AISH Focuses On The Craft and Maintaining Textile Craft Communities
Nupur Goenka is the Founder and Creative Director of AISH. She graduated from Tisch School of the Arts (NYU). She launched AISH in 2011, drawing inspiration from her love of textiles. Born and raised in India, Nupur’s early years were spent in community style living in a large Indian family. This encouraged inclusive play, being creative with fewer resources, and a quiet sense of content, independent of individual identity. Nupur has carried these intuitive lessons all through her life, travels and business. AISH works with the textile craft communities of India where entire families work on the same 10 meters of fabric. Where no single person is struggling to take credit for the work. Where the craft is bigger than the craftsman, and the end product is venerated as a piece of art, not just as a piece of cloth. This philosophy is a guide to how they design, produce, and present AISH’s products. Various skills of dyeing, weaving, and embroidery come together harmoniously to create fine and luxurious handmade products.
- Tell us about yourself, your story. What are your fashion creds?
I started AISH for the love of well-made and luxurious textiles. The first product was scarves only, after which we designed kaftans and now hybrid vacation wear. I have a background in design and communication. I studied, worked and lived in the U.S. for eight years and then moved back to India to start my own business. We work with artisan clusters in the villages reimagining the crafts that I grew up with.
- Why did you decide to start Aish? How are garments and jewelry produced, what materials are being used, where is the factory you are using? Are workers receiving a living wage and working in ethical conditions? Why is sustainability and ethical production so important to you?
We design, weave, and print our own textiles. This is done in artisan clusters and in the villages of India. This is not an environment where you can or you would want to pay less than the market rate. We deal with business owners themselves who understand the demand of their product in the market. They work in their own homes, in an environment that they have created for themselves. AISH firmly believes that these localized and community style weaving practices are important for its own longevity and uniqueness.
- We love your dresses and kaftans. The styles are very chic yet playful. Where does your inspiration for your line come from? How does your design process start?
The design process starts with the hand feel, flow, and fall of the fabric. We imagine a certain role for it and how it would make the wearer feel. After which we delve into the color and motif, where we spend a lot of time editing. The idea is to give a bit of local India and make an internationally relevant product.
- What’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned as an entrepreneur in the fashion industry?
The biggest lesson is that you have to put your everything into producing an amazing garment and give your consumer the best that you can give. That is the only way to survive.
- Describe your personal style. Who are your style icons and why?
My personal style is comfortable but sharp. I like the drama of a red lipstick, the flow of my kaftans, and the bubble in my champagne. I have no one style icon but I really Yves Saint Laurent’s sense of color and old school plushness with an eastern twist.
- What’s always in your fridge?
- What three things can’t you live without?
Family, a sense of purpose, and a feeling of emptiness that makes me question everything.