For someone who has always expressed herself through fashion, designer Ananya Modi Jain of the label All2Defy, knew nothing else growing up. She would play dress up with her mother’s clothing and accessories, and was always inspired by the precision and innovation of her mother’s outlook towards clothing. Going all out with her outfits for parties and playdates eventually became a norm for Ananya. Furthermore, studying visual arts in high school opened her up to a whole new world of design, cementing her decision to pursue fashion design in life. The designer went on to graduate with a BFA in Womenswear from Parsons, New York and a Masters in Luxury Accessory Design and Management from Istituto Marangoni, Milan, while travelling and experiencing international fashion trends all across America and Europe. Yet, she truly believes it was her connection to India and its values that stood out. All2Defy today exists on the strong foundation of ‘Made in India,’ which she wishes to take to new heights.
Ananya tells us all about the new collection, her process and more.
What has the journey been like since you won the Gen Next at LFW?
Gen Next is one of the most prestigious pillars of Lakmé Fashion Week, and being a part of it was a stepping stone for All2defy. It helped us carve our own path through new networks, mentorship and platforms, to be with the best of the best. However, unfortunately, the pandemic hit right when things were gaining momentum for us after the show. We wanted to wait it out for the right time and platform to launch a new collection. That’s when we came across the NBA collaboration, which fits our brand perfectly.
Going forward, what is your intent with the label?
All2Defy is one of the first Indian brands to focus on premium street wear. This niche market is still picking up momentum in India. I think if I stay true to myself and my brand’s ethos, All2Defy should stand out. It’s important for me to develop a strong brand language inspired by youth culture — the lingo that we use and the freedom of speech that we encourage. These act as unique markers and are incorporated through graphics and language in our products. Using styling, silhouettes and textile treatments, I seek to create a niche family brand that has a global appeal. Wear it anywhere, every day.
How is it that you incorporate sustainability in your design blueprint?
Sustainability means different things for everyone. I aim to address a socially conscious generation, through a range of eclectic products that remind consumers of their greater responsibility and role in the world. I want to empower our wearers by defying societal norms related to weight, gender, race, colour and make them feel comfortable in their own skin. It’s essential for me to make garments that are multi-functional/reversible, so that they can be worn in several different ways. This also increases the life-cycle of the garment in one’s wardrobe.
Take us through some of the challenges you’ve faced as a young label during the pandemic?
Right after our Gen Next show, the pandemic hit which was super challenging as our garments were supposed to get rolled out to stores in that time frame. In that state of chaos, people were not looking at spending money on premium goods or even their wants. It was more about the need of the hour. Our focus at that point became sales of the produced garments and trying different things on social media to engage our customers. It wasn’t about creating new collections, as we wanted to wait till we felt the time was right.
Finally, what do you think the fashion of now should look like?
I think everyone now wants to wear super comfortable and functional clothing. Clothes which have an edge, make them stand out and are empowering.
Text Unnati Saini