New York-based handbag brand, Behno, rolls out a new collection designed to suit the desi lifestyle

Before the onset of the pandemic, the team paid a visit to India  and Shivam met with one of the most popular B-town celebs, Katrina Kaif, who now joins their team as the brand ambassador
Bags from Behno
Bags from Behno

Proudly carrying forward the ‘Made in India’ concept ever since its inception eight years ago, Behno, a label boasting beautiful bags, set foot in the fashion industry intending to shatter the presumptions the world had about homegrown manufacturing brands at the time. Behno, which means sisters in Hindi, isn’t just offering an array of statement pieces that transform your outfit from mundane to magnificent but is also pioneering a new sustainable standard for manufacturing in the industry by revolutionising the way artisans are viewed, employed and treated.

This New York-based brand, which debuted its first ready-to-wear collection in February 2015 in Mumbai, is now making its way from one fashion capital to another. “We had never focused on domestic distribution in India and about two years ago, during a team meeting, we noticed the high consumer engagement we were receiving from India. We took a deep dive and came to the conclusion that it was time for us to see what an Indian expansion looked like; a ‘Made in India’ brand had to also be available
for the Indian market and effectively, Behno ‘came home’ this year,” reveals Shivam Punjya, founder and creative director of the label while speaking about what made him decide on making Behno available in India.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the team paid a visit to India after they decided to expand and Shivam met with one of the most popular B-town celebs, Katrina Kaif, who now joins their team as the brand ambassador. Their homecoming also includes the launch of a new collection of bags which flaunt the brand’s design sensibility and functionality required for the modern citizen’s lifestyle. “We looked up how people travel in India in their day-today lives, whether it’s by car or by train, by rickshaw or by foot and what are the various functional elements that make sense for each mode. It seems a bit silly, but for
me, while a great quality handbag with luxury design will polish and complete a look, it has to be pragmatic enough for actual use,” the creative director elaborates.

<strong>Pieces from the <em>Potli</em> series</strong>
Pieces from the Potli series

The new arrivals launching in India find their footing in the signature elements that carry through their  
handbags globally, like the iconic knot, rope handles, edge painting and asymmetrical flaps. “Our design elements aren’t just visually appealing, they’re largely rooted in symbolism; our iconic knot exemplifies the coming together of communities, holding hands to champion something larger; our wave detail on our locks represents our commitment to bettering environmental practices,” he adds.

The Behno handbags are crafted from materials that come from a tannery that maintains rigid protocols to assess the environmental compliance and performance capabilities of leather manufacturers to promote sustainability and transparency. “Our materials come from some of the best suppliers in the country, where we have developed our leathers to be world-class and tanned with stateof-the-art equipment,” he says. Behno’s latest edit features some exclusive styles for the Indian audience, which will slowly roll out globally over the next year.

“Our Ina Series, our signature teardrop silhouette and also the first bag we launched with, has been adapted into a potli, our take on a bag very special to India and its cultural sensibility,” Punya exclaims. In line with their design codes, the potli is a modernised version of the nostalgic bag that almost every South Asian woman has in her wardrobe. The Ina Potli promises to traverse the multifaceted lifestyle that the modern citizen lives from day to night.

While casually browsing through their website we noticed that none of the collections have a name and we were intrigued to learn more. “Our collections are seasonless, so we don’t name them by season, but every so often, we attribute the name of our collections to our inspiration. I believe that handbags should become a core part of any person’s wardrobe, lasting them through the years. A modern heirloom, if you
will,” he concludes. Their bags span from neutral colours such as pebble almond to pop hues like pebble red and pastels like milled blush. A lot of their staples are distinguished by colours, which the brand is known to reintroduce season after season. Some of their notable offerings are the Frida mini crossbody bag, Mary bag and Elizabeth baguettes.

₹9,000 onwards. Available online

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