Musician-turned-artist Aaquib Wani’s jackets feature hand-painted work
At a pop-up dedicated to streetwear in Delhi recently, Aaquib Wani, who creates customised jackets, had a special visitor at his stall — Aparshakti Khurana, actor, television host, singer and also the brother of Ayushmann Khurrana. “He didn’t actually buy anything, but he tried one on and really liked it,” says Aaquib, who started designing jackets over a year ago. “One day, I decided to ‘refurbish’ one of my old leather jackets,” he shares, adding that it got a lot of attention from friends and prompted him to take it up as a part-time business.
A wedding venue designer and illustrator by profession, Aaquib designed part of Isha Ambani’s sangeet and Akash Ambani’s wed-ding. Besides events, he designs logos for brands and album art for bands. But he kick-started his career in the creative field with Phobia, a metal band and then worked with a music magazine, before finding out that his passion and interest really lay in playing with colours. Completely self taught, Aaquib hand-paints all his jackets and finishes them off with embellishments and embroidery. “I would say my style is very vibrant, colourful and full of life,” explains Aaquib, who works with denim and leather jackets. “I’m open to working with other material as well, but these are the fabrics I have worked on so far,” he adds.
The Delhi-based artist takes orders from clients who want to give an old jacket a makeover or add some colour to a brand new jacket. He even makes them from scratch for anyone who is interested. One of his favourite creations was his collaboration with Levi’s. “It was to celebrate the 145th birthday of the blue jean. I designed it with a giant octopus on the back, surrounded by botanical motifs. It’s very chaotic. I wanted the effect to be like a ‘butterfly in a storm,’” he tells us.
While the jackets are a recent development, Aaquib has always been wearing clothes designed by himself. “I love collecting different types of fabric, and everything from dress material to bedspreads and curtains. I even have shirts made from bedsheets. And people always find them interesting,” he reveals. In November, he will launch a line of shirts, trousers and bomber jackets made from textiles like ikat and garment factory waste. In addition, he is also in the middle of bringing out a collection of jackets featuring traditional Indian art, like Madhubani and Pattachitra, in collaboration with small-time artisans. This collection will also be available online in November, on his website, which is expected to go live soon.
Jackets are priced at Rs.10,000, Rs.39,000 and Rs.59,000 depending on the work involved. Available online