"During these unprecedented times, I’ve been calling my friends around the world to check on how they are. We have had some wonderful conversations, as old friends, we’ve experienced so much together over the years. What we all share is concern for the planet, and so many of us running small businesses are specially concerned about the health of our projects, keeping our employees in their jobs, and to be in a position to bounce back when restrictions are lifted. Amongst the close friends across the world I spoke to recently were founder and artistic director of Rungolee Anjali Kamra in St. Louis, and talented Californian architect Raun Thorp of the firm Tichenor & Thorp. A few days went by before I made the connection between the two women, which I thought I should write about to share with you. Raun Thorp was one of the first Rungolee clients when Anjali started her business over ten years ago.
I called Raun right back when I made the connection between the two and asked her if she would get some of her vintage Rungolee out and put it together in the unique way she dresses so superbly and photograph some style pairings to share with other Rungolee supporters around the country.
I don’t think there’s been any other modern time like this one where we’ve been forced apart from our closest friends, colleagues, family and regular encounters. It has left us with time to reflect on what matters, on making space to look after ourselves better (hopefully) and to seek creative ways of keeping our businesses afloat. What we all took for granted in our own lives is under our own scrutiny: what do we value? Why has this happened? What small contribution can we make to heal the world? I firmly believe that even the tiniest positive step adds to the overall march we make to help heal our planet.
In that spirit, the highlighting of Raun’s lovely pairings of her vintage Rungolee items shared here with you, is really a celebration of the lasting love invested in this product and hopefully an encouragement for us all to consider more carefully our fashion choices.
The savvy Rungolee designer Anjali has nurtured the blossoming of Rungolee through various ups and downs in economic times. The label which started out in rented factory spaces in Bombay is now centralized in the designer’s own modern studios, which include state of the art sewing machines, a bright and airy lunch and common room, and a cheery air of accomplishment amongst her personally trained local staff.
Through these unusual times, Anjali is quietly working to ensure her employee community across the globe is protected. Relying on their jobs to support families and pay the rent, Rungolee is ever conscious of ensuring the security of their small but vital team. Keeping the work flow steady of course is key.
More than ever, now is the time for supporters of this unique made to measure, small batch, hand detailed couture label to invest in a movement that is about sustainability; supporting communities involved in specialist embroidery and detailing which are in precarious danger of dying out, and ultimately feeling pride in wearing garments which all have their stories to tell.
So, wear your Rungolee with pride! And like Raun in California, ladies, use this time to re-evaluate your wardrobe: now more than ever is the time to consider slow fashion and the meaning of where your clothes come from. Hold on to your vintage items. You know your Rungolee clothes as classics will ride through the years, adapting to changing forecasts. Wear your vintage items with pride. Further, a gift to yourself of a Rungolee item is an act to lift your spirits high, but also importantly, contributes to keeping the doors to this local business open".