Bengaluru-based handbag label Aranyani‘s differentiator isn’t simply the use of precious gemstones and gold in their pieces but also the unmatched craftsmanship that rivals international luxury houses. We talk to the co-founder Somshekhar Mirpuri about a handbag being a woman’s most precious gem.
It was during a visit to Italy that Aranyani’s founder Haresh Mirpuri met with Raphael Lombardo, a former product technologist with LVMH and the Kering Group. As the grandson of Coco Chanel’s first pattern master, Lombardo’s knowledge of the field spans generations. He then expressed a desire to launch a luxury handbag that is akin to Hermès. It was this chutzpah and desire to create something unique that led him to create Aranyani, a luxury handbag label.
Deeply inspired by Indian traditions and art forms, Aranyani transcribes semi-precious stones, fine embroideries, hand-painted patterns and gilded gold work onto modern bags. Our conversation with his son and the brand’s co-founder Somshekhar Mirpuri sheds light on his modern heirloom. “Nobody’s wearing a forty thousand dollars necklace and roaming around. A bag, on the other hand, is so personal and is almost like a modern woman’s jewellery.
Achieving this level of finesse is not an easy commitment. Therefore, much before the brand’s launch, the founders embarked on a three-year journey to perfect their craft. “Over the past three years, there were almost 2,414 pieces that will never saw the light of day. We also trained our karigars during the period to derive this self-committed perfection. Named after Shiva and Parvati’s daughter, Aranyani or the goddess of the forest.
The designer’s inspiration behind the gemstone collection, Stone Drops, is partly the rich culture of Maharaja’s and Maharani’s in erstwhile India as well as the energy they possess. “Gemstones are not only for opulence, but they also emit positive energies. We actually charge the stones every full moon and every morning out under the sunlight,” says Somshekhar Mirpuri. All the gemstones are sourced and hand-cut in Jaipur and each piece from the Stone Drops collection hold 50 carats worth of different gemstones.
One of the few luxury handbag brands that do 24-karat gold gilding on their pieces, Aranyani’s USP is their amalgamation of Indian techniques with modern, minimalistic styles. The first step in creating the Fragrant Trails collection was purchasing a bar of gold in order to incorporate the technique into handbags. “After being inspired by the palaces of Rajasthan, my father flew in a family of guilders from Jaipur to come to train us in the process,” he shares.
The third collection by the brand is the Kesuda Collection that combines hand painting and hand embroidery techniques and is inspired by nature. Named after the Kesuda flower or the flame of the forest that created the first organic dye. The use of techniques and motifs indigenous to the country showcases the brand’s affinity to it.
All Images: Courtesy Aranyani