LEAH SINGH Q&A
What is your name, and name of your company?
Hello! I’m Leah, the founder and creative director of Leah Singh.
What does Leah Singh specialize in?
Leah Singh specializes in handcrafted textiles that mix traditional Indian embroidery and weaving techniques with modern geometric forms.
When did you start Leah Singh and what’s the story behind it?
I started Leah Singh about 6 years ago. I had recently received my BFA in Industrial Design from the Parsons School of Design in New York, and I decided to move back to India. I had been exposed to so much design history and current design while I was in school, that I wanted to establish my own brand that would incorporate what I had seen and learned, and also be a reflection of who I am and what I had experienced. I was born and brought up in Delhi in India. My mother is Indian and my father is from New York. I grew up traveling between Delhi and New York, and experienced two vastly different cultures through my two families and the two cities.
India has beautifully made products using traditional techniques, but they are typically ethnic and the colors and designs feel outdated. I felt that there was huge potential to use the techniques to create modern objects by changing the designs and colors and product categories. Not only would this continue to give the artisans work, but it would also help to share their work with new markets.
I decided to work with artisans, and not factories, because I felt that the products made by the artisans were more unique and rare and had a rich history. I also chose to work with artisans because I wanted to help keep the crafts and techniques alive as long as possible by creating a new market and appreciation for them- this role and aspect of my brand is very important to me because these crafts and techniques are slowly dying out.
What sets you apart from the competition?
Our products are a combination of high design and handcraft, and we work directly with the artisan groups to develop each of our products.
What was your first job?
My first job was working at The Company Store for their Kids’ catalog- I was 18 and I worked as the assistant designer. I remember having to do everything manually because I didn’t know any of the computer softwares at the time. It was very labor intensive, but I am thankful for the experience because I don’t feel dependent on computers now- I can do all the design work manually, which is a great skill especially in India where technology is not always accessible.
If you could live any place in the world other than where you currently live, where would it be and why?
I can’t pick! I love California and Thailand, both for the same reasons- the people, the landscape, the weather, and there are tons of beaches!
What are you currently watching on Netflix?
As kids we want to do and learn everything. As time passes we tend to stick to one thing and stop acquiring new skill sets. If you had a month to learn a new skill what would it be and why?
I would love to learn how to cut and sew patterns for clothing so that I can make my own clothes!