Famed Indian Jeweler And Sari Maker Sabyasachi Mukherjee Opens First Store In New York© GettyImages

Sabyasachi On The Future Of Indian Crafts

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Nayare Ali

While many dream of becoming Sabya brides, what drives Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s ambitions? The champion of artisanal revival shares his vision with HELLO! as he talks about expanding the bridal narrative, showcasing India’s unique craft heritage and creating the first Indian global luxury brand for today’s shoppers. 

Over the past decade, the idea of the “Sabyasachi bride” has become an aspiration for countless young Indian women who have admired the looks designed for celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt. It’s not just his A-list clientele that attracts others; it’s his deep enthusiasm and commitment to Indian culture, craftsmanship and heritage, evident in everything he designs, and his recognition that Indian bridal wear will forever be anchored in Indian culture and tradition. These values, which form the essence of his work and establish an enduring connection, resonate with many.


However, Sabyasachi’s ambition extends far beyond his popular bridal wear collections, leading him to diversify his brand on a global scale, offering a range of products, and even opening a store in New York to express his aesthetic vision. He explains, “I want Indian luxury to be celebrated not just in India but worldwide.”

Establishing a strategic partnership with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited is a significant move in building a global luxury brand. “I’ve received numerous investment offers over the years, but it was only recently that my brand was truly prepared for this step. Timing is crucial! And in the Birlas, I discovered a partner who not only comprehends my vision but wholeheartedly supports it,” he reveals.

Relaunching his ready-to-wear line, inspired by his New York store opening in 2022, is key to his global strategy. “I aim to introduce the world of Sabyasachi to a global audience, not just our diaspora. Meanwhile, Indian wardrobes are evolving, with a growing demand for simpler clothing options,” he explains. “I genuinely believe that today, people prefer quality over quantity.”

HELLO! catches up with the talented designer to chat about his bridal collection, expansion goals and enduring passion for artisanal craftsmanship.

HELLO!: Sabya, how would you define the Sabya bride?

Sabyasachi Mukherjee: “I don’t define the Sabya bride. She defines herself.”

H!: Your jewellery is a much-talked-about addition to your bridal couture. Can you tell us why you decided to widen your range of offerings?

SM: “It actually can be traced back to when I was styling my campaigns and shows and felt that the overall look was incomplete without it (jewellery). Be it the necklace, lip colour or handbag, each piece contributes to the whole story and it all has to come together into a singular sartorial vision. I knew I had a narrative that extended beyond clothing, and jewellery felt like the next, almost natural, extension. Also, over the years, I started working with different crafts, be it jadau or nakashi, and there was such a rich history of jewellery craftsmanship in Bengal itself. I had to tell this story and bring this grand legacy back.”

H!: Sabyasachi Jewellery stands out from the typical, with its emphasis on hand craftsmanship and the use of a variety of gemstones. Can you share what inspired this distinctive aesthetic?

SM: “The fundamental principles that underpin my creations, whether in jewellery, couture or the interiors of my store, are firmly rooted in artisanal crafts and craftsmanship from across the country, and sometimes from across the world. The mix of precious stones goes all the way back to our history and the jewellery worn by our royals. They celebrated gemstones, be it emeralds, rubies, spinels, tourmalines, corals and turquoises. The navaratna is a great example of the way Indian history and jewellery-making has always celebrated a mix of gemstones. But somewhere along the way, we became so enamoured with platinum and diamond jewellery that we left behind the richness and exuberance of our traditional jewellery making. Much like my couture, where I bring together an array of crafts and textiles, my jewellery celebrates a diverse range of techniques and gemstones. All presented from a perspective that involves looking back to move forward.”

H!: Beyond jewellery, you’ve been a pioneering force in diversifying your brand, similar to international brands offering a wide range of products. What was your motivation behind this choice?

SM: “I launched jewellery six years ago and accessories five years ago. I recently launched my first eyewear collection with Morgenthal Frederics, one of the finest eyewear makers in the world. I’ve always been sure about the fact that we need to bring our aesthetic to create not just head-to-toe looks, but to encompass a whole lifestyle. That’s what I have worked towards and continue to do so. I want Indian luxury to be celebrated, not just in India but across the world. And for me diversification was natural progression.”

H!: From being India’s foremost bridal designer to establishing a new paradigm for designer and luxury jewellery, accessories and ready-to-wear, what drove the evolution of your brand into the Sabyasachi we see today?

SM: “Back in 2006, I was dissatisfied after my second showing at New York Fashion Week. You look around and see couture being championed by the West and a few brands emerging from the rest of the world. But India was largely absent. And yet, we possessed a rich history of luxury, stemming from our royal houses, craft communities, and even our daily rituals. But we didn’t have a single luxury brand. It became my mission to change this narrative and to create India’s first global luxury brand. Everything else flowed from there.”

H!: From New York to Mumbai, you’ve established iconic luxury destinations. Could you tell us about the concept for your stores?

SM: “My stores are living museums. They house not only my designs and creations, but the work of artists, artisans and craftspeople from across generations. I realised a while ago that the next generation was not being raised amid our remarkable craft heritage. I wanted to ensure that we not only preserve this heritage through our work but also showcase it for everyone to see. From the tea sourced from India’s finest independent tea estates, to the small batch cakes handmade by local bakers, the Pichwais and Tanjores on the wall, the art created by artists from The Sabyasachi Art Foundation to the antique textiles, hand-carved furniture and hand-knotted rugs and carpets. My stores are a celebration of the artisanal and a way for me to invite the world into my home and my world. Is there any greater luxury than celebrating the past with the present?”

H!: You have unabashedly promoted Indian crafts and culture at a time when it was not fashionable to do so. When did your love for homegrown products begin?

SM: “The love for craft probably started with my two grandmothers, one in her khadi saris, the other in her bright Benarasis. Once you appreciate the beauty of handwoven craftsmanship, you come to understand the concept of heirloom quality. I realised early on that the future of Indian crafts lies in luxury market. To preserve India’s finest heritage crafts and craftsmanship, we must provide them with sustainable economic support and for that it needs to be adapted for modern wardrobes. Be it jewellery, clothing or accessories, we are committed to preserving and celebrating the finest of our heritage crafts.”

H!: Finally, Sabyasachi designs are globally renowned for their richness and uniqueness. How closely does this resonate with your personal style?

SM: “I’m a minimalist. I think I exhaust my maximalism in my work, so personally I stick to my cotton shirts and my white kurtas.”