Travel can be the source of inspiration for so many forms of art. For Jyoti Sachdev Iyer, her love for travel merges with her passion for fashion.
A Fine Arts major whose creative leanings manifested in fashion, Jyoti Sachdev Iyer is an Indian designer currently based in Kolkata. She has worked with a number of international labels that have honed her design sensibilities and led to creating her signature style. Read on as she talks about her work and how travel has played a major role in inspiring her designs.
1) Tell us about your journey to being a designer. How did that come about?
Jyoti: 22 years ago, I started with a dream and a young baby to care for. After my stint at NIFT, New Delhi, I found myself in Bangalore, in my grandmother’s garage, working close to 14-16 hours a day, working on intricate concepts, putting my mind into my work and creating an ensemble out of an idea for a few special clients that have been with me ever since. Over the years, my design sensibilities have evolved as I’ve had the opportunity to work with design houses like Fendi and La Perla, whilst also engaging in interesting artistic collaborations like the work I did with the Australian Embassy to revive aboriginal art. Today JSI has two flagship stores and caters to the woman of today who is proud of her heritage but not bound by it.
2) You have travelled all around the world. What does travel mean to you and how has it impacted/influenced you as a person and the work that you do?
J: Travel is a dose of inspiration. An annual getaway always ends up being a fruitful experience. Australia led to an artistic collaboration to revive aboriginal art, Barcelona led to one of my very first travel inspired collections – The La Sagrada Familia was the mood and Gaudi was my muse and my SS18 was inspired by the architectural heaven in Europe, from incredibly detailed monuments to the historic and cultural significance is absolutely phenomenal. The SS18, which is handcrafted life-like roses, was inspired by the architecture of an Opera House. There’s never a creative block that travel can’t fix – I found myself in Udaipur last year on a weekend getaway with my daughter, fell in love with the Tikri work that they’re known for and created a capsule collection – Sheesh Mahal – for a few exclusive clients.
3) What is your typical travel style?
J: Impulsive, relaxed, easy and unusual. I’m not one for packaged or planned tours unless it’s something that’s never been seen before!
4) Share a few of your favourite travel destinations and what fascinates you about these. Tell us one of your ‘Discover the real’ moments.
J: Europe, hands down, in terms of inspiration, although I feel I need to venture away from European culture and explore a few other continents as well. Undiscovered places in Asia is definitely on my agenda. Walking into La Sagrada Familia and feeling so creatively stimulated was definitely that “Aha!” moment. It made me realise that there is so much in the world to discover, cultures to learn from and that my adventures were going to weave incredible stories.
5) A designer, entrepreneur, wife and mother… how do you juggle such diverse roles with ease?
J: A designer, entrepreneur, wife AND mother, may I add. I believe that hard work, honest work and perseverance can get you through anything. It’s not the easiest but that’s what makes it fun, the fact that I get to play so many different roles and love each one of them with integrity.
6) What does being a woman mean to you?
J: Being strong, having a voice, an opinion, a purpose. Being a woman is empowering other women, it is breaking stereotypes, letting people know that no matter what the job or work, a woman can do it. It’s about being a mother and a wife and still living your dream, being able to play such an integral role in various walks of life and doing your best at it.
7) What are some of the challenges you face as a woman in India and how do you overcome them?
J: The challenges we face as women in the world are endless but the fact that we never give up or back down is what matters. Hold your head high and fight for your rights!
98) Your words of wisdom for today’s woman.
J: You are capable of doing anything you set your mind and heart to. You can be a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur or whatever your heart desires, the world is your platform – make the most of it.