When I first started my journey as a fashion designer, I had two things in mind: one was to be an international success and the other was to find a way to give back to my community. My introduction to Ryndia and its weavers has paved the way for me to realise these dreams. Having co-founded Daniel Syiem’s Ethnic Fashion House with Janessaline M. Pyngrope in 2011 has enabled me to take the story of our people and our culture to the world by using my design as the
Participating at Fashion International during London Fashion Week 2014 was perhaps our first breakthrough into the global fashion arena. It gave us a chance to showcase our work to an audience that understood our fashion aesthetics, the fabric we work with as well as the story behind the collection. It also gave us an opportunity to meet like-minded people who continue to help promote us in the U.K.
My most memorable show was the Second Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples Forum at IFAD Headquarters, Rome, in February 2015. What makes it most memorable is that not only did we create a bit of history at the UN headquarters for hosting the first-ever fashion show, but this platform allowed me to showcase my collection to an audience that comprised different indigenous people from all over the world. Another special reason was that I had women and men of different sizes, age groups, nationalities and tribes walking the ramp for me. This left a mark because the Daniel Syiem label makes clothes for real people.
Daniel Syiem’s Ethnic Fashion House (DSEFH)
Daniel Syiem’s Ethnic Fashion House was established in 2011 by Janessaline M Pyngrope & Daniel Syiem.
The core aim is to safeguard and promote the hand-woven fabric of the state of Meghalaya-Ryndia and other fabrics of the North East region. Our experiences in working with these indigenous fabrics have exposed us to the fact that the art of making these textiles is slowly dying. The making of these heritage fabrics has been passed down from generation to generation of weavers. The weavers need to be supported and encouraged by making their craft economically viable. It is really imperative that we work towards preserving our heritage crafts through reinvention and innovation. DSEFH is working hard to revive this fabric by innovating at the yarn stage to create beautiful patterns, designs and vegetable dyes. This fabric is hand-woven by the weavers of the Ri-Bhoi district in Meghalaya. Simultaneously, DSEFH aims to create employment for weavers, workers, artisans and safeguarding ancient weaves by promoting its usage.