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Design: Photo

By Christine Pemberton

Everyone loves beautiful clothes. Well designed, beautifully cut, painstakingly embroidered and stitched. It’s what we actively seek out when shopping. But when these elegant clothes come with a fascinating back story and a strong message of empowerment…well, as they say, “What’s not to love?”
Welcome to the world of White Champa.
Date Published: 23rd August 2016

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The first thing you should know about the team behind White Champa is that the words “global citizen” and “international nomad” do not even begin to describe them. From the founder, the softly spoken, elegant Manila-based Anjana Das who retains a trace of her Germanic upbringing when she speaks, to Natasha Mukherjee who has lived in a dozen countries all over the world, to Paoyaola Shimray from Nagaland, in the far NE of India, there is a heady mix of language, influence, culture and assimilation. This is a true fusion brand that defies boundaries.

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Anjana Das tells us how she was born in Germany, travelled extensively as a child, worked for a French designer, is now personally based in Manila/professionally based in Delhi…small wonder that influences from all over the world come together in her designs.

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The philosophy behind White Champa is to design elegant clothes that can travel - now why are we not surprised - but clothes that retain a strong link to their traditional roots.

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Basic, timeless and classic pieces. This could be the White Champa mantra.

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The team at White Champa is passionate about embroidery and they love to feature Indian traditional hand embroidery in their designs – not simply to add a sophisticated touch to their garments but as a very real, hands-on way of keeping ancient traditions alive.

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All embroidery is done by hand by master craftsmen, making each garment unique and exclusive.

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Using natural fabrics like pure linen, khadi cotton, silk and wool, the designers at White Champa aim to build a foundation of beautiful clothes that fit together, that mix and match, and yet are different - and that are just as stylish and wearable in India as in Europe, in manila as in Tokyo

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Since Anjana Das spends much of her time in the Philippines, it is only natural that the traditonal arts and crafts and fabrics of this nation of over 7000 islands has a strong influence in her design lexicon. One such infleunce is Abaca cloth, woven by villagers in remote areas of the southern island of Mindanao. Abaca is, essentially, the fibre from the inside of wild banana trees.

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The women’s and men’s collections are handcrafted in White Champa’s own unit in New Delhi, by a small team of dedicated and specially trained tailors and embroiderers. The end result? Each piece is completely unique.

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White Champa is subtle and almost low-key in its marketing, shying away from conventional advertising and trusting instead on a loyal and longstanding clientele who love the look and the philosophy of the brand.

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Ask Anjana Das about her ideal client and the answer is exactly what you would expect from this group of global nomads: “The White Champa woman likes a sense of adventure. She loves to wear beautiful yet comfortable clothes that subtly reflect her originality and quietly say something about her.”

Adventure. Beautiful. Comfortable. Originality. Quietly. The essence of White Champa.


 

 

 

 

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