Our Brand Stories

Summer of 99: My Inspiration to Become a Designer

by ABFRLadmin | November 30, 2022

We at ABFRL, present stories excerpted from our internal newsletter In Touch, where we celebrate stories of our people and their contributions.

There is a certain magic in bringing an apparel design to life, and our designers weave this magic every day for different and novel brands at ABFRL. But there are always somethings, some pieces that are special, and closet to the heart of every designer. 

Jyoti Mili, Deputy General Manager  Womens Wear at Pantaloons shares with us the most memorable piece shes ever designed.  

There is a definite pride in being an alumnus of NIFT and Jyoti honed her skills at the NIFT Chennai campus. She shares with us what led her on this path to creating exciting designs for our value-fashion brand Pantaloons.

As far back as I could remember, I was quite fascinated and drawn towards fabric, patterns, garments and design that went into any clothing giving it a new life. Add to that my own cultural influence from the far North-East, observing and witnessing my mother, aunt, friends and relatives take a great sense of pride in practising and celebrating the fine art of Assamese handloom – Mekhala chador and harvesting silk worm cultures to create the beautiful muga silk. All of these experiences had deeply imprinted and inspired me to become a fashion designer. 

One of my most memorable pieces, would be my first garment that I had created during my 7th grade in 1999. I have vivid recollections of many adventures and some misadventures from that summer, upcycling an old piece of fabric stored away in a forgotten corner of my mothers cabinet to create a mini skirt worthy of my style back then.

It was an era of friendship bands, teddy bear, baby tee, micro mini skirt, and the new millennium of course. In Y2K, fashion as we know today wasnt as easily accessible as it is today. My knowledge about fashion was mostly through TV programs from the 90s, music albums and a few precious magazines collected from my visits to a tiny comic book store. 

Though I didnt have a detailed idea about garment finishes and construction, I finally managed to stitch my first ever design in my mothers vintage sewing machine. It may not have been a perfect piece, but I was really delighted with what I had created. This mini skirt from the summer of 99 gave me the confidence to pursue what I love to do today.

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