I discovered vidhiandarpan a creative duo at the Dastkaar mela this January, in Delhi. Their leather accessories had a rustic yet a finished appeal, that now occupies the space between the global luxury brands and the normal high-street ones.Personally, their products represent somebody who is aesthetically inclined but with a pragmatic bent. When I saw the bags and wallets I loved the neon piping or the minimalist design approach to our everyday bags. Feels like I hit a jackpot as it represented my style helping me project my personality better………no nonsense, traditional and design oriented.
Vidhi’s mathematical and economics brains also became accomplished in design from IICD, Jaipur. This has helped in putting her knowledge of various Indian embroideries and materials into perspective. Arpan a talented young man, belongs to a family which is completely driven by design in every sense. He got his Masters in art and design from the University of Arts, London. His work has been an amalgamation of these two creative forms and his expertise lies in working with hard media like wood, metal, leather, terracotta, lacquer, glass etc. Being an artist his first art show based on tea stories was exhibited at Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, last year.
Tell us a little about the inception of your label? What prompted you to kick-start your line of leather products?
Vidhi Sharma and Arpan Patel both 26 yrs. old, share a fascination for leather. Early last year both of us were offered a leather project by a NGO in Jaipur. We got the opportunity to explore various design possibilities. It was our first exposure of working on leather and absolutely loved it, thus post that project we continued with it. The money we earned from it was re-invested in pursuing this activity by hiring artisans to translate our ideas into leather bags and wallets. We were nervous as we had put our money and a lot of time at stake. Leather business is an expensive affair. Arpan as a Product designer, and I a Textile designer purchased leather hides and sheets without much knowledge about the market. We wanted to bring out a series of bags and wallets for the youth.
The thing that keeps us together has always been our passion to create an inspirational brand. The appreciation we received during the FORHEX fair (Federation of Rajasthan Handicraft Exporters) at Jaipur (Sep.’13) was motivational enough to get us wired.
Tell us about your design influences and inspirations?
Undoubtedly it would be Bellroy’s cradle to cradle design approach for one who leads an active lifestyle and engages in different types of activities within a day. Their wallets are positioned as modern craft through which the company engages in strong social and environmental concerns.
As national level sports persons we both love healthy competition,our travel inspired photography and ofcourse Coke Studio and Sufi music (at present) which are all required in high doses to keep us sane and always creative.
All your products are made from leather. What is the reason behind this love?
After working with leather we found that there is a lot of scope and design potential yet undiscovered in the Indian market; it’s the need of the hour to be a step ahead of everyone with designs which are uniquely ours while becoming a trendsetter with understated style statements.
Tell us a little about your recent collection?
Our latest collection is based on tessellation effect or geometric pattern. It includes slim wallets, magic wallets (this is our USP), minimal wallet and card holders for men and clutch pouch wallets for women. Our bags are for all occasions e.g. office, college, everyday and travel. We have used materials like canvas and felt to compliment the pure leather and have focused on the finish, material, designs and everything else that has any connection with the product e.g. care instruction manual is given with every item so that the customer and keep it durable for long.
What are your future plans?
We are trying to combine craft and design in contemporary form. We’ve been working with leather for quite a while, so in the future would like to experiment with other mediums. For our future collections we are also looking at introducing more leather accessories like iPad sleeves, belts, mouse pads etc.
Our facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/vidhiandarpan
Our website: http://www.vidhiarpan.com/