In 2016, when the idea of genderless fashion was still gathering momentum, a sibling duo decided to build their entire work around it. Pushing the boundaries of gender-normative fashion, Chennai-based Shruti Biswajit and Barcelona-based Harsha Biswajit founded Biskit in 2017 as a multi-disciplinary design studio that sought to merge art, fashion, and design within this subject.
Shruti (28) and Harsha (31) wanted to give the decision-making power – who wears what – back to the consumer, and that’s how the initial concept for their clothing label was born. In the three years since the launch, Biskit has evolved to become a label that makes functional, durable, quality, unisex clothing comprising oversized shirts, bombers, joggers, tees, sweatshirts, and detachable mini bags. The duo has creatively used cotton, cotton blends, and knits to shape their collection, which is priced Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000 (approx).
Not only does Biskit break the long-standing duality that permeates the industry, but the label’s utilitarian design is also deliberate. “We understand the need to have gender-specific clothing for certain occasions, but for day-to-day clothing, it’s not a need. What we are essentially talking about is a piece of fabric whose gender has been predetermined by the industry, because it’s easier for companies to mass-produce, market, and sell clothes in this way. This only creates an atmosphere of excess, which is not sustainable in today’s environment.”
Biskit’s first collection, Spaced Out, launched in 2018 and was inspired by India’s space exploration. The duo employed various elements from India’s space history to build a visual narrative spanning a series of classic silhouettes: Sweatpants, tees, and multi-functional bags – think concept-based art prints to reflect the mood of outer space.
“Personally, we take great inspiration from art – the ability to explore ideas without any boundaries. We are constantly drawing, creating images, and objects that tell a story and this experimental attitude translates into our approach,” shares Shruti.
The co-founders believe in creations that are born out of stories worth exploring. And keeping in line with their commitment to sustainability, they don’t unveil seasonal collections – they’ve created only one to date, with slight additions or modifications for ‘newness’. “No more duplicate white tees, made in different sizes, marketed as man vs. woman,” says Shruti. Last year, they collaborated with the Copenhagen-based duo GENTS on a line of T-shirts, trousers, and tops.
After Shruti’s stints in New York, studying at Parsons and working at Helmut Lang & Zac Posen, she teamed up with her brother who was completing his art residency in France, at CCR Les Dominicains de Haute-Alsace. What started out as a project to push each other’s creative boundaries, took shape as Biskit. The co-founders were inspired by the time they had spent in New York City, particularly, the Brooklyn culture. Biskit is, therefore, also a blend of the contemporary aesthetics of India and New York.
Staying true to their multi-disciplinary experience, Shruti & Harsha also apply their design sensibilities to multiple mediums: Pencil cases, multi-functional bags, limited-edition art prints, and more. To this effect, Biskit has also set up limited-time exhibits across India and Europe, where each exhibit doubles up as an art installation, offering the consumer a 360-degree feel of the Biskit world.
Shop Biskit at Evoluzione in Chennai, Studio 183 in Berlin, and The Roseate House in Delhi. To order online click here (note their COVID-19 shipping update).
All images: Courtesy Biskit