THE REAL INDIAN JOURNEY – JOIN US BEHIND THE SCENES
KLEED founder Carolina Guedes Cruz is the embodiment of today’s intrepid, intuitive traveler. Some years ago, she decided to source KLEED fabrics and production in India.
With no local partners to guide her, no insiders’ tips to follow or highly recommended business contacts to meet with, but trusting to her highly developed business instinct, she embarked on her incredible Indian Journey.
The one thing she did have was the deep-rooted belief that, for KLEED to succeed, she had to unearth like-minded partners, suppliers - and friends. Because KLEED is different. KLEED is about making fashion a conscious industry; making a difference in people’s lives; and “doing the right thing” wherever possible - even if no one is around to see it.
KLEED is about working with communities, sharing experiences and livelihoods. KLEED is deeply committed to protecting wildlife and raising awareness about endangered species.
So KLEED’s entry into India could never be the same as all the other brands´, could it?
MAKE IT PRETTY
Pretty. Yes, Pretty.
Five foot nothing of sheer willpower, infectious energy and boundless creativity. A successful businesswoman in Rajasthan, with her own factory, seamstresses and export business. Entrepreneurial and inventive, Pretty embodies today’s professional Indian women.
The two women met several years ago, when Pretty’s factory was half the size it is today. Over the years their friendship has grown and, as well as being her “Indian Sister” Pretty is KLEED’s main partner in India. More importantly, Pretty is a close friend with whom Carolina has daily skype calls, where they can both share their hopes and dreams for KLEED, between the twice-yearly visits to India.
OH, THOSE PHOTOSHOOTS
Carolina saw a group of camels walking slowly by, led on a rope and, right there, convinced their owner to let them stay with her for the day – and so did he! Another time, in the midst of a shoot, Carolina spied some colourfully-decked donkeys plodding by, and the stunning reds and purples on their coverings were of precisely the same hues as that collection’s main dress. She convinced their owner to allow them to be photographed – but without their stifling head ropes. Needless to say, the donkeys were the stars of that particular photoshoot.
Yet another photoshoot – “The Voice of the Wild” - drew upon the plight of elephants, often mistreated in circuses, or overworked carrying tourists in temples and monuments throughout Rajasthan. KLEED used elephants belonging to an Elephant Sanctuary that welcomes and cares for them - and they simply stole the show.
SAY IT WITH FLOWERS
Photoshoots are a hotbed of creativity and improvisation. One of the most entrancing aspects of Indian culture is the deep-rooted love of flowers -in houses, on women, in processions - they are everywhere.
As for us, we fell helplessly in love with marigolds and their fiery orange petals. Renowned as “the herb of the sun”, they symbolize love, passion and creativity. Just the thing. So, we went ahead and bought 30 kilos of marigolds to cover the ground around our models. Pure magic.
VIKAS SONI – OUR INDIAN MUSE
Vikas Soni is a byword in contemporary murals, where Indian and Western art influences meet with breathtaking success. His Palladio Bar murals, in the romantic Hotel Narain Niwas Palace in Jaipur, launched him into fame.
KLEED founder Carolina Guedes Cruz met Vikas Soni one evening and the instant rapport led to a collaboration with KLEED’s Indian Journey collection. Vikas Soni designed the Bagh Line, a limited edition of The Wild Collection kimonos, on exquisite hand-painted silks. And the photoshoot took place against the riot of colours and elegant vistas of the Palladio Bar murals.
It is by forging unique partnerships such as these, that KLEED continues to blaze a trail in true sustainability: working with like-minded artists, designers, conservationists and businesses, to make a meaningful contribution to their economies and lives.