freddy Birdy. Three soulful word works by Birdy have been commissioned to be part of an Instagram campaign for India-proud label Saundh’s new collection. It is an example of how clever storytelling is now an essential part of fashion. Saundh is a young independent brand who made a debut just over a year ago, making waves with its impactful social media. The Surat-based parent company is Sahiba is the world’s largest printing facility and is a force to reckon within the global apparel industry.
“As the name connotes, the brand Saundh is deeply rooted in Indian ethos and celebrates our passion for textiles and craftsmanship. As an avid traveller, I have always felt the need for a brand that draws inspiration from the rich heritage of India and brings out the intricate design story across the country,” says founder Sarabjeet Singh Saluja. With almost 75,000 Instagram followers, the contemporary fashion label seems to have found an audience. Says Saluja, “Social media is now the new "shop window" for retail brands across the globe. It's a democratic and honest way to communicate who you are and find customers who enjoy what you have to offer. Our campaigns are nothing but messages of what we believe in, we're a homegrown label and we're proud of it. For us, these campaigns are the strongest way to tell our story.”
With Instagram being fashion’s most crowded marketplace, it takes real savoir-faire to stand out. Saundh’s spring/summer 2021 collection, called The Canvas of Life, and is about finding solace in nostalgia but at the same time wanting to write a new narrative. A very thoughtful collection that refers to the Gujarati traditions of bhujodi, a weave from Kutch created with a heavy weft technique and the popular embroidery form of ari is used as a highlight with ambi (mango) inspired prints invoking a feeling of folk to these modern Indian shapes such as breezy kaftans, elegant yet easy shararas and brunch ready kurtas. For the collection’s digital messaging they have collaborated with Birdy, one of Indian advertising industry’s most awarded copywriters. He has a cult following on social media, though he only joined Instagram just two years ago. Adds Saluja, “Collaboration is pivotal in the fashion industry and helps one build engagement with customer. Much like our collection which speaks subtly, Freddy's writing follows the less is more approach.”
During the pandemic his words have given solace to many and been food for thought in these confusing times. Birdy has previously worked on social media campaigns for companies like Benetton and The Lodha Group but what makes this project stand out is this the first time his words have depicted visually for a campaign. “Words, unlike visuals, never date. So basically writing is writing, whether for advertising, for social media or a novel. But the similarity of advertising writing and writing for social media is that they both are brief, relevant and to the point. And with an audience in mind”, he says. He hopes that his work for Saundh speaks of love, hope and positivity. “At these times I think it’s important for fashion labels to keep their messages full of hope as our ground realities are very hopeless and dismal, especially in the lockdown of the last year and the uncertainties of our future.” And Birdy's Instagram is about reflecting on life—he often uses his own unique form of wit and wisdom to deliver his sometimes conversation starting opinions. “Initially, I took to Instagram as a medium to market my word paintings. But slowly, as it gained popularity and momentum, it became less and less about my paintings and more and more about life in general, and things that matter to us all: love, food, friendship, travel, relationships, and life itself.” And this collaboration talks of how fashion is about reflecting the times we live in. More and more young brands are realising their clothes can be communication tools for cultural messages—and as Birdy’s words say for Saundh—“Without tradition there is no modern.”Also read:
11 under-the-radar homegrown occasion wear brands to know this season
3 unique designer brands that are reinventing textiles
Forget Zara, here are 7 Indian ready-to-wear labels you can shop from