ARE YOU BELLA?

This is usually the first question that I get asked when meeting people for the first time at work related events. No, I am not Bella, my name is Jigisha
| jee·gee·sha | 

Bella Mews is the name given to my brand and it holds great significance to me. The concept for Bella Mews was conceived shortly after the birth of my first child. ‘BELLA’ is the result of weaving together the middle names of both my girls:
Ella & Belle. And in a quaint mews in London, is where we called home at the time.  

A love of saris and my mother’s generosity to experiment with her own cherished ones, is how I began tinkering with various designs. Years later, with a few preloved (and slightly distressed) saris at my disposal, the first envelope clutch was sketched and sewn in a New York apartment and Bella Mews was born.

Taking the same satisfaction and joy that came from creating pieces with my hands in art school, so too does Bella Mews. In staying true to the craft of making by hand, every piece is hand made in New York, allowing me to have involvement throughout the creative process. With responsible design and production a priority, working only with preloved saris is essential. Taking the old to craft something new. Every handbag and accessory is intended to highlight the incomparable and enduring beauty of Indian textiles. 

Our intention is to design and create fashion accessories that evoke a sense of joy through color and to do so with integrity. We make new from the old by repurposing preloved saris and celebrate creativity while being respectful of our Earth and her people.


MINDFUL MAKING

As makers, we have the ability to make mindful choices about the materials and processes we use in the production of our goods. Bella Mews draws inspiration from like-minded designers who are blending creativity with responsible and sustainable practices. 

We are focusing on the creative reuse of fabrics that may have otherwise ended up in landfills and giving the wondrous sari a new life. Wherever possible, we incorporate eco-friendly materials that are organic or biodegradable. Production is kept local to allow for a genuine collaboration with experienced craftspeople. It also gives us the opportunity to embrace the ideals of slow fashion and small batch. We are a young brand, and will keep striving to find new ways to move in this mindful direction and generate awareness along the way.

THE SARI

The sari is perhaps one of the oldest and finest examples of slow and sustainable fashion. It is the quintessential traditional garment of women throughout much of Southeast Asia, with a rich history dating back millennia. It holds great symbolic value and importance through every phase of its life. This colorful craft has also been an economic source for generations of weavers throughout India.

The sari has also served as a canvas for narrative art, depicting stories of ancient times, royalty, fauna and florals in elaborate prints and weaves on silk, linen and cotton. It is five to nine yards of selvedge fabric that drapes around the body and is worn in daily life at home, in the workplace and during festivities. It is favored by the young, the old, the rich and the poor and flattering to both slim and curvaceous bodies alike, gently hugging them all. To some, it is a perfect piece of garment.

We procure only preloved saris, ones that have already lived a life and served their original purpose. Our intrigue for the sari lies in all the stories and poetry that are collected in the threads throughout its life. Where some may simply see a used garment, we see the potential of a new story — a rebirth of the sari.