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Pearl Academy alumna makes it to Forbes India 30 Under 30 list - Pearl Academy

By Kama Choudhary

In the bustling corridors of Pearl Academy, dreams are not just nurtured, but given wings to soar. Aarushi Kilawat, who pursued a B.A. (Hons) in Fashion Design at Pearl Academy, is listed among the ‘special mentions’ in Forbes India 30 Under 30.

The Birth of The Loom Art

In 2017, fuelled by a passion for purposeful design and sustainable fashion, Aarushi embarked on a mission to revive India’s handloom heritage. The Loom Art was born out of her desire to provide a platform for artisans and preserve authentic craftsmanship.

“It was a time when Slow Fashion was just beginning to take root in our country. Recognising the immense potential inherent in India’s handloom sector, and the enduring quality of its products —meant to last for generations — I felt a calling to work closely with artisan communities. I envisioned a platform dedicated solely to preserving handloom traditions and endangered crafts,” says Aarushi.

At its core, The Loom Art symbolises reverence for handloom and a profound appreciation for artistry. The mission is clear: to breathe new life into ancient crafts, embroidery, and weaving techniques amidst the relentless tide of fast fashion.

“It’s a labour of love, an earnest endeavour to provide artisans with a sanctuary where they can collaborate and thrive. Each creation bears the collective essence of every creative mind involved,” adds Aarushi.

For The Loom Art, sustainability transcends mere environmentalism; it’s a commitment to nurturing livelihoods and preserving cultural heritage. The ethos champions fair trade practices, celebrates the richness of handloom fabrics, and honours the artistry of hand embroideries. Above all, it’s about fostering a community of fulfilled individuals—what they call #HappyClothesMadeByHappyHands.

In her journey, Aarushi encountered adversaries — notably, the looming threat of power loom industries undermining the artisanal culture. Yet, she remained steadfast in her belief that every action, no matter how small, holds the power to effect change. “Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword — it’s a conscious lifestyle choice that permeates every aspect of our existence,” asserts Aarushi.

Having lived and worked closely with artisans, visually-impaired individuals, and differently-abled children, Aarushi has witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of dedicating oneself to a noble cause. Through various endeavours, her mission remains unwavering: to champion sustainability, empower communities, and weave a tapestry of positive change — one thread at a time.

Awards and Achievements

In 2020, Aarushi achieved significant milestones, starting with winning the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week Gen Next Designer Award. This was followed by being named a finalist at Scouting For India Vogue Milan Fashion Week 2020, and further recognition as a semi-finalist of the esteemed global Redress Design Awards 2020 in Hong Kong.

The Loom Art’s impactful work has garnered widespread acclaim, with coverage in leading publications and the designs have been adorned by A-list celebrities, adding to their growing reputation.

Last year marked another significant achievement as they were honoured with an award by CNBC Awards, powered by the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Government of India, recognising their excellence in the Fashion & Accessory Brand category.

Reflecting on her journey, Aarushi attributes much of her success to her alma mater, Pearl Academy.

“Pearl Academy gave me the wings to fly and encouraged me to think outside the box. I still hold my mentors at the institution in high regard. My journey into innovative design began during my time as a student there. Under their guidance, I conceptualised a Braille Tag for visually- impaired shoppers back in 2014. The idea garnered significant recognition and appreciation across various platforms, marking the start of my creative journey. It was at Pearl Academy that I truly grasped the essence and significance of design,” reflects Aarushi.

Today, Aarushi is the proud owner of three thriving brands: The Loom Art, Taro India, and TLA Jewels. Each brand is a testament to her vision of creating ethical, sustainable, and exquisite fashion for the modern world. With her entrepreneurial spirit, Aarushi continues to inspire a new generation of designers to dream big and make a difference.

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