Designer Anu Shrestha, the owner of ‘Kallisto Designs’ that specializes in hand painted silk pieces. (Dinesh Gole/Republica)
KATHMANDU, Sept 11: Kathmandu based fashion and textile designer Anu Shrestha has spent nearly 18 years refining her craft of hand painting silk pieces. Now her designs are set to get a new home under ‘Kallisto Designs’, Shrestha’s recently launched – and very first – clothing and accessories brand.
Shrestha has opened ‘Kallisto Designs’ studio at Red Cross Marga near Soaltee Mode. In her preview collections, the studio stocked sarees, blouses, kurtas, salwar kameez and tops, all of which are stitched, embroidered and hand painted by Shrestha’s trusted in-house designers and embroidery artists.
“People today are brand conscious but they are also eager to get quality products. And Kallisto is all about putting a variety of quality products,” Shrestha told Republica.
Before deciding to open up her own brand, Shrestha was working as a fulltime designer for a fashion design company in Kathamandu. Not long ago, the company decided to pull out from operation. This decision affected a lot of the company’s workforce, including the large number of Nepali artists and designers who found themselves out of work.
“I was very close with the workers. While designing you have to work with a team and they are as essential to your designs as are your fabrics. When the company collapsed, I wanted to do something for the workers and didn’t want to lose them,” she said.
She took this grave situation as a “boon in disguise” and recruited the workers from her previous defunct company to start her own independent brand. Such was the genesis of Kallisto. “In Greek, Kallisto means the most beautiful and I had no better brand names that were more fitting.
“Since the beginning, I wanted to make high quality products catering to a niche market. And therefore my focus is to produce one quality piece a day,” she said. She’s even planning to expand Kallisto’s fashion line by introducing designer bags.
Shrestha believes that her distinctive handmade designs will carry Kallisto’s local identity to a much more extravagant international market. And to make it happen, she said, she has already pitched her samples to international fashion houses. “I’m confident that the orders will come rolling.”