Street culture is unavoidable and Indian artists have somehow managed to merge our unique culture with the larger macro streetscape of the world. The urban Indian is thriving, surging, copping, and representing with each creation or buy-off. I would not be surprised if the next Jerry Lorenzo or Virgil Abloh is from the Indian street space simply because we have something authentic to offer to the world. There is a narrative in our culture and it is slowly being represented in our designs. This statement is not driven by personal bias as much as by a belief in the uniqueness and personality that we have to offer. The young Indian is expressive and aware and only something beautiful can come out of all that energy. From skateboarding to public art to fashion to events, street culture is the perfect outlet.
Here are some creatives fusing Indian artisanal mettle with an urban wave of street culture.
I. Pranav Nireshwalla
Channelling his knack for design and innovation into creative pursuits, Pranav is part of a group of underground designers advocating for a future of innovation and intriguing product culminations perfectly suited for the next generation of buyers.
The creative’s experimentation with including intricate Indian textiles in the process of customising kicks has us floored! Exclusive Chuck Taylor pairs adorned with brocade, jacquard and various handcrafted looms, Nireshwalla’s creations have a cult following of their own. Aspiring to create with thoughtful intent and memorialising significant moments or ideas pitched by the clients, Nireshwalla is the cool kid on the sneaker scene we’d suggest checking out!
View his work here.
II. Merkabah Boards
Merkabah Boards is an artist-oriented collection of skateboards committed to empowering young skateboarders across the country. Cemented in strong Indian art and cultural identity, the label is paving the path for artistically driven products both in physical and digital assets. We’re talking hand sketched ‘Kumba Shaman’ boards, funky graphic caricature laced boards and even NFT boards that are part of the ‘phygital’ collection launched by the brand.
The brand is a staunch advocate of building an art-driven community of collectors, artists and enthusiasts all alike.
III. Lazy Lemons Studio
A young, vibrant and playful brand, Lazy Lemons Studios has a retro, fun and colourful vibe to them. A clothing and accessories brand, they create dreamy jewellery that is lovingly handcrafted in recycled brass and clothing made from repurposed textiles. There is a sort of summery-spring joy and timelessness to their products that we just can’t get over and think you should definitely be checking out too. Don’t believe just us; even hip-hop superstar Rajakumari wears their shirts.
IV. Do Not Touch Studio
An artist, designer and creative director, Sohpaul’s work is heavily influenced by his experience as a first-generation born into a Punjabi immigrant family. Raised in Canada. he draws from street art as well as traditional South Asian visual metaphors and scripts.
Stemming from this constant tryst with the grey area between the familiar and unfamiliar of the past, present, and future, Jessie founded the Do Not Touch art collective. Focused on creating the ‘in-between’ when cultures connect, the artist admits that the meta name is all about grabbing attention and leaving the viewer an open space for preservation and performance.
Connecting a wider audience to the culturally rich heritage, Sohpaul’s work experiments with Punjabi scripts in a refined way and creates distinct patterns and textures.
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