Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Australia welcomed the nation’s first home-born Galapagos tortoise on March 19, 2011.

Now, at more than a month old, the hatchling is a mere three inches long and weighs just three ounces.

Galapagos tortoises are known for their massive size. Males can grow up to six feet long from head to tail and weigh more than 500 pounds. It takes between 20 and 25 years for the species to reach full size and sexual maturity. Adult tortoises have been known to live more than 150 years, according to the San Diego Zoo.



Budding BROWNGIRL designer, Rumina Khatun, caught our eye with her intense and stunning captures on Instagram. From previews into her design-work to glimpses of her gorgeous Bengali sari collection, we knew she’d be buzzing with creativity, and were stoked to discover she’s officially launching her line, BANJAARA pretty damn soon!

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Inspired by her fixation with the nomadic life, tribal silver jewellery and embellished costumes, BANJAARA fuses together the style of Indian gypsy travellers with the aesthetic of Japanese fashion. Queue dhotis, phagris, never-ending pleats and of course, lots and lots of layering.

 What intrigues you the most about Indian and Japanese fashion?

 From a young age, I was brought up watching Bollywood and was totally obsessed with item dances. They taught me 2 things: dance steps and indian gypsies. But it was during college that I came across the Afghani & Rajasthani tribes/gypsies. I’m intrigued by the wrapping of the phagri, the gatherings and folds of the dhoti and women’s eccentric jewellery, mirrored & embroidered ghagra cholis.

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My love for Japanese fashion was first established when I saw the incredible works of Japanese fashion designers Rei Kawakubo & Yohji Yamamoto. Their work is described as avant-garde and is literally an assault to conventional fashion designs and the western ideas of beauty. These designers follow a Japanese principle known as *Wabi-Sabi* which stands for ‘The beauty of things imperfect, impermanent & incomplete. The beauty of things modest and simple' 

 What is it about Banjaara style (gypsy/nomadic style) that appeals to you the most? So much so, that you’ve dedicated your upcoming label to it?

It’s more the meaning of the word Banjara, that appealed to me when naming my label.

Banjaras are the gypsies of India, who travel across all the different states and cultures. Ultimately I want my garments to reach different people from different parts of the world. In this way, the garment itself becomes the traveller.

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Everyone always says fashion is his or her form of expression. Their personal style statement. Does fashion mean the same to you, or do you have a different outlook on fashion and style?

I do see fashion as a form of expression, there are always hints of who you are in what you wear.

My style in particular is the root cause of my label Banjaara. I mix menswear clothing with desi/tribal elements and the wardrobe consists of oversized shirts, dresses and coats.

My designs are very modest, clean and simple classic pieces. One of my favorite quotes by Yohji Yamamoto that I live by is ' My role in all of this is very simple. I make clothing like armor. My clothing protects you from unwelcome eyes.’

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What aspects of your Bengali heritage do you bring into your designs?

The traditional bengali way of wearing a sari is something that i have only just started to experiment with. It’s super comfy and I would definitely encourage others to try it with a pair of leggings and some brogues!

I do intend to bring in some bengali textiles in my collections and i’m hoping to start designing some saris and selling them through Banjaara as limited items but thats something for the future in shaa allah.


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Follow Rumina and her line on Instagram for updates and some serious BROWNGIRL style inspo! We can’t wait to see what she starts working on next… 

- A&S x