A city of serene backwaters, tall coconut trees and best-quality spices, Kochi is now also an emerging spot of haute couture for discerning fashion consumers, thanks to Beena Kannan, a celebrated designer and textile revivalist in South India. She has launched her eponymous luxury couture brand, focusing on renewing the Indian silk Kanchipuram by making contemporary outfits from it.
Graceful and poised, Kannan, 60, is an heiress of the 110-year old textile house Seematti, considered to be one of the oldest and the biggest in Kerala. It was established by textile revivalist Veeriah Reddiar, Kannan’s grandfather, who opened the first Seematti store in 1910 in Alappuzha.
After taking over the responsibility of the family business in 1980, Kannan has conserved Seematti’s legacy of ethnic silk Kanchipuram saris, while continuing to evolve her creative palette in tandem with modern times, for modern consumers.