behno New York makes its first foray into the Indian market and celebrates its home coming with their investor Katrina Kaif

Iconic Movie Star and style savant Katrina Kaif joins hands with behno as their investor.

New Delhi: behno New York makes its first foray into the Indian market along with the effortlessly stylish, iconic movie star and entrepreneur Katrina Kaif. The acclaimed artist joins hands with behno New York to be their investor and brand ambassador as the label makes its first foray into the Indian market.

Founded in 2015 by Shivam Punjya, behno is a consciously made handbag brand that is designed in New York and made in India. Operating at the intersection of ethical thinking and luxury design, founder Shivam Punjya has been working hard to define the character of “Made in India” and to champion a new standard for Indian factory manufacturing which improves the quality of life and safety of women in the garment trade.

Expressing her thoughts on the association, Katrina Kaif says, “The craft and values which behno New York upholds reconcile effortlessly with my core belief system. I’m thrilled to be not just the face of behno New York but also their business investor as its design sensibility and products resonate with my personal style making this association special”.

Handcrafted with a holistic ethos and an unbridled love for the crafts – imbued with refined elegance and minimalism, behno New York’s luxe-lit, India proud pieces will be available for sale exclusively on Tata CLiQ Luxury.

Shivam Punjya, Founder and creative director of behno New York says, “It’s heartwarming to have Katrina as the face of behno New York. She’s a creative force to reckon with and her larger-than-life body of work in cinema and her multi-layered personal style appeal to our audiences around the world. I am sure she will lend her inimitable gravitas to our creative ecosystem at behno New York.” He further adds, “The colloquial Indian proverb, One and One make Eleven, believes that when two individuals unite, their collective power manifests into unparalleled strength. But with behno, you go one step further. When we also have a shared consciousness, our impact defines our intention. Perhaps, One and One make Twelve”.

When Shivam Punjya, Founder and Creative Director of behno New York, launched his NYC-based brand, he wanted to use his accessories line as a catalyst for doing good. The idea came to Punjya in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in which over 1,100 workers died in Bangladesh. Later, in his motherland of India, he met and interacted with several local garment workers in rural and peri-urban areas, whose lives were similar to those lost in the Rana Plaza tragedy.

When behno launched back in 2015, it featured a ready-to-wear collection. About four years ago, the design house actively transitioned to handbags and small leather goods in an attempt to amplify the social impact and amplify the work of factories doing better.

The much-loved, made-in-India label which has garnered immense accolades globally – having elicited rave reviews in global publications and blogs and seen on the likes of Hollywood stars, attempts to become part of a global mission that inspires change, improves factory conditions, quality of life, and safety of individuals in developing countries by working with international factories that adhere to rigid compliances.

Each handbag is crafted in top tier luxury factories committed to incrementally upholding “the behno standard” – a set of principles addressing garment worker health, social mobility, women’s rights, family planning, worker satisfaction, and benefits.

As a South Asian, Shivam always envisioned behno to celebrate what he’s always known India to be and to also challenge the preconceived notions of what ‘made in India’ holds. Historically, India has been and is home to some of the largest luxury brands’ hand-embroidery and embellishment needs. Rooted in Indianness and handcrafted with global ethos, each behno New York bag exemplifies a consciousness-altering minimalist appeal, soft structure, and crisp silhouettes. Superimposing age-old hand embroidery and embellishment techniques with au courant, utilitarian approach to design – each bag speaks to the evolved style sensibility for behno New York’s modern-day collector.

In an era of greenwashing where so many companies, brands and labels use sustainability as a marketing gimmick, behno New York – an India proud label has always endeavored to create a mindful luxury ecosystem with a heightened awareness to sustainability and ethics to fashion.

About behno New York’s latest collection

A chic cornucopia of culture and colour, textures and unexpected detailing – all handcrafted with love, precision and exactitude – from the Ina Mini Crossbody to the luscious Simone Mini Accordion in Avocado – each piece evokes instant desirability. The collection’s key pieces include Ina Potli, Frida Flat Tote, Janae Crossbody – each object likely to become a timeless closer staple.

Global stars like Emma Watson, Becky G, Meagan Good, Alisha Wainwright, Jessica Williams and Poorna Jagganathan have been spotted in the brand’s offerings.

behno New York has been the winner of Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award in 2019. It was also the only American brand to be invited in the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange to showcase an ethical fashion evening wear at Buckingham Palace.

Founder’s profile

Shivam Punjya is the founder and creative director of behno, New York. He oversees the brandʼs overall social and creative direction and positioning. Punjya founded the brand with the goal of addressing poverty and global health through traditional and non-traditional enterprise channels. Punjyaʼs professional experiences include luxury hospitality conglomerate InterContinental Hotels Group in London to GreatNonprofits.org, a tech-based nonprofit in the Silicon Valley. Upon completing his B.A. in International Political Economy from U.C. Berkeley, Punjya led extensive fundraising campaigns for the overseas branch of Pratham, India’s largest education advocacy nonprofit. Punjya graduated from Duke University with a M.S. in Global Health from the Duke Global Health Institute. During his time at Duke University, Punjya also studied social entrepreneurship at the Fuqua School of Business. Most recently, Punjya also served as the President of the board of Fashion Revolution (USA) where he was previously its Country Coordinator.

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