ArtSetters: What inspired the vision behind your brand?
Payal Parekh Bugbee: As a child, I spent a lot of time observing the work of my father, Bharat Parekh, a self-taught textile designer and manufacturer of premium fine-printed silks for the last 45 years. At 17 years old, and without any formal training in textiles or design, he began his printing business literally from a cardboard box. Decades later he would receive world class recognition for his prints and design skill. This early exposure to meticulous craftsmanship, exquisite color combinations, and close observation of the art of traditional silkscreen printing in our family-owned factory has most definitely inspired my vision.
Also a huge part of the inspiration comes from the world travels that my husband and I have had and the people we have met. Fashion for us is not about status, or how expensive a product might be, but more about the story behind in the making of each individual product. We have a commitment to bringing forward the human dimension behind the clothing or accessory. Giving a spotlight to the beauty of the product, but also appreciating the work and skill that went in to making it. Showing and knowing is what we like to call it. In the current day, where mega machines are employed to secure profits and cut costs, there seems to be a real disconnect between clothing and the consumer. We want to stay with the original story of true artisanship and maintain a transparent channel on the manufacturing process of our handcrafted wearable products.
AS: What are three core values that represent your designs?
PPB: Team work, Integrity, and Compassion. You have to connect the dots on these three components when you’re in this business because you are never working alone. When it comes to handmade textiles, there are so many people, families, and livelihoods in the mix.
AS: What materials do you use?
PPB: We use a variety of weights and styles of fine silks, cottons and wools for our products.
AS: What advice would you give to up & coming designers that want to start their own brand?
PPB: Be prepared to work really long hours and don’t be surprised if your work infuses itself into your dreams. You have to celebrate every small win, while at the same time, not take it personally when your ideas don’t materialize just exactly the way you envisioned them!
AS: If your designs were a movie, which would it be?
PPB: Breakfast at Tiffany’s for sure. Actually, all of Audrey Hepburn’s movies would have had our designs in them. Also, the character Vianne, played by Juliette Binoche in Chocolat. Impeccable dressing style. She would certainly have stocked a few of our pashmina shawls and silk scarves in her wardrobe.
AS: What’s next for Parekh Bugbee?
PPB: Other than rolling out our new Fall-Winter 2015 line of scarves that are just simply gorgeous, we’ve just completed printing a special run of samples at our family factory in India. It’s an intriguing scarf line that exhibits a blend of disparate technologies and artistic styles while at the same time celebrates one gorgeous theme. It’s a little hush-hush right now, but stay tuned for Spring 2016!