About ‘Sharbari since 1991’
A three-day workshop was held in 1991 at the Conclave, by the name ‘Purono Kolkata’, meaning ‘Old Kolkata’, introducing colour and creativity to the otherwise dull and much neglected industry of ethnic menswear.
Sharbari Datta became an overnight sensation in the world of men’s fashion.
In 1992, owing to popular demand, the brand Sharbari started its operations with a humble garage setup in the backyard to the family residence. The formal company was, however, floated in 1993, when a proprietorship entity was formed in the name of “Sharbari Studio”, with Kanaklata Datta as the sole proprietor.
With the gaining popularity of the brand, the production setup had to be expanded and moved to a production studio in the Kasba Industrial Estate, which now has around 60 skilled dressmaker working on the designs made by Sharbari Datta and breathing life into the artistic poems created on the fabric by stitching them in various forms of ethnic and indo-western menswear.
The company’s growth story continued at the same pace and soon a partnership firm was formed between Sharbari Datta, Kanaklata Datta and Amalin Datta, under the name of Sharbari since 1991.
Expansion has been a constant need to cater to the high demand. Another studio at Amtala got added to ensure that production and delivery deadlines were always met.
As, has been the philosophy of the brand, the roots are never forgotten. The first garage unit still exists, doing minor alterations required for customers coming in for trials.
Sharbari Datta – Artist and Chief Designer
To tag Sharbari Datta as an enigma may not do justice to the persona. Had it not been for her, men would still be wearing the boring, lacklustre routine outfits, either in cotton or silk, if there were weddings to attend.
Sharbari was the pioneer to give a shake to the country’s fashion scene, when she brought in the volcanic eruption of colour, threads, art and textiles in menswear.
Sharbari always preferred to be consider as an artist and designer, who draws directly on the fabric with only pencils and a ruler. She has never uses an eraser while transforming the images in her head to the fabric.
The magic of her creations have travelled across the world, with several celebrities opting to wear her work on important occasions of their life.
To know more about her journey, in her own words, click here
Kanaklata Datta – Business Head
Kanaklata Datta has been the driving force of the business of brand Shabari’s since Day One. She has single-handedly taken care of marketing and sales and taken the business to where it is today. Her keen business acumen has helped her to develop this unique format where she sells exclusively out of her living room and yet attracts customers from all over the world. Without getting into the usual retail expansion formats or fashion weeks to boost brand visibility, Kanaklata has managed to position Sharbari’s as a premium bespoke label. Her one-to-one interaction with her customers, attention to details and after-sales customer servicing has helped her built a large client base which is ever increasing.
Kanaklata’s role doesn’t stop at marketing and sale alone. She is also largely responsible for managing day-to-day production. Sale and customer servicing on the one hand and co-ordinating and managing the workshop on the other, Kanaklata is the life blood of brand Sharbari’s.
Her sights are now set on scaling up the business, taking it out of the living room to conquer the world.
Amalin Datta – Production Head and Designer
Amalin Datta has been the backbone of production at Sharbari’s since the inception of the brand and is largely responsible for taking the brand to the heights it has reached today.
Son of Sharbari and Alo Datta, Amalin’s upbringing in an artistic environment from a very early age saw him involved in various creative pursuits since the age of 15. He dabbled in exterior landscape design with various mediums like ceramic, clay, metal casting and the likes. He was actively involved in his father Alo Datta’s block-printed sari enterprise too.
Exposure to various mediums of creativity and design prepared Amalin to shoulder the production responsibilities at Sharbari’s when the label was launched in the early Nineties. Amalin took charge of various design aspects too, like fabric selection, cuts and styles, while his mother Sharbari concentrated more on sketching her signature motifs that adorned the garments.
Amalin’s design aesthetics have evolved over time and his constant endeavour has been to keep modernising the brand continuously to match step with the changing fashion world. While feeding the demands of the domestic market, Amalin has also prepared the brand for the global market, by concentrating on building infrastructure and using technology in design and production. Today, he eyes immense potential for brand Sharbari in the global market and is channelling his energies to tap that potential.
Amalin’s personal strengths as a designer are composition, texturisation, deconstruction and use of technology in design. He also has his own womenswear brand — Amalin, which is an extension of his work for the menswear brand.