Did you know After Dark, a brand by Craftline, is as old as Adele & Rihanna?
Just saying… 🙂
Once upon a time, in a home far far away…nightclothes were being made, hand tailored to the very last stitch. It was the middle ages; a time of simple, easy to assemble patterns.
With the invention of the divine sewing machine, in the mid 19th century, sleepwear transformed with dynamic, intricate and ornate elaborations. It was then that the fate of After Dark was written.
Our visual representation honours the potential of the sewing machine along with the skill of all those working it to create ‘slow fashion’.
After dark promises top-notch craftsmanship and quality to enhance the quality of your sleep and in turn, your life.
At play, at ease, or sound asleep – feel fabulous after dark!
After Dark is a slow fashion brand. What is slow fashion you ask? Well, it’s the opposite of fast fashion.
Slow fashion is about carefully creating long lasting garments while being responsible at every step – manufacturing -> supply chain -> sales -> customer service
Our concept is unique and fits right into the global slow movement. We release annual collections at the start of our favourite season- spring/summer- each year. As the seasons and festivities of the year go by, we add more to the current collection-keeping all styles available throughout the year- so that by the end of it there is love and choice in plenty.
This simply means that all our styles are permanent and evergreen. The aim is to get our customers to feel the same love towards each garment as we do – love your after dark garment and take care of it as an important part of your wardrobe.
Fast fashion on the other hand is all about catering to fast-shifting consumer demands. It focuses on cost effective manufacturing and shelving new trends as often as multiple time in a single week! While this could be exciting for some, it is damaging the environment on an unimaginable scale, in our opinion. We must change.
“My mummy would dress my 3 brothers and I, in soft white cotton kurtas every night. She said it was the most comfortable way to sleep. I wondered always, why she would then sleep in thick and boring nylon gowns or even worse, sari’s!?” says Suresh Vaswani, our warm and attentive Chief Visionary and Group CEO, while reminiscing good old days of his childhood.
(Why make sleepwear of all things….?)
A good night’s rest – that’s what it’s all about. Our hectic daily lives, increasingly so, require us to unwind at some point. As important as eating healthy and your daily dose of exercise, is sound sleep every night. We are a ‘slow fashion’ brand creating evergreen styles that you will love for a a long, long time. Our endeavour is to enhance your quality of sleep and in turn, your life.
With this mission in our hearts, we set out to make the loveliest, softest most comfortable nightwear back in 1988 and catered only to upper-end departmental stores across Nordic countries.
(Yes, we’re not really young…and that’s the best!)
CraftLine started selling ladies garments’ internationally (for exports) in 1976 and soon acquired recognition for high quality apparels from fine cotton yarns.
In 1985, a grand nightwear collection was developed for a luxury retail store in Netherlands and the success of this pitch absolutely thrilled the Craftline team.
By 1988, the official brand for sleepwear ‘After Dark’ was born and has since, developed exclusive collections for the global marketplace covering luxury retailers, department stores and various brand names in USA, extensively through Europe including Nordic countries, Australia, Canada & the Middle East. We are now focusing on India.
We pride ourselves in being the first of our kind and we make sure our products are worthy of your unconditional love. Drift away from the usual quirky prints and simple collared PJs and think – laces, embroideries, smocking, ribbons, pastel colours and soft cotton fabrics! That’s us!
Our specialty is pure Indian Cotton fabrics with a part of our line in Poly-satin. We consciously focus on hand-work and try to steer away from digitalization. The only thing digital about us, is our path to you! J
(What brought our focus to the domestic market….?)
It made sense to focus on India since the times have changed as has the need. We are a fast-growing market demanding fashion & quality, just as anywhere else. That’s the societal angle to our existence. The internal reason behind what we do and the way we do it, is to keep alive the tremendous capabilities of our workforce, which for decades has been enjoyed only by the world outside India.
(How do we encourage workers to deliver their best….?)
It’s very simple- After Dark strives to somehow enhance quality of life. Of not just our customers, but all our associates.
For years we have encouraged village workers who would knock at our door-step, to join us in making spectacular products – a combined effort of our imagination and their workmanship. Sure, we plan for a particular design but our openness to karigar suggestions is what makes them really involved in “creating” what they’re creating.
We give direction and allow two-way discussions at every stage of production, so everybody enjoys the process to ultimately produce long-lasting, carefully thought-out, distinguished garments.
(Why focus on hand-work when machines do the job, possibly better….!)
What ever happened to do what you love and love what you do?!!
Technology can progress as fast as it would like but we don’t like undermining human capabilities. We feel the industry is struggling to survive with wages as well as job satisfaction at an all time low.
Companies would rather invest in computerized machinery which aims to be cost-effective in the long run and maintain uniformity in production – basically we’re slowly eliminating human involvement altogether. This has forced many talented people in the field to abandon their years of experience and impulsively take up alternative employment for fair pay. For us, the charm of a garment is in the love and attention that goes into creating each piece.
(Why we work the way we work…?)
We only use Indian fabrics and trimmings as they are of superior quality indeed and are proud promoters of #makeinindia
We’re surrounded by talent with our workshop located in Chattarpur, New Delhi – a village once filled only with gifted craftsmen and well, farmers. The most exciting part is the voluntary & equal involvement of men and women in the field of apparel which we encourage every step of the way (funnily, the boys/men could easily be declared more “artistic”).
We also engage and motivate work-from-home for home-makers, talented mothers and the elderly- many of them have been associated with us for over 20 years! The count now also has women working for us from small areas of Lucknow.
Smiling faces is what gets our day started. We all work in a healthy, happy and risk-free environment as conditions of daily work are of utmost importance here at After Dark/Craftline.
We are conscious of gentle communication, small and simple celebrations of festivals, fair and regular pay-days for everybody; as we maintain our self-imposed benchmark of a great place to work.
After Dark Studio/Workshop:
619/19 V&PO Chattarpur Main Road
New Delhi 110030
Branch Office/Retail Store:
F 98 2nd Phase 1st floor
Spencer Plaza, Anna Salai,
Mount Road, Chennai – 600002
Timings: 10 am – 8 pm (Tuesday Closed)