YUKTI       V.           AGARWAL


designing for impact //
designing with purpose //



︎ I am a current honors student in the Brown /RISD Dual Degree Program.

I work in interdisciplinary spaces– combining rigorous research with a human-centered approach to reimagine societies, cultures, and futures.



︎ MORE ABOUT ME HERE
YUKTI       V.           AGARWAL

designing for impact //
designing with purpose //



︎ I am a current honors student in the Brown /RISD Dual Degree Program.

I work in interdisciplinary spaces– combining rigorous research with a human-centered approach to reimagine societies, cultures, and futures.

︎ READ MORE ABOUT ME HERE


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︎ HEARTLAND




Client 
︎Asian Paints
︎Sabyasachi
 

Timeline 
24 weeks (July-Dec ‘21)

Skills 
︎ Project Management, Visual Merchandizing, Concept Development, Collection Curation, Branding, Visual Identity Creation, Instagram Campaign Development, Photography Composition, Set Styling, Manufacturing



︎ THE PROJECT


The project aimed to create a collection of home textiles and wallcoverings that uphold values of ethical production, fair trade, and sustainability while maximizing outreach and appealing to a broad range on consumers to revolutionize the world of Indian home furnishings.



︎ MY ROLE


︎︎︎This project was undertaken during my internship with Pavitra Rajaram Design (PRD).

︎︎︎The creative director– Pavitra Rajaram, is the Decor Custodian for Asian Paints and was the lead on this project. Aside from being my boss, she is also my mentor.

︎︎︎I worked as the third in-command representing PRD, under Tanish Malji, my supervisor.

︎︎︎We worked on all parts of the market roll-out plan, from curating the collection to promoting it after the launch.

I worked closely with executives specifically Amit Syngle (CEO of Asian Paints) and Sabyasachi Mukherjee (Founder of Sabyasachi).

Additionally, I was fortunate enough to learn a great deal from many giants in the industry during out 3-day shoot, such as Divya Palat (Owner of Balancing Act Group), Shruti Gupte (Production Designer), and Tarun Khiwal (Photographer).



︎ THE IMPACT


This project impacted the lives of many craftspeople– from the artists at the Sabyasachi Art Foundation, to the generations of craftsmen working at the Surface Print Company. This project aimed to employ craftspeople during the CoVID-19 lockdown.

The total financial gain from this project neighboured $6M in the first year after launch.

︎ THE APPROACH


The project included creating a marketing plan, developing the brand, and finally merchandizing the collection.

Phase 1– Curating the Collection
︎︎︎ Consolidating and stategizing the colorways, designs and styles that will attract the most consumers throughout India and abroad. 
︎︎︎ Developed a concept, segregated into smaller sub-concepts with adequete visual and written information.

Phase 2– Prototyping & Sampling  
︎︎︎ Included factory visits, and frequent shipments of new samples to be assessed for market fit, and factory production capabilities.
︎︎︎ This process was highly collaborative and iterative as it required regular and efficient communication for changes with factories and vendors.  

Phase 3– Branding
︎︎︎ Creating a style guide with the appropriate fonts, colors, and visual arrangements.

Phase 4– Visual Merchandizing 
︎︎︎ Organized and planned a 3-day shoot to photograph all the curated ‘looks’ marrying the wallcoverings and home textiles.

Phase 5– Promotion
︎︎︎ Officially launched on the Sabyasachi Instagram account (5.2M followers)
︎︎︎ Promoted via Asian Paints licensed platforms such as Beautiful Home
︎︎︎ Featured in articles in Vogue, Architectural Digest, and Elle Decor, amongst others.
︎︎︎ Fabric and wallcovering sample books were  distributed to local home furnishing vendors around the country, while an exclusive release of novelty process books were given to AD100 designers in India to bring these products into their creative language.

COLLABORATION–– This project was a collaboration across time zones and cities, from Mumbai to Calcutta and Lancashire in the UK
︎︎︎The project united people across the country and globe during the CoVID-19 pandemic.



︎ THE CLIENTS

   



Asian Paints is India’s leading and Asia’s third largest paint company trusted for its outstanding paint products which include a range of innovative solutions. We operate in 15 countries and have 26 paint manufacturing facilities in the world, servicing consumers in over 65 countries.

Read More︎︎︎


Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee is the first Indian designer to show at Milan Fashion Week. His self-made apparel company with a lucrative bridal business, as well as important Bollywood costume projects is world-renowned. He recently collaborated with H&M, Starbucks, and Pottery Barn to name a few, with exclusive premieres at Bergdorf Goodman.

As an artist and designer who thrillingly merges old worlds with the new, and with the Sabyasachi Arts Foundation which contributes greatly to keeping India’s crafts traditions dynamic and relevant, Sabyasachi’s influence on Indian design cannot be overestimated.

Read More︎︎︎    Instagram︎︎︎(5.2M followers)



A QUICK SUMMARY: OF OUR 6 MONTH JOURNEY— 







PHASE 1– CURATING THE COLLECTION



︎ CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT


This couture collection is a constant celebration of the duality of maximalism and minimalism in Indian design. It focuses on celebrating textiles and transforming ancient textiles into modern silhouettes by using indigenous techniques like hand-dying, embroidery, and block printing. The collection inspires textures and weaves found in North African homes in Morocco and Tunisia to the pomp, pageantry, and vibrance of color witnessed daily in cities such as Vrindavan, Jaipur, and Kolkata.

︎︎︎ The entire collection is inspired by the idea of home, and the emotions of hope, love, and memory attached to it that create an ephemeral idea and intangible sensory impact.

The smells and sights associated with childhood, such as wafts from the kitchen of a favorite dish being made by one's mother or the touch of the warmest hug by a family member. It brings together joys, sorrows, solitude, and bittersweet melancholy that take one back to a home where you always belong.





︎ COLOR DEVELOPMENT


Part of the marketing strategy included curating the designs such that strategic color choices were taken to market to maximize sales and appeal to the broadest consumer base possible (North India and South India were targeted seperately based on the varying aesthetic choices seen in different regions).

︎︎︎ A variety of selections, from pastel palettes to bolder palettes were curated to allow even the independent home decorater to make easy choices when buying product.


SELECTION OF COLORWAYS: 




PAINT / WALLPAPER PAIRING SPREADS:





SELECTION OF CUSTOM PAINT CHIPS:






PHASE 2– PROTOTYPING & SAMPLING


︎ MANUFACTURING


A committement to sustainable and ethical production–

THE SURFACE PRINT COMPANY


︎︎︎ The Surface Print Company is located in Lancashire, the heart of the wall covering industry.

︎︎︎ Their facilities employ  a variety of time-honored and cutting edge printing methods facilitated by master craftsmen.

︎︎︎ Flexo and modern digital printing techniques in an ecologically responsible production process were used in the production of the wallcovering.


G. M. SYNTEX


︎︎︎ In line with the ‘Made in India’ government initative, the fabric collection was manufactured by a reputable textile house located in Maharashtra.

︎︎︎ They produce textiles in an ethical and sustainable manner through the use of time-tested handcrafting techniques that are combined with modern textile manufacturing equipments and machinery.



PHASE 3– BRANDING


︎ PROCESS DEVELOPMENTS FOR COLOR & FONT 


An elegant, sophisticated, and deeply ‘Indian’ aesthetic was adopted when branding the entire collection.

︎︎︎However, despite being rooted in India aesthetics, the fonts, iconography, and placements were made minimalist and modern to complement the traditional and maximalist designs of the products themselves.






︎ FINAL GRAPHICS



HEARTLAND BOOK COVER:


WALLCOVERING LOOK BOOK LAYOUT: 






PHASE 4– VISUAL MERCHANDISING


︎ PLANNING & CONCEPTUALIZING THE SHOOT 


︎︎︎The aim of the marketing plan for Heartland was to present the consumer with a ‘lifestyle’ rather than a singular product.

︎︎︎Keeping the Sabyasachi aesthetic central to the concept, each look was curated to present a hollistic marriage of home textiles, wallcoverings, and assistive props.


‘THE SABYASACHI LIFESTYLE’: 




INITIAL MOODBOARD: 

VISUAL MERCHANDIZING PLANNING DECKS:



PRESENTING THE PRODUCT WITH A SPACE: 




ATTENTION TO DETAIL WHEN STYLING:






PHASE 5– PROMOTION


︎ CONTEXTUALIZING THE PRODUCT



THE PROBLEM:


︎︎︎ Sabyasachi is seen first and foremost as a fashion designer.
︎︎︎ The products in the interiors and decor area are less coveted by consumers.

How can we present the Sabyasachi line as a collection that sells a the ‘Sabyasachi Lifestyle’ which not only attracts our loyal customer base, but also allows new customers to become part of the loyal audience?


THE TRADITIONAL:


The first method contextualizes the Sabyasachi home furnishings with Sabyasachi apparel, with India’s favourite Bollywood actress: Deepika Padukone as the model, to appeal to a new elegant, rich customer base in India


THE MODERN:


The second method focuses on expanding the consumer base beyond India, and targeting an international market by advertizing the products in world-renowned publications such as Architectural Digest, as shown below:






︎ INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGN



︎︎︎ Currently, Sabyasachi has an Instagram following on 5.2M.

︎︎︎ The following campaign was put together to narrate the story behind the ‘Heartland’ Collection, while also proving teasers to the products themselves.




︎ AWARDS





︎ REFLECTION

There is so much to learn, as long as you have an OPEN MIND! –   
During this project, I was surrounded by many people who continued to inspire me, and teach me a lot. My understanding on the industry was greatly shaped by coversations I had with the people working on this project. 

Keep listening–  
Just by the mere act of listening, I found myself learning a great deal about the trade, process of design, and industry, from the giants in the industry, who I was surrounded by duringg this project. 

Sometimes you need to put in long hours, and stay patient through it all–
The long work days, 8am till midnight, most days, taught me a lot about staying patient and endearing while working at all time– remembering that there is a lot to learn!  






DISCLAIMER: 
* THIS WORK WAS UNDERTAKEN DURING AN INTERNSHIP WITH PAVITRA RAJARAM DESIGN
** ALL WORK PRODUCT BELONGS TO ASIAN PAINTS
*** CONTENT ON THIS PAGE HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM ASIAN PAINTS, NILAYA, SABYASACHI, SURFACE PRINT COMPANY, G. M. SYNTEX, ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST




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