She's one of India's most unlikely designers. Armed with a Masters' in Business Administration from Michigan, U.S., and experience in a corporate house, she moved on to combine all that she is and all that she had imbibed, for the cause of revival of Indian textile crafts.
Apart from her training in classical music and dance, Anuradha Vakil's sense of aesthetics has been shaped by her exposure, not just to fashion, but to all things artistic early on in life. Most importantly, she was taught to see the intrinsic beauty of things created by hand.
Passionate about the preservation of skills, especially in the handloom sector, she is concerned about the future of Indian textiles, among the finest in the world, which may fade away without patronage.
"I have always seen myself more as a revivalist of textile crafts than a 'fashion designer', mainly because the heart of my design is always Indian textile. For fashion, I believe, can be an art form with depth and substance," she says, explaining her forays into the heartland of rural India in search of craftsmanship.
For the past nine years, her entire body of work, epitomized in the eponymous label produced by her design company Noor, has striven to ensure its survival by making it relevant to contemporary fashion.
A contemporary designer with modern sensibilities, she infuses life in to often-neglected craft forms, introducing new design idiom, revitalizing and motivating the craftsmen to break away from the mundane. "The bonus comes when I get to witness the trickle-down effect of my work reaching the grass root levels," she says, with gratitude.
The style is distinctly individualistic, sophisticated and deeply rooted in Indian ethos. The silhouettes range from purely Indian to fusion styles. Her belief in 'beauty in simplicity' is common to all her timeless collections in hand-woven natural-fiber fabrics. The clothes are simply cut, as the focus is always on the textile: the weave, the print, the craft. "I design for a woman who has a finely tuned sense of aesthetics,someone who is as committed and passionate about things created by hand. I know that my clothes are not meant for everyone and I prefer it that way" says Anuradha.