Earlier this month, we hosted a star-studded in-store event featuring The Grey Heron at The Stylist, Khar. Signature breezy styles by the label were displayed attuned with the summer season. The Grey Heron by Jesse Sandhu is coveted for its comfortably chic outfits that distinguish the wearer in the crowd. The store displayed pieces from the brand’s key collection, perfect to revamp your wardrobe with stunning summer essentials. Kubra Sait came to celebrate with Jesse Sandhu wearing a white dress from the collection.
For The Grey Heron, a zero waste concept is really important! They have been practising this for a while now and always come up with innovative ways to use every last piece of fabric. Shedding some light on how they achieve this, Jesse gave a talk and also showed us how we could do our bit and innovate with what we have.
We spoke to Jesse where she reveals how the brand ‘The Grey Heron’ came about and how the Japanese culture never fails to inspire her.
How did your journey into the fashion industry begin?
I’ve always been an art and design lover! For the longest time, I was pondering with and doing a lot of things related to fashion.
So one day I was wondering, in this world filled with clothes and food, what I could do that stands out. And I woke up in the middle of the night and decided, I am going to start my fashion business and challenge myself. I knew I wanted to use organic fabrics and create something simple and beautiful. Everyone wants to look good on an everyday basis, whether they are going for a brunch or to the office. I realised that clothing that was just simple, chic and classic and not OTT was missing from India. So that’s what I wanted to bring in. I believe: less is more! That’s what I keep in mind by designing. Our designs are simple with a little edgy.
About 10 years ago one fine day I turned a room in my house to a studio and decided to learn to design. I kept designing piece after piece and one day I called my friends for feedback and everything got sold. That’s when I knew I was doing something right.
How did you decide on the name of the brand?
That’s an interesting story! About 5 years ago, I was in Maldives at a bar with some friends; I saw a silhouette of a grey heron, standing on one leg for almost 4 hours. Commonly, a grey heron is considered very crooked looking and not at all graceful. But I just remember thinking this is so beautiful! That night something changed inside me!. When I saw that bird on one leg, looking so graceful, I felt like that represented my story. Everyone goes through setbacks and has imperfections and that’s what makes you unique and wonderful.
So years later when I was creating the brand, I decided to name it ‘The Grey Heron’.
Why does Japanese culture inspire you so much?
About 12 years ago, I was going through a low period in life. and I started reading a lot and started practising meditation. For me, it was about healing myself. There are questions in life no one will answer for you; you have to answer them yourself! Meditation helped me get those answers and heal. I believe everyone drifts towards something, I don’t know why that happens. For myself, it was instinct. Japanese culture, meditation, the Wabi Sabi way of thinking was just my way of living. Also, the Japanese take a lot of pride in their work, and seeing that, inspired me immensely.
Every time I’ve sat down to design, I’ve always thought of Japanese silhouettes, Anti-fit clothing and fabrics that feel comfortable. And that is how I am!
What’s next for you?
The brand is two and a half years old and we never thought we’ll get so far. I get so many compliments from customers saying they love the fabrics, feel and the designs. That reassures me that we are doing something right and inspires us to do more and keep going.
I will never promise someone the moon, but I do know that as a brand while we will always have a similar vibe; we hope to up the mark, use better fabrics and weaves.
Do have any advice for young designers?
Go for it even if you have no money; you just need to be passionate! One can always find a way to make it work.
Shop the collection here.