Imphal: Romero Yumkham, a promising designer from Imphal, has been at his best to satisfy his customers with his popular bespoke and ready to wear “True Native” denim pants sewed in his home based small unit “True Native Workshop”.
True Native is the first branded denim pants produced in Manipur.
The 46-year old Romero, resident of Lairikyengbam Leikai, began sewing denim wears under the brand name “True Native” denim in May 2017. He started marketing his product through friends and it became popular through social media. Now, the product supply falls short of the increasing demand.
Customers visit True Native workshop for bespoke sew to fit according to designs preferred. There is a good demand for the ready to wear True Native jeans pants too.
“Made in Manipur—true native. This jeans is too good and comfortable that I feel like wearing them everyday. There is no need of going to tailors for alteration. So why don’t you go for True Native?” Srivas Singh a youth from Imphal posts on his Facebook wall.
Romero in May employs two tailors to assist him. He cannot get more tailors acquainted with jeans stitching.
“With the trend of using readymade apparel the tailoring profession is almost ignored in the state. People regard it as a less income earning profession. It is difficult to find trained young tailors today,” Romero told Pothashang.
“If one switches to any profession with dedication and true work culture the person will be successful in the trade taken up,” he said. He urges the youth not to remain idle and take up suitable skills.
Romero procures denim fabric from Kolkata. It takes almost a month to get the fabric during this lockdown. He stopped producing for about a month due to lack of raw materials.
Lack of experienced manpower in jeans tailoring and improper production mechanism are the reasons for not being able to meet the demand of the Denim pants while the lockdown is another factor.
Romeo did post graduate in Geography at Manipur University.
He started a tailoring profession producing, caps, tote bags, utility pouches and messenger bags among others. He also stitches denim shirts besides pants.
The price of a native jeans pant was Rs 1,200. It has increased to Rs 1,400 ‘due to rise in the cost of production’ in the current lockdown.
Romero said True Native workshop produces denim pants for men only and he has plans to produce for ladies too. He is looking forward to increase his product.
Romero, after he completed his post graduation, did not remain idle and kept looking for jobs. He worked at Romi Bags Industries, a popular Imphal based industry, for about four years.
He joined a training programme in fashion designing at National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kolkota sponsored by DoNER ministry in 2006.
Later he worked as a designing assistant for one year and eight months at Kariwala industries, an export house. He also worked as graphic designer for a brand for Starmark, a sister company of Emami.
Romero is a beneficiary of Start Up Manipur in the Entrepreneurship Support System category. He got a loan of Rs 2 lakh and a grant of Rs 1 lakh this year under the scheme.
However, he said, the amount he got from the government is not enough to execute his dream to expand his production unit to a much larger unit. He said, “I thank the government for recognising me and assisting me. Something is better than nothing.”
Start Up Manipur was launched in March 2018. It aims to enable the youths and unemployed persons in the state to take up new ventures with new and creative ideas.
History tells that jeans pants were invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 and worn still but in a different context. Jeans are named after the city of Genoa in Italy, a place where cotton corduroy, called either jean or jeane, was manufactured. Levi Strauss came from Germany to New York in 1851 to join his older brother who had a dry goods store.
Jeans are made of a material called denim. Now Manipur has got True Native.