Theres a parrot on your bag!

Posted by-Kalki Team

Aditi Prakash of Pure Ghee Designs on why bags must look and feel good too

How do you react when you see someone carrying a great-looking handbag? Merely sigh or go ahead and engage that person in conversation? It’s the latter that Aditi Prakash of Pure Ghee Designs would prefer.

For more than six years now, she has been creating “conversation starters” at her desk that overlooks a French window in her Aya Nagar studio.

Prakash’s pieces are known for their quirkiness, but also for their functionality. Think totes and work bags with features that everyone craves for, but with a look so smart, they belie their workhorse avatar. Each of these comes with an element that adds a unique look — hand-made, hand-painted wooden parrots from Benaras (now, a Pure Ghee signature), strung beads, flowers shaped out of cloth….

Creating all these is a team of less than 20 workers, many of them the wives of migrant workers. They come looking for some work, are trained and made aware of the artistic possibilities of their hands. “It takes time to train them, but it is worth the effort. They are more confident, willing to experiment…and feel good creating something so beautiful,” says Prakash, who comes up with designs keeping their skill base in mind.

Nothing is wasted at the studio-factory. “That’s how we came up with the Crazy Katran line, made using leftover fabric. The women sort the fabric colour-wise, shred them, and we upcyle this into colourful bags or clutches.”

The brand works with leather artisans, and so its bags feature that technique — the finish, the way the zip is attached, the stitching, the edges… are very different from what one associates with non-leather bags.

Prakash, an NID alumna, says she is delighted when people end up using some bags for years on end. “It all eventually harks back to my grounding in fine art and training in furniture design. I wanted to use what I learnt to create art for everyone, art for everyday use.”

By now, the story of how she named her studio is legendary — a grateful artisan gifted her the one thing he cherished most: a bottle of pure desi ghee — and Prakash says the name reflects both the brand’s philosophy and her desire that her staff identify with it at a personal level.

In her nearly 15-year journey in crafts, Prakash has dabbled in many things, including sculpture, before she found her true calling. And, when asked if she still sculpts, her reply usually is “My bags are my sculptures.”

Popup time


CP Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet

Till March 5, 11 am to 8 pm

Call 42081767

Look out for

Work and daily-use bags that are sturdy yet light, and the result of numerous R&D trials. Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 4,500

Bags in traditional fabrics and sporting varied dyeing and weaving techniques

Think indigo, ikat and blended silk creations, some of which can be washed at home

Accessories, pouches, bag organisers and slings, all with the trademark wooden painted parrot. Rs. 700 to Rs. 4,500

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