Meet NorBlack NorWhite, the Label Fusing Canadian Modernity With Indian Tradition
Although they grew up in Toronto, which is often heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, eight years ago Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar decided they needed to expand their horizons. The artists and entrepreneurs packed their bags for India, where they planned to “get a closer look at what was happening on the ground and step away from the diaspora lens” of their home city. While there, they were exposed to the storied indigenous textile processes as well as an abundance of colour, and were inspired to channel their excitement into what they call “a design platform exploring textile, culture and stories.”
For the last seven years, Mriga and Amrit have been fusing their love for textiles, art and adventure into NorBlack NorWhite. Their vibrant designs speak to both their upbringing among the cultural mosaic of Toronto and their experiences reconnecting with their Indian roots, resulting in a unique output that is equal parts anthropology, art and fashion. The industry has taken notice, with NBNW receiving a Grazia Young Fashion Award in 2012 and publications as diverse as i-D and Vogue showing love. Recently, they collaborated their friend Mango Peeler with on a range of limited T-shirts to celebrate the reopening of the adidas Originals Toronto flagship store.
We caught up with Mriga and Amrit to find out more about how NBNW came to be, what it’s like growing up as artists in Toronto and where they find inspiration, among other topics. Read on for our chat.