'This was an eventual progression': Samantha creates handloom sensation
She’s a diva and has been lauded for her sense of fashion quite often. And that’s exactly why Samantha Ruth Prabhu realised very quickly that her position was such that she could influence people. While she has already won hearts with her philanthropic activities in the past, the actress has now taken up the cause of weavers. One might assume that her ‘duties’ as the ambassador of handlooms in Telangana pushes her to do so. But for her, the need to do all of this runs much deeper.
“I became aware that as an actress, whenever I attend public functions, I am termed fashionable —eventually leading to many women trying out my style. I realised what I wear gets attention. Well, it was after a while, that it dawned upon me that if there’s so much of a reach, I could use it to do some good,” she explains, adding, “I have always loved handlooms and this was an eventual progression. Being termed as the ambassador just pushed me to reach here faster,” says the 30-year-old actress.
While the response to her ‘Revive and Reweave’ campaign, which asked her followers to rehash an old handloom saree, has been received really well with nearly 500 entries coming in. “The aim is to make handlooms cool. We want to bridge the gap between dated, old designs and modernity by collaborating with young designers. I am trying to bring in the idea that the purpose of wearing handlooms isn’t just to help the weavers. People should enjoy wearing the fabric. I want to advocate the idea that you don’t have to look drab and boring but can also look fashionable in it,” she explains.
For Samantha, her various interactions with weavers have actually pushed her to go all out. She says, “Wearing handlooms may not change the world but they make a difference in someone’s life. The government has been trying to help its weavers and has been taking several initiatives. But it isn’t enough! There’s only so much that the government can do. People need to be made aware. And as a celebrity, I think I have a role to play. Can you believe that most of the weavers today are the last-generation artisans in their families? Their fear that the craft may end with them did make me think a lot.”
In fact, on occasion of World Handloom Day on August 7, the actress has organised WOVEN, a fashion show featuring the rich weaves of Telangana’s skilled artisans. Several weavers will also be honoured at the event.
In fact, the buzz is that the actress is all set to launch her own company to promote these local fabrics. Prod her about this and she simply says, “I can say I have very big plans. But I will reveal them on the right platform.”