Queen Scarves by Pondicheri chef Anita Jaisinghani launched in June. (Courtesy photo)
Pondicheri chef Anita Jaisinghani expands her repertoire to include a collection of colorful Indian scarves. (Courtesy photo)
Anita Jaisinghani's Queen Scarves come in a variety of patters. (Courtesy photo)
Anita Jaisinghani's Queen Scarves come in a vibrant array of colors and patterns. (Courtesy photo)
Anita Jaisinghani's Queen Scarves come in a variety of sizes and styles. (Courtesy photo)
Anita Jaisinghani's Queen Scarves are handcrafted in silk, in cotton and in a combination of both. (Courtesy photo)
Only weeks after being named a finalist in the James Beard Best Chef Texas awards in early May, Pondicheri’s Anita Jaisinghani launched a luxurious scarf line of handcrafted textiles made by India-based artisans and designers.
The colorful scarves, which are available in different sizes and a peacock’s array of colors and patterns, exude the vibrant Indian culture that Jaisinghani continues to introduce to Houstonians.
“It’s the birth of something new and exciting for us,” Jaisinghani tells PaperCity. “My whole career has been dedicated to educating individuals on the truly unique and diverse offerings of my home country. Before, it was through food. Now it is through the glorious and sacred craft of Indian textiles.”
Her line of Queen Scarves includes silk pieces, designs woven in cotton and in some cases a combination of both. Sourced in her home state of Gujarat, the selection of patterns and weaves, inspired by iconic paisleys and other varied ancient patterns found in India, are hand-selected by the noted chef. This expansion of her talents began in 2018 when she returned home. Jaisinghani met with local artisans and designers, some of whom she had known for two decades, hand selecting patterns and designs for her new endeavor.
The scarves vary in size from squares as small as 21″ x 21″ to large pieces sized 30″x 70″ with prices beginning at $12 for the smaller scarves and going as high as $200 for larger scarves in finer fabrics.
“The textiles of India fascinate me as much as the food does. The history is vast and intriguing,” Jaisinghani says. “In the 1500s, India claimed roughly 30 percent of the world’s GDP and most of the exports were textiles. . . The styles and weaves are endlessly beautiful, most of the work is expertly handcrafted.”
Those who know her know that Jaisinghani is a fan of fashionable scarves. She is often seen donning colorful lengths of silk and cotton around her neck, across her shoulders and wrapped around her head.
In explaining the royal nomenclature, she notes, “I felt the name Queen fit perfectly because scarves can work as a crown of sorts for women from bandanas to head bands to hijabs and I am a fierce protector of women’s rights so all of us women can feel like Queens when we wear them.”