Sanjana Jon Interview at CIFW 2015
A renowned International fashion designer who is downright desi at heart. She started her career with her brother Anand Jon in New York and created a jewellery line which was highly appreciated by David Bowie and Barbara Hershey which was in support for AMFAR (The Foundation for AIDS research). Her most acclaimed debut was at Cannes Film Festival supported by Prince Albert of Monaco, Princess Sorayya, Princess Sara Al Saud, Princess Olivia de Borbon and more. This led to her debut in New York Fashion Week and Vancouver Fashion Week, where she won the “Rising Star” award.
Sanjana has been a socially motivated person, her every show or event supports a charity or a cause. She organized protests against racism in Mumbai and Delhi and put together a show for “Save the Girl Child” against female infanticide with 16 celebrity siblings. She also broke the world record for organizing a fashion show with more than 500 models in promoting and highlighting traditional and cultural wear of every state in India. Her accolades doesn’t cease to amaze you she’s a winner of innumerable awards including “Karamveer Puraskar, Paramveer Award and Indira Gandhi Award” to name a few.
I’m very glad and honoured to interview this amazing personality today, who has come down to Chennai for “Chennai International Fashion Week-2015”, where the show has 22 celebrities which includes Suhasini Maniratnam, Kushboo along with her daughters, Singer Alaap Raju and Vijay Yesudas alongside actors Yashmith, Iyshwaya, Kiki Vijay, Ashok, Harish Uthaman, Sanjay Bharathi, Kanika, Sanam Shetty, Shristi Dange, Rituparna sen Gupta with celebrity photographer Karthik Srinivasan supported by Apsara Reddy and Chennai’s very own buddy “Prabhu Lakshman” walking the ramp as show stoppers for her. Let’s see what she has to say about fashion, movies and social causes.Hi Sanjana can you please enlighten me on “Love & Light – Save a Girl Child”?
I feel that we live in a world which is hedonistic today, which has become too selfish and self-centered and don’t care about anybody else. I feel that “I” don’t fit in that world. Love & Light is a concept, at least in my world a concept of Purity that is giving, sharing, and loving…. does it really exist? At least in my Utopian world it does but not beyond that. I have created a little world of mine where I have adopted 21 street puppies, I see more passion, love and humanity in them than the rest of the world. With the Love & Light concept I share a more meaningful existence with others who wish to adapt or adopt which is up to them, If not I have a little cocoon where I make myself secure or try to make myself secure.
Associating social cause with Fashion is a trend, when this happens does the “Cause” really has a genuine reach when it’s enveloped with Fashion?
I can close my eyes like an ostrich and think that the hunter is not going to get me, or open my eyes and actually do something about it.
For me fashion is not the END, it’s a means to the end, the end is the social cause. For using or mobilizing my work to get to where I want it to be Fashion helps. It does not have to be just humans, it could be even environment.
In my world I try to cater whatever little social cause I could, it is not centered around me but centered around need.
We live in a world with so many issues and problems, it’s up to us, try to relate to that and see what we can do to fix it. I can close my eyes like an ostrich and think that the hunter is not going to get me, or open my eyes and actually do something about it. The destruction we see around is man-made. In my world I try to cater whatever little social cause I could, it is not centered around me but centered around need.
Sanjana let’s get on a lighter note now, you’ve designed for Musicians, Royalty, celebrities and actors. Which one is the most challenging?
Royalty and Celebrities are two different mind-set, you have to look what are their needs and fill in their needs. It’s not about making them look good but actually making them feel good. Main thing about dressing anybody is understanding their need, their mind-set and what for only after you get this right you can customize an outfit for them.
India is very well known in the International Fashion scene, which city do you think in India could be called as Fashion Capital of India?
It’s pretty hard to tell, but I feel Delhi is amazing even the street fashion is amazing out there, the college kids are very trendy and you find a lot of new trends coming out in Delhi. But on an equal note, in fact on a different note Mumbai because of Bollywood. Definitely in India the two things which influence the most is Cinema and Cricket. Even though cinema might not bring the social well but does brings the fashion very well. Mumbai does have an upper hand but I can say both Delhi and Mumbai are on par with each other.
With that being said Sanjana, where do you think Chennai is on Fashion?
Chennai in its own way is outstandingly beautiful and has its individual flare and style when it comes to fashion, which can’t be compared.
I did spend considerable part of my life in Chennai and I love Chennai. The traditional culture, values, and the vision it has definitely installed so many images in my mind which is the source of my inspiration. I love the kancheepuram silks, the nine yard sarees which in their own way are a beauty. Chennai in its own way is outstandingly beautiful and has its individual flare and style when it comes to fashion, which can’t be compared.
Have you designed for movies?
I have dabbled a few but have not done any serious work due to my personal issues and work. It takes a lot of time to design for a movie. But would love to if I get an interesting project in future.
Who fascinates you in Bollywood?
Definitely Salman Khan, Salman Bhai is my total favourite. I adore him for who he is as a human being and I think he’s a Star in his own Bright, he defines Fashion. He’s not a trend follower but a trend setter.
Salman Khan is not a trend follower but a trend setter.
Sanjana are you familiar with Tamil Cinema? Before the question could be completed….
I do adore his way of transcending generations, I see different generations of youth admire, adore and adhere to him.
Of course in south Rajinikanth is my total-total superstar. I’ve grown up watching him and I do adore his way of transcending generations, I see different generations of youth admire, adore and adhere to him.
Have you seen the first look of “Kabali”?
I did and he looks Suave. He has the charisma with which he can pull off anything. He has the personality which attracts, pulls projecting a magnificent image.
Are you a fan of Superhero movies?
I love Spiderman and grew up wanting to marry “Spidey”. But never got a chance to meet “Peter Parker” nor “Spiderman”.
A final one Sanjana, who’s Sanjana a Fashion Designer or a Social Activist?
I want to be the candle that burns times as fast which burns bright and half as long. I rather give as much light and go quickly than linger with little light.
I will say “Social Activist”. Fashion is just a means to the end. I want to be the candle that burns times as fast which burns bright and half as long. I rather give as much light and go quickly than linger with little light.