When you believe you have nothing to offer, the one thing you can rely on is the story of your experience; this is Raga Man.
Krishan Chaudry arrived on Venice beach from India in the early 1970s with a story not told with words, but with fabrics. Out of this story, the brand Raga Man was born. The colors and textures were finely blended to emulate the traditional Indian roots that Krishan knew back home and the new life he discovered in Los Angeles. Now continuing the legacy, we see Sahil Chaudry as Brand Director, giving us a view of the original story through a modern lens.
The Raga Man knows where he is from and where he is going. With an “India meets Venice beach” aesthetic, the brand takes into account their position on their journey to create their new season collections. It is with this awareness of themselves that they are able to remain grounded and still sail towards growth. Their culture and history are forever curated in their designs.
The history of Raga Man is inspiring. Why was it essential to continue Krishan Chaudry’s legacy in this very competitive creative space for designers? My father came to the United States with nothing but his culture to share. He opened a shop in Venice beach on Windward Avenue offering pieces from India. He started selling and designing clothes that would blend his Indian culture with the energy of Venice beach in the 1970s. This cultural intersection has been the foundation of my family’s relationship with LA, where my brother and I grew up.
Raga Man is the embodiment of our family’s story in a brand. It is an opportunity to share the intersection of India and Venice Beach. And I think that more than ever, now, we need stories that tell the power of multiculturalism.
Sahil, as Brand Director, what is your overall intent to grow the brand? I intend to increase Raga Man based on three fundamental storylines. The first is our product. We use unique cotton and rayon fabrics that are soft and durable; natural dyes such as vegetable, indigo, and traditional Rajasthani printing techniques.
The second is our heritage. India and Venice Beach have contributed culturally tremendously to each other. We want to build a community that embraces the limitless well of inspiration which comes from this relationship as well as multiculturalism as a whole.
The third is our family story. Raga Man is a personal journey for us. It is the latest incarnation of our family’s relationship with India and LA. Each season reflects a new chapter in our journey. And I believe that Raga Man can become a part of our community’s personal journey as well.
What is your design aesthetic? We say that we are born in India, raised in Venice Beach. Our design aesthetic is rooted in this union.
Who is the Raga Man? The Raga Man is both SPIRITUAL and TASTEFUL, CONFIDENT and OPEN-MINDED, WORLDLY yet ROOTED.
Describe your brand in three words. ‘India’ meets ‘Venice’ ‘Beach.’
Photography: Bradley Calder