In an effort to revive the lost glory of Banarasi saris, a few top designers in the country have come forward to work with different weaver clusters in Varanasi to create exclusive silk saris which will be showcased in national and international stores.
The project, an initiative of BJP leader and designer Shaina NC, is likely to help the original sari make a comeback, replacing the Chinese and Japanese silk in the Banarasi sari market.
According to Shaina, the who’s who of Indian designing—be it Manish Malhotra, Abu Jani, Ritu Kumar, Rina Dhaka, Rahul Jain, Varun Behl, Anita Dongre or Shruti Sancheti-have agreed to become part of the project. These designers will work with different weaver clusters in Varanasi to bring back “the old world charm” in Banarasi saris.
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The designers are expected to set up factories in Varanasi. Shaina’s team already had discussions with all stakeholders including the shopkeepers in and around the weaver clusters. She had also met Union Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Gangwar to bring the project under ‘Make in India’ initiative. The designers will be giving colour combinations, designs and will be free to put the price for their exclusive products. Others will be marketed at “moderate” prices.
If the project goes well, it will give employment to at least 1,000 people in Varanasi itself, said Shaina. “The best of the creations will be showcased in all the stores in India and abroad,” Shaina said. According to her, the revival of the handloom sector cannot depend on the government only.