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It's important to go out and looks out for crafts & methods that are completely not visible today: Manish Malhotra

  • Renowned Fashion Icon Manish Malhotra visits Jiyo! Live It, by The Asian Heritage Foundation

New Delhi, 13th October: Jiyo! Live it – a 19 day exhibit cum outreach programme, being organised by The Asian Heritage Foundation till 20th October has received a great response so far. With people from different walks of life joining the movement and applauding the works of the artisans as well as Rajeev Sethi's passion to initiate it. After Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Raghu Rai, Amitabh Kant, Ela Menon among others, recently the undisputed King of Fashion Manish Malhotra visited the Jiyo! outreach programme, and was taken by surprise by the breadth and depth of design innovation at display. On this occasion Japanese Ambassador to India H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu along with wife Patricia Hiramatsu were also present.

He shared his thoughts on the short-lived fashion cycles juxtaposed with the necessity of revival, the latter being on the rise. During the Up-close and Interpersonal session, Malhotra admitted that he comes from a very different background, but "after having visited Rajeev's Foundation, I go back almost educated". He further expressed his sincerity to collaborate after looking at the clothes, the designs and products at display. He also cited how the younger generation today is more inspired, interested, and a lot more knowledgeable, than before.

Speaking on the event, Manish said, “I have known Rajeev ji and I have been here before it always fascinates me, the foundation that he runs – the passion that he runs it with. Every time I come here, I get more knowledge of various crafts and how passionately he curates them. It has been a very enriching evening…there is a lot to see and learn from it is simply amazing to be here and it is tremendously beautiful to see how they are supporting so many different crafts.” Manish believes that for last few years there has been a whole movement by designers to support crafts and artisans but what Rajeev does, is very different. “He goes out and looks out for crafts and methods that are completely not visible today…”

Known for his designs in the film industry, Manish who always experiments with the contemporary looks with the traditional ones feels that traditional clothing is coming back in a large way. He says that there has been a big hand-loom movement in the last two years by the designers. There has been a lot of discussions, talk, movements. He admits that traditional clothing is something that is going to grow as we all are very proud of the Indian heritage, culture and all the beautiful hand-loom textiles that we have and it is going to enhance more.

Talking about the program, Rajiv Sethi said, “We are getting a positive response so far and I am happy that my friends and other distinguished guests from different walks of life are visiting the festival and appreciating the works by artisans. I think this appreciation will motivate these artisans to take the culture, the pride of our country forward. This is a trans-disciplinary movement, which connects entire creative sector with the synergy sector,” he added

An empowering programme creating new livelihoods in cultural industries amongst the skilled but economically vulnerable communities of India, JIYO! - a project of The Asian Heritage Foundation – signifies the arrival of a ‘Swadeshi (Indigenous) Brand’ for the 21st Century. The Foundation has organised 18 artisan producer groups/companies across clusters, and collaborated with district and state level government bodies nationally through Jiyo and Jani brands and locally through the ‘Jiva’ brand.

The effort accelerates synergy between multiple stakeholders from domains of textile-handloom-handicraft, culture, skill development, tribal affairs, tourism, rural development, poverty alleviation, information and broadcast, youth and sports, culinary arts, khadi, cottage industry etc.

The project which has been implemented by the Asian Heritage Foundation with an aim to enhance the livelihood opportunities of rural artisans for cultural industries through design-led intervention is an indigenous brand and a design-led initiative by the Asian Heritage Foundation, supported by the Japan Social Development Fund and monitored by the World Bank. The grant project titled, ‘JIYO’ ‘Creating Inclusive business models for the marginalized tribal communities of Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh’ was launched in 2014, and has received official funding from the JSDF, through the World Bank, as part of its worldwide initiatives to create livelihoods and to revitalise the traditional sectors.

The ongoing exhibition has been an outreach for a vital design initiative inviting you to experience; review and course correct a pioneering program on skilled entrepreneurship for rural India through ten key activities. As much as 200 new prototypes in never seen installations such as Hand Printed Tent for Itinerant Tourism, Gaming with Gond, Sculpted Wild Grass, Origami Leather Lights, Asymmetric Jewellery, DIY Accessories, New Age cuts with Traditional textiles, Hand painted Dinnerware &Terracotta Forms have become a part of this programme.

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