Rooted in traditions in terms of its design aesthetics and opting for sustainable means of production with deft craftsmanship are at the core of homegrown womenswear brand Aankona. Starting out its journey with the production of traditional quilts (kanthas), sustaining the rich culture, heritage and dexterous craftsmanship of the past era, the brand gradually expanded its territory by venturing into women’s wear with a workforce comprising mostly women artisans and weavers from various parts of Bengal and different parts of the country as well. Its range of womenswear includes traditional and contemporary silhouettes like saris, kurtis, dresses, scarves and dupattas that are all woven in handloom fabrics like cotton, linen, khadi and tussore, featuring designs like kantha stitch, Gujarati stitch and jamdani motifs.
The passion project of entrepreneur Sangita Maji, owner of Aankona, is being woven since 2012. “I started Aankona after coming to Kolkata from Mumbai, post my marriage. I wanted to do something on my own, from my home. I took formal training in designing and started my looms in 2016. Now, I have around 8,200 looms in Phulia and Murshidabad supplying handloom fabrics to many places around the country,” said Sangita, who retails her creations through online platforms and at exhibitions. “We started with quilting on handloom fabrics and gradually started making womenswear too. I learnt various Indian textile designs and weaving techniques by visiting the weavers in various parts of India and staying with them. ‘Aankona’ that comes from the word ‘art’ in Bengali, represents understanding, imagination, cooperation, artistic talent, tact and patience. These are the core values that our brand abides by,” added Sangita.
Find them at: www.aankona.com and aankona.design.studio(Instagram)