How the windows of Jade’s flagship store turned into displays for Gond, Warli and other tribal arts
“We’re constantly thinking of ways to bring Indian art into our works,” says Monica Shah, co-founder and creative director of Jade by Monica and Karishma. Since its inception over 12 years ago, the couture-focused brand has committed to support crafts through creating empowerment opportunities and directly working with craftspeople. Consider their employment and skill-enhancing initiative for women, The Chanakya School of Embroidery and Fine Crafts that has been running for over a year now, or creating craft-intensive bridal couture using techniques such as ek taar, kasab, zar and zardosi, badla and bandhini, mukaish and nakshi—the label is a true patron of handwork and heritage. Now, with the pandemic spotlighting the plight of embroiderers, weavers and loom workers, Jade has turned to supporting tribal artists and their vulnerable practices. They have collaborated on The Gondwana Art Project, an initiative by The Craft and Community Development Foundation (CCDF), which is focused on upskilling artisans by introducing new concepts and designs. It has everything from bringing their works to larger-than-life window displays on Mumbai’s premier shopping hubs to introducing a limited-edition series of stoles inspired by their motifs, and the artisans it supports.