When Hannah Grossberg travelled to India in 2017, the trip opened her eyes to the traditional wood block printing and embroidery techniques handed down by generations of artisans.
An accomplished artist, she was inspired to launch Hannah Artwear, working with carefully-chosen manufacturers in India to transfer her designs onto pure silk, cotton and linen.
As the label’s creative director, sees the process as a collaborative art form, with her “connecting to the artisans that are able to bring it to life and to turn it into a material.”
“I’m very connected to the process and to the place and to the people,” says Hannah. “I really believe that is so crucial when feeling and wearing the end product.”
Jaipur and surrounding Rajasthan form the base for her manufacturing, and the artisans are local.
“In India, what’s so wonderful and unique is [that] every single village is known for a different kind of technique. Depending on the processes, people come from specific villages,” she says.
“[Our factories] are very supportive in looking after the families, the villages, the people. We use a lot of women, especially for embroidery and more handmade techniques. So, [we are] very much continuing to give back.”
It is hard to put a name to Hannah Artwear’s unique style, such as modern Australian or the like. The exquisite garments take inspiration from their place of birth, from nature itself and – for her just released La Primavera collection – from Italy’s sun-kissed Puglia region.
Silks drape across the body, pulled in to accentuate the feminine figure, yet echoing the languid mood that so perfectly represents resort wear.
“It really epitomises the senses, the colours, the natural vibrancy of Italy in the spring, and the whole collection was shot there,” says Hannah.
“It’s a collection that bursts at the senses, so you feel the vibrancy of colour. We have a print called Limoncello, which is like a real Italian ‘Dolce Vita’ print.”
Hannah says using natural fabrics means the garments “fold into nothing” when packed and resist creasing, making them ideal for travel to far flung places.
“The Hannah Artwear woman is free spirited, loves adventure and travel, and to meet with new places and experience new cultures,” she says, adding that the label is not defined by ages or life stages.
In recent years, Rundle Street East has made a name for itself locally and interstate as the home of new and exciting fashion boutiques. Hannah was also drawn to its character-filled streetscape, which she says is “beautiful.”
“We gravitated towards this space for its charming and eclectic surroundings, something that our building owners, Maras Group have been curating for some time.”
The Rundle Street store is a good complement to her other one in Double Bay. But it appears Adelaide customers may have an edge on those in Sydney.
“The store experience is really beautiful. We’ve offered a large range of the collection because [the store] it is a little bit bigger than our other.”
As an early Mother’s Day present, the Adelaide store has an exclusive event planned for Saturday 7 May, gifting a beautiful bouquet of flowers with every purchase plus 20 per cent off a second item. All are welcome to enjoy sparkling San Pellegrino on arrival while exploring the new space.
“[Our] clothes are meant to make women and mothers feel good,” says Hannah. “That’s exactly what a Mother’s Day gift should do.”