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In Conversation with ITR: The story behind the stylish slow fashion brand

ITR by Khyati Pande is a brand for the contemporary world. In the word of इत्र , modernity dances and merges with a clean, traditional approach. The name ITR is inspired by the Arabic word ‘ittar’ which means essence, and it perfectly captures the brand’s spirit. Each collection tells a vibrant story of India’s diverse textile heritage, fusing traditional craftsmanship with a modern twist. With meticulous thoughtfulness, ITR mixes fabrics and textiles from across the country, creating a stunning patchwork of style. This brand is all about quality and attention to detail, ensuring every garment is a unique statement of elegance and sophistication. 

ITR’s journey began in the most unassuming of places: a room on a rooftop, with a mission to craft ‘comfort in chaos’. The result: Minimalist, handcrafted wardrobe essentials that defy seasons and trends, offering timeless versatility. Every piece, though seemingly simple, carries the story of countless skilled hands, each stitch is a testament to patience and care. ITR’s commitment to unbiased, reasonless fashion is what makes it a standout. For them it’s not just about clothes, it’s about creating a wardrobe that’s forever in style. Ahead, we speak to ITR’s founder Khyati Pande who tells us about her journey into fashion, and shares the secrets behind the brand’s collections. 

What led you into a career in fashion? 

The creative seed was genetic. As an introvert, visuals have always been my first language. From summer holidays spent witnessing my Grandmother draped in crisp muslin saris to hand-embroidering and stitching home linens to inheriting my mother’s collection of timeless handloom drapes, textiles have always been a point of fascination. 

What was the design process and inspiration behind your new collection? 

My design process is very personal, organic, and old school. Most of my inspiration is drawn from my craft cluster visits; observing how people dress up, the spaces and objects they interact with in their day-to-day lives.

What sets your brand apart from others in the industry? 

‘ITR’ is not a trend-specific brand. The idea is to craft stories, as they are timeless and trans-seasonal. They bring a sense of comfort and ease just like our clothing.

How would you describe the aesthetic of your brand? 

We believe that ‘Basic is Beautiful’. The brand was born with a basic thought to craft comfort in chaos, hence by default the sensibilities are rooted towards designing garments that are unbiased to age , size , time or trends. What might often seem simple has indeed had a long journey through many humble human hands; crafted with caring patience and with attention to detail.

What materials and techniques do you typically use in your designs? 

80% of the textiles we develop are woven on hand-looms, hand-block printed and hand embroidered. So far, we have been working with fine and airy handspun Bengal muslins, Katan silks from Banaras, handloom cottons from Karnataka, and block prints from Rajasthan.

What message do you want to convey through your collections? 

Time is the true luxury now. To slow down is the need of the hour in every aspect, not just fashion alone. It was a conscious choice to grow towards being a mindful brand, not just as a philosophy but also as a practice. It is important as a brand to cultivate the value of buying a ‘handcrafted’ garment.

How do you innovate and keep your designs fresh and relevant? 

By constantly learning and being curious.

Can you share any challenges you’ve faced as a designer and how you’ve overcome them? 

Coming from a non-business background, whether it is restricted capital or human resource, the brand has organically bloomed and learnt to self-sustain within limitations. The humble beginnings have taught me to be thoughtful, to have immense amounts of patience and compassion not just to the people who help us build our basics, but also towards the women who have constantly made us a part of their wardrobes.

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