Designer who had a watch for distinctive patterns

Gurnaaz Kaur

It’s a day of great loss for the Indian fashion industry as the news of the death of Satya Paul, the man who reinvented saris, came today. He passed away in Coimbatore at the Isha Yoga Centre on Wednesday (January 6).

His son Puneet Nanda announced the fashion designer’s death on Facebook on Thursday. Puneet also revealed that Satya Paul had a stroke on December 2, 2020, and he was slowly recovering in a hospital. Puneet wrote, “His only wish was to get all the things — he was being monitored and poked with — removed so he could fly away. We finally got clearance from doctors to take him back to Isha Yoga Centre, his home since 2015.” A while later, even Sadhguru tweeted about the demise.

A pioneer in the fashion industry, Satya Paul was born in Leigha, a city in Pakistan, and came to India during the Partition. His creations are defined by a vivid colour palette, evocative designs and signature prints. Among India’s premiere brands, Satya Paul founded his namesake label on April 1, 1985. But even much before that, he entered the field of retail as he exported Indian handloom products to Europe and the US. This is when he got associated with weavers from different Indian villages. While we may know him for his ingenious design sensibility, catering to the classes, he was a great supporter of craftsmen.

Saris were his canvas and he splashed colours on them to his heart’s desire, played with unusual motifs, bringing out something exclusive each time. This experimentation with the traditional attire, giving it a modern twist, lured fashionistas to own a piece of Satya Paul, a style statement! And his creativity wasn’t restricted to saris — in his collection were scarfs, stoles, shawls, bags, wallets, ties, socks, cufflinks and much more. His art is a mirror to his deep soul, a soul that was on its own quest. In his heartfelt post, Puneet shared about Satya Paul’s spiritual journey. He said Paul had been ‘steadfastly a seeker’.

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