Iba Mallai is the Founder and Creative Director of ‘KINIHO’ – a modern clothing line dedicated to sustainable fashion. A fashion enthusiast since childhood, Iba’s obsession for trendy clothing and style was something far-fetched and an unrealistic aspiration. Having grown among the weavers’ community, her fascination for handcrafted fabrics and traditional art of her native land only grew, thus the idea of KINIHO was conceived.
Iba’s passion for sustainable fashion and the urge to stand out, led her to constantly dream about fabrics and silhouettes. The enthusiasm to give traditional heritage a modern makeover became the reason for pursuing fashion designing from a reputed institution in Bangalore. In her own words Iba says, “Fashion to me is not only about wearing trendy clothes but also wearing it responsibly from the heart. It is our responsibility to respect and preserve our cultural heritage and support it to flourish beyond borders.”
Iba was awarded “Best Design Collection” in JD Annual Design Awards, 2015. With her trendy, yet, responsibly designed wearable clothing, she aspires to contribute and promote eco-fashion.
Taking her passion to the next level, Iba also actively participates in engaging and educating with the local weavers in Garo Hills and other parts of NorthEast about the benefits provided by the Ministry of Textiles, India. The Weaver Service Centre in association with the Ministry of Textiles recently launched ‘Hastkala Sahyog Shivir’, a program to support local weavers. During the event, Iba was instrumental in educating the weavers’ community about the various schemes available and how they can benefit from the program.
Through the ‘Hastkala Sahyog Shivir’ program, the weavers:
1) Can get different kinds of financial support
2) Can get subsidised yarns
3) Can get access to special education designed especially for weavers who want to continue with their studies or who want to improve their skills
4) Can get assistance in marketing and promoting their products
KINIHO is a contemporary fashion label, founded by Iba Mallai. KINIHO is a generous fusion of traditional heritage and contemporary designs with a conscious attempt to protect and preserve the ethnic culture and crafts and to promote eco-fashion. With her label, Iba focuses on the current shifts in trends with an attempt to hold on to the tradition by seamlessly blending traditional crafts, such as hand-woven and block printed fabrics. Promoting Eco-Fashion, she uses only naturally dyed block printed and hand-woven fabrics, including Eri Silk fabrics of the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya.
Highly influenced by the art of traditional handloom weaving, Iba’s designs speak volumes of the beauty of the natural fabrics. Her introductory collection exhibits interesting cuts that are sensuous, elegant and feminine. KINIHO strives towards socially responsible methods of production and delivers impeccable ensemble for its ethical customers. The challenge to redefine sustainable fashion by offering clothes that are distinct, global and comfortably fits in one’s own skin is the ultimate purpose of KINIHO.
You can purchase KINIHO clothing from the Ants Store at Indira Nagar, Whitefield and BEL Road. You can also order the trendy collection online through its official KINIHO Facebook Page, and Roots & Leisure