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Brass Tacks Archive (2007 - 2019)

From 2007 to 2019, Brass Tacks was a clothing label with a purpose: to provide well-cut, well-made clothes tailored from quality hand-made textiles. 

I founded Brass Tacks in 2007. What started as a personal quest for clothes that expressed my identity turned into a design and business initiative. Brass Tacks was also borne out of a context: in the early and mid 2000s, there were very few choices in the Indian market for well-tailored, structured contemporary silhouettes made from quality hand-crafted textiles. Between bridal wear and sarees at one end, and western wear that had no flavour or element of craft at another, there was a visible void. There were little or no options for young, urban Indian women to express their identity through clothes.

Borrowing from the expression, getting down to brass tacks, Brass Tacks pieces were meant to be foundational building blocks, committed to delivering on the basics: quality hand-crafted textiles, silhouettes with definition, and excellent tailoring standards for everyday wear.

Quality hand-crafted textiles were available in India, so the missing link seemed to be shapely silhouettes for those fabrics. I was also fighting a perception at the time (one that has drastically changed since): that hand-crafted textiles were unfashionable and of poor quality; and one way to combat that perception, in addition to using quality textiles, was to focus on the cut and tailoring.

The technical process of pattern-making and garment tailoring - while considering bodies, movement, the inherent characteristics and drape of handwoven textiles – informed the design of the line.


Brass Tacks clothes were simple and classic at first glance, with clean lines and straightforward shapes. However, with wear one could understand the choice of fabric and cut, the attention to Indian women’s bodies, and the balance between fabric manipulation and the natural traits of that fibre.  

An early realization that international size charts wouldn’t be appropriate for Indian women led to the creation of a size chart based on ratios derived from actual measurements of over 100 women.     

For the first few years, it appeared as if Brass Tacks was early to spot the directional shift urban India was taking; inherent in being a part of this shift was the challenge of having to encourage your audience to come along - or merely to let them know you exist. We played with imagery, focused on our narrative, and held pop-up exhibitions in various parts of the country.