Over the last couple of fashion weeks, societal notions of gender have been the topic of discussion, with designers creating unisex silhouettes. While apparel has opened up a realm of discussion within the fashion industry, the accessory segment has not quite played a pivotal role, as yet. However, it wasn’t with this idea that designer Jugal Mistry set upon to create a range of accessories for his six-year-old brand Bombay Trooper.
Initially, the 28-year-old was just in search of viable, eco-friendly alternatives for his brand’s accessory line. But over the course of the R&D for what would become the base fabric for his latest collection, Jugal realised he was working with a material that could spark dialogue — canvas upcycled from Army tents and trucks. “We’ve been working and experimenting on the idea of creating rugged, non-synthetic fibre bags for a while now. When we finally landed on the idea of using upcycled army canvas, the idea excited us, not only because it made for the perfect material, but on a subliminal level it opens up a dialogue.”
Brothers in arms
Sourced from across the world — Indian camps along with US and other Army bases — the brand’s latest collection, Terra Nova comprises a laptop messenger bag that doubles up as a body sling, a backpack which rolls up into a wrap kit, a weekend bag that acts like a tote and a trekking backpack. Created in collaboration with the American brand Mona B, Jugal tells us that the name of the collection (Latin for New Land) was inspired by “how the fabrics literally travelled the globe and adorned different cantonments at different periods, before finally reaching India to be upcycled into a completely new product.”
As to preserve the story behind each piece, the fabrics retain their original camouflage shades of green, brown and grey and bear distinct weathering marks from their previous use, making each product unique. Adding embellishments to liven things up, Terra Nova makes use of vegan leather straps and highlights along with brass plated embellishments and fittings.
Currently only a four product line, Bombay Trooper will be expanding the collection to smaller, more handy accessories like wallets, cardholders and laptop sleeves in the next few months “I make sure that I am part of every step of the process. I work on everything, from designing to photographing the product, to sometimes even manning the phones,” says the IT engineer, who is also a web developer. Also, in the pipeline lookout for athleisure and workout wear made entirely from pet bottle fibre that is set to be launched by the end of the month.
Rs 3,875 onward. Available online.