NEW YORK – Obeetee, India’s largest luxury carpet maker, launched the second edition of the ‘Proud to be Indian’ series with Abraham & Thakore, one of the most successful and respected fashion and design houses in India, at a reception at abc carpet & home, in New York City, on May 22.
The 18 exclusively designed hand-knotted carpets, comprised of calligraphy, ikat, sari and block prints, ranging in price, according to size, from around $4,000-$19,000, is available at abc carpet & home, in New York City.
The first edition of the ‘Proud to be Indian’ series launched by Obeetee, was designed by Indian fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani.
David Abraham came down from India for the launch, while his business partner Rakesh Thakore couldn’t make it because of an expired visa, which couldn’t be renewed on time.
Also present at the reception was Rudra Chatterjee, alum of the Columbia Business School, who is the Managing Director of Luxmi Group and the Chairman of Obeetee, a company which will celebrate 100 years in 2020.
The reception also featured an engaging talk by Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters, who spoke about emerging fashion trends from India, especially for Summer 2019.
Hosting the event along with abc carpet & home was American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia, who travels often to India.
Asked by News India Times if his travel travails have become less – after he hit global headlines two years ago for being kicked out of an Aeromexico flight for refusing to take off his turban and almost missing the New York Fashion Week, Ahluwalia laughed, before responding: “Well, it’s better, but I shouldn’t say anything, because it might happen again tomorrow.”
Guests at the reception, including the Consul General of India in New York, Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty, were treated to wine, tea, and hors d’oeuvres, with live music rendered by the Human Experience – David Block, featuring Kat Factor.
The ‘Proud to be Indian’ collection by Abraham & Thakore touches upon India’s fascinating elements: the borders of vintage saris from Kanchipuram, block prints from Sanganer and the timeless tie and dye Bandhani from Kutch.
The designs are also influenced by the geometry of double Ikat Telia Rumals and the art of calligraphy and its ornate lettering techniques. Other elements like old handwritten letters, faded ink and calligraphic strokes have also been used by the designers.
In an interview to News India Times, Abraham explained that it took as long as two years for completion of some of the carpets.
“The beauty of this collection lies in the technical virtuosity of a hand-knotted carpet, where millions of threads are individually knotted together to create the complex surface of matte and sheen,” Abraham explained.
According to Abraham, whose debut eponymous collection was launched at the high-end department store Bergdorf Goodman, the large-scale mechanization of textile manufacture is both inevitable and necessary, but because of this, handmade textiles and craft need greater protection and support.
Thakore’s sophisticated hand-woven fabrics for scarves, saris and clothing, have been included in major textile exhibitions in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Hokkaido Museum.
(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)