Ensemble is the fantasy of clothing born in India. Centered around the idea of ‘Make In India,’ Ensemble started its multi-designer showcase in the late 1980s. Their objective was to portray fashion through the lens of an Indian eye, truly highlighting the manner in which India sees, wears, and styles clothing.
Being India’s first multi-designer store, they had no clientele nor a dedicated space in the beginning. The humble start took place on the ground floor machine tool showroom, with only 5 designers established. With determination and constant improvising, Ensemble launched India’s first couture show and fashion week in the grand Taj Palace ballroom in 1988 and revolutionized the way fashion was presented in India. The energy in the models, the music, and the clothing spoke of immense glamour, which was never a feature in previous fashion shows. Ensemble’s fashion week became the talk of the town, being a major social event across India.
In 1997, Ensemble opened their first contemporary store to the world, which had collections of ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, and footwear. Their collections have pieces for women, men, and children too. They shifted from exclusive occasionwear to pieces of clothing that complement an everyday style as well. This opened up their audience from the elites to the common man, reaching hearts across India.
After celebrating 20 years of success in 2007, Ensemble took the leap of expansion in 2016 and opened up a space that celebrated indigenous Indian crafts. Now housing clothing that is hand-made in hand-looms, Ensemble highlights traditional Indian artistry through pieces made by India’s talented weavers. Reflecting their spirit through their architecture, the store experiments with natural materials throughout. From naturally dyed colors to paint the walls to clothing racks constructed using bamboo, the store’s ambiance is closer to nature.
Going above and beyond to truly honor Indian art, Ensemble collaborated with the wonderful Muirne Kate Dineen. A color artist and the only woman in the world trained in the ancient Indian art of Araash Fresco, Dineen created various artworks that hang in the interiors of Ensemble’s store. Her artwork dates back to India’s pre Sultanate periods, and it involves using ground marble dust and slaked lime blended with vibrant pigments. This marked Ensemble’s vision about illuminating the beauty of ancient Indian art, showcasing it in their collections as well as their interiors.
Making their ties with Indian crafts even stronger, Ensemble begun the ‘Ensemble Loom’ program. With the vision to encourage indigenous crafts, Ensemble loom was created to revive weavers and keep them thriving with their art. Through this, they put the spotlight on hand-made organic clothing. With everyday pieces such as hand-made organic boxy dresses to more occasion wear garments like organic shararas, Ensemble searched to incorporate the sustainable ideology in every style of fashion.
With their great success, Ensemble decided to launch a mentorship program that taught aspiring designers about the world of retail and gave them an exclusive insight into the works. Their courses include fabric and fit styling, merchandising advice, and pricing tools. Known as the ‘Ensemble Incubator’, their love for fashion is passed down to new designers to carry out the legacy of reinvention.
With 4 stores between Delhi and Mumbai, Ensemble has been a successful icon in the Indian fashion industry, revolutionizing the way style was interpreted in India for more than 30 years. Find out more about Ensemble here.