Kavita Parmar, the young designer from India launched her IOU project in 2011. The Madrid-based brand is informed by Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and dream of a free and economically independent country. IOU aims at creating a team of Indian weavers, European craftspeople and designers from all over the world to develop a new kind of fashion, an ethical fashion. Dresses, skirts, shirts and shoes are entirely handmade using madras and without wasting energy. IOU items are always original and always different, and are characterized by a “code” that speaks of their journey, from weaving the fabrics in India, to making the clothes in Europe.
Describe your approach to fashion?
Fashion for me has always been about a very personal point of view, about ourselves and the moment we are living.
It is about communicating who you are and how you feel by the simple but very necessary act of putting your clothes on.
What is for you formal wear and casual wear ?In which of these two categories do you recognise yourself?
There was a time when there was a very clear distinction between how we dressed for an Important occasion and how we dressed to relax and be at ease amongst friends and family. But there has been a HUGE shift today in how we live and interact due to the Internet and the technological revolution. The physical boundaries between outside and inside have blurred, you could have a very formal meeting sitting on your sofa with people from across the globe or be part of a party on the beach from your office. So our lines of Formal and casual have blurred. I think IOWEYOU is about expressing yourself , your authenticity in the way you dress. Our clothes are designed keeping in mind always a modern comfortable fit but that they look great on and never out of place in any situation.
What is experimentation for you?
Being brave and trying new things to express yourself. Not be afraid but to be always true to who you are.
What about your project for Pitti?
This is officially the first trade show we attend for wholesale distribution and we are presenting our Harris Tweed with Madras collection. This is the second artisan community that we have added to the platform and we are excited about
What is Pitti Uomo for you and the chance to be in Florence?
We are very excited and grateful to the entire team at Pitti for making us a part of this amazing project.
IOWEYOU is a very disruptive idea of using technology and transparency to give authorship to the artisanal community. To de commoditize fashion and to empower both the artisan and the consumer by connecting them.
Also of not making seasonal collections but finding authentic sources and stories to tell through the clothes we make. It’s a new way to produce and we want to share it with everyone interested to use it.
So for us to be put under the spotlight and singled out for the entire fashion community to see is a dream come true. We hope many partnerships and collaborations are instigated here in Florence.
¨ITS BEEN AN EXCITING YEAR FOR THE IOU PROJECT¨
Winner of the 2012 Luxury Briefing Award for Innovation of the Year in London, Winner of 2012 SOURCE Awards by Ethical Fashion Forum London, Winner of the Sustainable Luxury Award Latin America 2012 in Buenos Aires, part of the New York city NY Venture Fellows program, selected for the 2013 Unreasonable at Sea program. Invited to speak on sustainability, fashion and new emerging trends at the United Nations Leaders program in Torino Italy, Tedx Barcelona, Tedx Big Apple in New York, Tedx Navigli, Beyond Fashion Berlin, Pechacucha in Spain, Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi, Fonart in Mexico, Instituto Rio de Moda in Rio de Jainero, SxSW Eco in Austin USA, Paraty Eco Fashion Brazil and many more ¨
Besides having a lot more cooking in the pot for 2014......