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The Craft Union

by Ankur Malhotra 15 Mar 2023

My relationships with producers or photographers – these are relationships that took years. If you cut a painter’s hands off, he’d still feel the urge to pick up a brush. There is always the new project, the new opportunity. I always say: To be well dressed you must be well naked. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. I am convinced that there can be luxury in simplicity. I wanted to dress the woman who lives and works, not the woman in a painting. It’s hard to balance everything. It’s always challenging. My relationships with producers or photographers – these are relationships that took years. I can’t get sucked into that celebrity thing, because I think it’s just crass. My aim is to make the poor look rich and the rich look poor. Vanity is the healthiest thing in life. I believe that my clothes can give people a better image of themselves – that it can increase their feelings of confidence and happiness. You can hide so much behind theatrics, and I don’t need to do that any more. I don’t really know how to do casual clothes.

Breaking Up With Fast Fashion Has Been Easier

I’m a fashion designer and people think, what do I know? We have got to change our ethics and our financial system and our whole way of understanding the world. It has to be a world in which people live rather than die; a sustainable world. It could be great. Success isn’t about the end result, it’s about what you learn along the way. I am never satisfied with myself and that is what keeps me going – I have no post-satisfaction.

Awkwardness gives me great comfort. I’ve never been cool, but I’ve felt cool. I’ve been in the cool place, but I wasn’t really cool – I was trying to pass for hip or cool. It’s the awkwardness that’s nice. We look our best in subdued colors, sophisticated cuts, and a general air of sleek understatement. I like the body. I like to design everything to do with the body.

“I try as much as possible to give you a great basic product and what comes out, I feel, is really amazing.”

If I fell in love with a woman for an artistic reason, or from the point of view of my work, I think it would rob her of something. We live in an era of globalization and the era of the woman. Never in the history of the world have women been more in control of their destiny.

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