Home Animal Meet the Self-Taught Designer Behind Jerseys Worn by Asian Video games Athletes

Meet the Self-Taught Designer Behind Jerseys Worn by Asian Video games Athletes

Meet the Self-Taught Designer Behind Jerseys Worn by Asian Video games Athletes


When wrestler Sonam Malik clinched the bronze medal by beating China’s Lengthy Jia and when the Indian males’s kabaddi workforce beat Pakistan 61-14 within the semi-finals, or when the Indian cricket workforce beat Bangladesh by 9 wickets within the semi-finals, the world and India watched with bated breaths. 

It’s secure to assert that the Nineteenth Asian Video games in China’s Hangzhou will go down within the nation’s historical past for extra causes than one. 

India, now at her ‘greatest ever medal tally’ — 107 medals — has crushed her personal earlier report of 70 secured within the 2018 Jakarta version. 

However apart from the athletes’ stellar performances, one other speaking level has been their sportswear, for which, Delhi-based designer Aaquib Wani couldn’t be prouder. 

He minces no phrases as he talks about his designs, the function the humanities have performed in his life, his ideas on the standard schooling techniques and shutting out the naysayers.  

Aaquib Wani is a Delhi based designer who's work has featured on the sportswear of the Indian athletes participating in the Asian Games 2023
Aaquib Wani is a Delhi-based designer whose work has featured on the sportswear of the Indian athletes collaborating within the Asian Video games 2023, Image supply: Aaquib

Constructing a dream out of design 

It was in 2018 that Aaquib began his personal enterprise — Aaquib Wani Design. In 2021 after a bunch of thrilling initiatives, Aaquib received a suggestion that set the stage for the illustrious sportswear design profession he has constructed. He was requested to design jerseys for the soccer membership, Actual Kashmir FC. 

“Since my roots are there, I made a decision to offer it a go,” he shares. As Aaquib takes a stroll down reminiscence lane, the occasions that led him to this chance are “surreal” to say the least. However, ‘fortunate’ is the very last thing he wish to be known as. 

The 32-year-old is fast to retort that he felt fairly the opposite a few many years in the past, when as a scholar of Class 11, he realised the notoriety of a society that units marks and grades because the benchmark for fulfillment. “Of their eyes, I used to be a failure and this bothered me.” 

As his mates cleared exams and moved on to larger courses, Aaquib felt the frustration of not with the ability to be part of them when he failed twice. It was then that he turned in direction of music the place he discovered solace. 

Cricketer Virat Kohli in one of Aaquib Wani's jersey designs
Cricketer Virat Kohli in one among Aaquib Wani’s jersey designs, Image supply: Aaquib

As he recollects, it helped him cope with failure whereas being paying homage to the artistic facet of his that he’d at all times been wishing to discover. 

As years glided by, Aaquib and his guitar discovered fame in Delhi. His band ‘Phobia’ made frequent appearances at reveals, faculties, music festivals and the likes. The nationwide capital had a candy spot for heavy steel, it appeared. 

At all times having toyed with the thought of making one thing, Aaquib determined to design posters for his up-and-coming band. It will assist him contact base along with his love for artwork. 

Months spent pouring over Photoshop, Microsoft Paint and Illustrator led him to fall in love with designing — a feat that may someday form his present portfolio.  

In his phrases, “I’ve at all times beloved creating. Generally artwork, typically music, typically different issues. I merely listened to the creator in me.” And so, when the chance to design the Actual Kashmir FC jerseys knocked on his door, it was nearly just like the Universe giving its nod to Aaquib’s dream. 

He hasn’t regarded again since then. 

Aaquib's jersey designs are worn by athletes across teams and sports
Aaquib’s jersey designs are worn by athletes throughout groups and sports activities, Image supply: Aaquib

The place tradition is sewn into each material 

Aaquib’s designs aren’t merely scraps of cloth stitched collectively, however as a substitute, they’re odes to India’s thriving tradition. “For example, the jerseys I designed for the soccer membership [Real Kashmir FC] borrowed inspiration from the standard pashmina scarf.” He provides that whereas this was the primary time he had built-in cultural motifs into the design, it positively wasn’t the final. 

When Aaquib was requested to design the jerseys for workforce Rajasthan Royals for the Indian Premier League 2023, he took his concepts a step additional. For anybody who regarded carefully, it was evident that a variety of thought had gone into every sew. 

“We mixed block print methods and fused them with the structure of Rajasthan’s havelis. For example, the jaali sample on home windows was used within the design,” he explains however is fast to level out that he isn’t doing one thing extraordinary. 

“I’m reinventing what’s already there,” he says.

But once more in 2023, Aaquib’s ingenuity got here to the fore when Adidas approached him to design jerseys for the Indian Cricket Group reflecting the ikkat weaving method. Incorporating this Nineteenth-century textile-patterning into the designs was nearly like paying homage to the heritage he had grown up seeing and loving. 

Aaquib integrates cultural motifs into his designs such that they reflect the heritage of the region the players come from
Aaquib integrates cultural motifs into his designs such that they replicate the heritage of the area the gamers come from, Image supply: Aaquib

However, because the self-taught designer shares, the design was additionally meant to replicate the tiger’s stripes. “The animal’s black-on-yellow imprint was mirrored within the jersey.”

With nice initiatives comes nice duty. And Aaquib is aware of it. When approached by JSW for the sportswear of greater than 600 athletes collaborating on the Asian Video games 2023, the duty at hand wasn’t going to be a simple one. 

“There are a number of processes concerned — selecting materials, deciding base silhouettes, conserving the gamers consolation and the ultimate slot in thoughts, amongst others. They’re athletes and so efficiency tops design,” he explains. 

Whereas detailing his artistic course of with the Hindustan Instances, Aaquib stated his first step was to check with textile designer Aditi Ranjan’s e book ‘Handmade in India’. 

“It’s from right here that I made a depository of motifs,” he added. “I received bagh from Madhya Pradesh, marapani wooden carving from Kerala, bamboo basketry from Chhattisgarh, Nagaland skirt patterns, Misoram’s kwapusial, telia rumal from Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakhi psug dgan rugs. I additionally received work applique from Madurai, gamucha from Assam, Sanchi paper lower from Uttar Pradesh, paper mâché from Kashmir, motifs in Tibetan carpets… and the listing goes on!” 

Aaquib additional shared that whereas he wasn’t “attempting to be a torchbearer for Indian handicrafts”, he wished to uphold the thought of giving an apt illustration of our wealthy historical past. 

His work was counseled by Parth Jindal, founder and director of JSW Sports activities, who spoke of how Aaquib’s work was a feather in India’s cap. “Over time, India has made immense strides within the discipline of sports activities, and now the entire world is us as a pressure to reckon with. It has been our mission to depart no stone unturned to assist India change into a sporting nation that competes and wins with one of the best. It offers us immense delight and pleasure that near 900 of our athletes and workers will don an Indian efficiency put on model within the largest sporting occasion of the yr,” famous Jindal. 

For Aaquib nevertheless, each sleepless evening and each robust selection dissolves as he watches athletes carrying his designs win each hearts and medals as they march onto the pitch. 

Edited by Padmashree Pande



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