Behind every successful clothing label is a host of hired-gun designers who actually envision, create and manifest style statements for the brand. Yes, in a fashion landscape where everyone is screaming for attention, there are some talented designers who choose to avoid the limelight. Until recently, Sumi Giriraj Borge fell into this class of ghost designers.
Sumi has racked up a career spanning 14 years, working with major brands. However, the NIFT graduate from Kozhikode could never take the credit she rightfully deserved. None knew the unnamed designer behind the collections that sold like hot cakes in popular clothing stores, nor was Sumi ever recognized for her designs.
Perhaps that’s the reason why she finally chose to open her own fashion label, 'Grayscale-design definitions by Sumi'. With Pune as its headquarters, Grayscale focuses on designing as well as customization. “Best quality fabrics that suit your personality – that’s the motto of Grayscale,” says Sumi, who calls herself a fashion counselor.
An alumna of the prestigious Nottingham University, Sumi is a faculty member at NIFT and Pearch Academy of Fashion. She also works as an art director for magazine cover shoots.
Color play and pastel shades
According to Sumi, fashion is not just about trendy apparels, it’s an overall makeover. Slipping into a clairvoyant mode, Sumi predicts the trends for this year: “Colors will get a lot of play of this year. The fashion world is boldly embracing rare color combinations. While traditional prints such as Kalamkaris and Kancheevarams are here to stay, pastels will be seen in combination with navy blues and dark browns. So be ready for combinations like peach and bright yellow.”
Metallic jewelry to make a comeback
Ask about the changing trends in accessories and she says, “This year, antique and metallic jewelry will be in vogue. Classy and minimalist – that will be the mantra.”
The adamant Kerala fashion
Apparently, Sumi is not very happy about Kerala’s fashion landscape. “In Kerala, fashion always takes a backseat. And when it comes to accessories, the yellow shimmery gold is something that people can't get away with. It’s an amazingly beautiful state where people have the perfect skin tone and hair.
“However, people here are reluctant to change for the better. Fashion here is centered around certain traditional concepts; we need to break free from those. Fashion doesn’t demand you to expose. True fashion is all about experimenting with style and carving a niche all for yourself,” she says.