Mahayatra S/S 2013 Collection - Interview with Neelesh Mistry

Neelesh Mistry, founder and owner of the newly released Mahayatra Collection reveals all about the upcoming S/S 2013 Collection. My recent interview with him gave me an insight into the designer items he is producing and also his inspiration and background research for each unique item.

What was your main inspiration for launching the Mahayatra collection?

“Inspiration for me really came from designing items that I wanted to wear myself and also introducing the element of seasonality when it comes to accessories… specifically for men. I’m also a huge fan of developing items that take on a different persona as they age. All fabrics take on a different look and feel as they are worn and washed, and in some respects they get better and also subconsciously tell a story. That’s what I want to create.

All designers will tell you that they want to create timeless pieces, but I honestly feel that is only achieved when you follow your own path and not a trend. I don’t want to be trendy, I want to focus on classic items. Mahayatra means ‘the great journey’ and I’ve been quite fortunate to travel a lot, so wanted to introduce this concept that we are all on some sort of journey and clothes also have a similar concept from conception to wear. Mahayatra is also meant to be a collective of collaboration with other designers and the introduction of great finds through my travels.”

Were there any difficulties you faced in the initial process of launching the brand?

“Oh yes, the challenges of starting a new line can be stressful. Everything from researching mills, sourcing fabrics and working with foreign manufacturing companies has challenges of their own. Having someone take your designs from paper to sample pieces is an emotional feeling, but you need to keep a close eye on the process. I also think that launching a new collection in this day in age has other challenges as we needed to make sure that we were also taking care of the social space and how people were getting access to the development and launch through Twitter, Facebook, etc.”

When is the release date for the Mahayatra S/S 2013 Collection?

“We look forward to releasing S/S 2013 by February online and shortly after in other stockists.”

What was your inspiration for the S/S 2013 Collection?

“The main inspiration for the S/S 2013 was to introduce soft, light fabrics, tones and hues against a military inspired collection. It’s sort of a juxtaposition of using fabrics such as linen and organic cotton against earthy tones found in military inspired clothing. Nature plays a big part this season. The current F/W 2012 features a major focus on using winter wool, tweeds and knitted fabrics. I wanted to introduce seasonality into the collection. 

For example, most men seem to wear the same ties all year round, they never look at alternative fabrics to incorporate the cooler weather or tones and hues that are normally associated with the fall and winter months. This current collection focuses on the use of heavier fabrics to give the sense of warmth. The scarves are all hand made in India using organic cotton in a heavy weight which help during the season and the patterns compliment the other accessories. Pocket squares for this launch also bring back a sense of sartorial fashion for the classic or modern man.”

What should we expect from the collection now - will you be releasing any womenswear collections or accessories in the future?

“Interestingly enough many women have been purchasing the scarves and ties for their own use. So in some ways, the collection lends itself to both sexes as we have been seeing many women taking cues from menswear today from other designers. A specific women’s line of accessories… yes, but when the timing is right. One thing I’ve learnt through this journey is to not rush it… enjoy the journey, not just the end result.”

The current F/W 2012 collection features a mix of fabrics and textures, colours and prints and patterns and styles. Each item is unique and is bound to compliment any outfit from the neckwear, scarves and the silk pocket squares (which I love!). My favourite piece from the current collection has to be the 'MS Wool Silk Flannel Tie’. The colours are woody and earthy and the tie seems to create a warm feel to the outfit. Personally, I think the tie would look amazing with a tweed jacket, but I’ll leave the styling to Neelesh!

The quality of each item is to such a high standard that you would be crazy to go for something similar, when you can have this! No doubt, the scarves are worth every penny, but you need to be quick because they are selling awfully fast. Handwoven items are high up in my love list and I definitely love these scarves. The colours and traditional/revamped scarfs show a twist on the classic pieces, however they still feature the traditional aspect that you look for in clothing.

There is no denying that this is the emergence of an amazing designer with superb style and taste and I eagerly await the release of the S/S 2013 Collection. For more information on any Mahayatra items, please visit: (To purchase items) (Facebook) (Twitter)

(Photo of the S/S 2013 Collection to be posted soon)