Taking the long way around - by Mohit Rai

I've known Yogesh, to be referred to as Yogi hereon, for what seems like an eternity now. The time when drives back home were the inception point of the empire he is now on the path to build. Was there always a vision? Yes. Was there a sense of direction? No. Yogi is a volatile artist. Someone who can channel a couturier and a classy seamstress in a matter of minutes. For him to have conceptualised and created Surendri was a snap decision and as has been every collection. Yogi had a vision which evolved everyday as the idea became more tangible. The vision was that of creating a brand that can grow into being a one-stop-shop for every woman for every wardrobe and (in the future) lifestyle product requirement. The first collection at LFW was for me the breakthrough that proclaimed Yogi's grand advent into fashion and his obvious vision for change.
He has till date showcased 5 collections and with each his vision, his aesthetic, and his brand have evolved, much to the pleasure of a certain Mr Charles Darwin. Some ideas have been hits and some misses, but his constant struggle with himself to create a product that fits every requirement of his style, global trend, personal colour ideologies, his heritage, an intelligent design, and a real woman, is inspiring.
Sometimes to sit with him and hear a 5 hour monologue on a new kind of fabric is more interesting than an entire season of Sherlock.
Getting calls at 2 am and ideating till 5 in the morning over a random idea that we would never go on to execute is actually fun when its Yogi on the other side of the call.
Today when I'm sitting to pen this down, I do not know what to include and what to skip, what to share and what to conceal. Not only is Surendri a work of art (because art today is found dime a dozen and its hard to separate the fakes from the originals), it is a product of a constant endeavour to create ideas. Surendri for me, is the anti-fit version of a body-conscious stream of ideas. Ideas that are not about creating clothes, or products to sell. Ideas that are generated not to glamourise and blind-fold, but to create an image that one can be comfortable with and cherish.
There hasn't been a day in his journey that Yogi has had a break and nothing has come easy, be it shoes, collections, manufacturing or infrastructure development. And perhaps that's a fair price to pay for ingenuity. Yogi and Surendri are extremely close to my heart and which is why I am the worst choice to write this describing his journey and his ascent today to being where he is. The only thing I can however guarantee is that we will always be taking the long way around....

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