People who don’t even follow the fashion world closely know that Vogue Magazine is the most important fashion magazine out there. Getting featured on it is nothing but a prestigious occurrence.
Hence, people were in for a big surprise when a 25-year-old tribal girl, Sita Vasuniya, from Madhya Pradesh’s small-town Mandu was featured in Vogue Italia. In the beautifully captured picture, Sita is seen donning a delicate Maheshwar Handloom saree, hand-printed by herself. The picture made its way to Vogue Italia’s digital edition on March 29, reports The Indian Express.
Now, how did all this happen? Sita and another woman, 20-year-old Kiran Davre studying microbiology, whose photographs are making rounds in the fashion world, are a part of a group of 10 tribal women who are trained in printing delicate sarees using wooden blocks. They can do Batik and Dabu printing and are also skilled in threadwork and hand-painting.
This group was formed under Madhya Pradesh’s Ek Jila, Ek Utpad Scheme to make them earn a living and have a sustainable life. They are helped by people from NGOs who conduct market research which aides them in printing sarees that would sell.
During the lockdown, the sale was difficult. So, a photographer named Aditi Gupta was roped in to take pictures of the women clad in the sarees to make a catalogue. The women were asked to dress as they usually do, without makeup, and pose against the walls of an old monument in the area, Rani Roopmati Mahal.
Aditi shared these photographs on a platform for photographers called ‘Photo Vogue’ on Vogue Italia’s digital edition.
After getting featured in the magazine, life has changed for these women. While Kiran and Sita are getting modelling offers, the other women have received Rs 3,000 each for their work. Their sarees are in huge demand from brands in Delhi and Mumbai.
With the new orders, the women could earn at least Rs 10,000 per month!
“When I started training in February, I had never dreamt of being featured even in a local newspaper forget about figuring in a premier fashion magazine. I still can’t believe it,” said Sita.
What an incredible story of luck and hard work!