In Sanskrit, nagnAta translates into naked or naked wanderer. The name draws on the foundation of tantric spirituality — tantra in Sanskrit translates to textile, loom or technique. These words are each associated with traditional reflecting, the act of weaving together creativity, spirituality, tradition, and innovation.
NagnAta is a luxury yoga lifestyle brand that creates artisanal handcrafted yoga mat bags, which use age-old embroidered textiles from India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. NagnAta merges new and old world unique styles for the modern man and woman.
“NagnAta is a project I hope to evolve throughout my life which most likely will move and grow in many directions unknown to me now…”
Laura May Gibbs, founder of nagnAta, also works as a fashion designer, stylist and creative consultant. She once dreamed of creating a brand that would bring together her own personal passions: fashion, textiles, yoga, travel and sustainability. She recounts, “Ultimately, my vision was to build a platform to support my aspiration to make a positive contribution to humanity through my work, whilst providing opportunities to collaborate with a global community.” Through her brand, Laura aims to encourage a culture of conscious creation balanced with conscious consumerism.
While Laura was traveling throughout Mexico and Guatemala she conceived the concept of the brand. She lived in pyramids on her spiritual retreat in San Marcos, and spent time studying yoga and tantra during her time on the coast of Mazunte. During her time there, she reflected on how she could lead a life that would foster a positive contribution to the world. After her South American travels, she settled in Byron Bay, Australia, and she began working on nagnAta, while occasionally taking trips to India to source and initiate the brand’s launch projects.
Her inspiration? For one, the book Kali Rising by Rudolph Ballentine, which holds a special place in Laura’s heart. It was the very first book she read on tantra while in Mexico, inspiring her on her spiritual path. She describes the book as contemporary writing that shows a radical view of what’s happening in the world through the lens of tantra. The author of the book was a psychiatrist in the 60s. He set up a free clinic tending to hippies on bad drug trips; this led him to begin his journey in healing and heightened consciousness.
Laura’s purpose to bring more unity to the world is depicted throughout ever facet of her brand. For starters, the brand’s logo is a mandala, created with an overlapping ‘A’ and ‘T’ from nagnAta, it resembles people holding hands in a radiating circle. The mandala is symbolic of our interconnectedness with one another and the earth as well as the divine dimension from which we all came into being.
Laura is inspired by travel and the people she meets along the way. She describes her creative process as instinctive and intimate. She feels that by putting herself in situations that provoke her and make her uncomfortable, she can turn it into something that is visual, truthful, authentic and beautiful. The outcome of these provoking moments translate into all aspects of nagnAta from the concept and visual aesthetic to the raw and intimate style of photographic shoots.
“She feels that by putting herself in situations that provoke her and make her uncomfortable, she can turn it into something that is visual, truthful, authentic and beautiful.”
The designer is hopeful of what the future holds for the brand as she concludes, “nagnAta is a project I hope to evolve throughout my life which most likely will move and grow in many directions unknown to me now…” Stay tuned for upcoming projects and developments this fascinating designer has in the works.
By Ashlyn Pinter