Photo Diary: How Anaak’s Handmade Sweaters Come Together in India

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These days, it seems like you can get anything at the touch of a screen. And while we love the convenience, there’s something alluring about the things you can’t easily find. That’s initially how Anaak™ hooked us—the clothing brand often makes no more than 20 of any one piece. But there’s a reason: Founder Marissa Maximo sources her fabrics in Bolivia and India from artisans who make all their textiles by hand in small batches. It’s basically the opposite of getting anything on demand, but we’ll let her tell you more about that in her own words—and through the photos she shared with us from her travels (many of which can be found on her breathtaking Instagram feed).

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When I started Anaak, I was traveling to India all the time for my work in textile design, and I needed clothes that were easy to pack and didn’t require ironing or steaming. We recently began making sweaters. We bring the fibers to Brooklyn where they’re hand knit, and, like everything else, they’re so soft and bring out a woman’s natural beauty. I want our clothes to make you feel relaxed.

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Colorful buildings in Hyderabad, South India.

Our goal is to also help Indian artisans preserve their oftentimes ancient techniques. As I connected with different communities, I learned that each one has its own specialty, from weaving to block printing. Sometimes, we name pieces after the people who make them.

At home with one of our weavers in India (his loom fills up the entire room).

We work with the absolute best materials and the most skilled craftspeople. We can only produce small batches of fabrics, but they’re of the highest quality possible. I’ll never cut corners just to make more.

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Delhi’s colors always inspire me. How often do you see a beautiful house gate?

When I’m designing, I envision a woman who’s confident about her mind-set and curious about the world—someone who appreciates subtlety and the small details that make life interesting.

Sunita, Neetu, Anvari and Laxmi at work. I love adding the hashtag #whomademyclothes to photos like this one, shot by Aditi Sharma.

Every single piece we make is personalized because it’s handmade. Each fabric, technique and style has someone behind it. Anaak means “my child” in the Filipino dialect, Tagalog. It’s what my mother called me as a child and still does today. I feel that same love for every piece we make.

Shop our entire collection of Anaak here and shop our newest arrivals here.

Second image by Kate Owen. All other photography courtesy of Marissa Maximo and Aditi Sharma.