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Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

JWB Clutches An Opportunity With Vandana To Bring Out Your Inner Bibliophilic Fashionista

  • JWB Post
  •  August 22, 2016


Is there a book you have that you want to flaunt? Well, if I could, I would love to carry my copy of ‘Looking for Alaska’ everywhere. I couldn’t carry it to parties or occasions and that sucked, until now. Let me introduce you to, *drum roll * Vandana Panjabi of . Beside the well known saying, Carpe Diem happens to be the name of a brand that turns your favourite books into clutches.

You get to be a fashionable bibliophile. What more do you want?

She originally started the venture with a friend but now works solo. As an avid reader herself, Vandana aims to get people to love paperback again.

I’m bringing paperback, yeah! Do you get it? Paperback? Sexy back? Timberlake?

How did you come up with the name Carpe Diem? Was the name a reference from Dead Poet’s Society? *Fangirling sigh *

No. Actually, I was reading ‘50 Shades of Grey‘, and there it was. I was keen to know what it meant. And from then on I have been stuck to the philosophy. Another phrase which had my heart was “Cerca Trova” (seek and ye shall find) which was mentioned in Dan Brown’s Inferno.

Carpe Diem means ‘seize the day.’ What is your ‘seize the future’ plan?

Well, I like setting short term goals for myself. I am a media consultant and an entrepreneur with Carpe Diem. So, I really want to maintain this balance, as well as be able to innovate with Carpe Diem. I really believe books can open up your world view. I just hope with what I do, I can re-connect people to the books they loved. 

Do you fall prey to judging book by their covers?

Um, yes and no. While making clutches out of covers which are really beautiful but do not have a connection with the readers is one of the follies I have made. 

The first section you look at while shopping for books?


 Duh, fiction is bae!

One book you use as a clutch?

Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen.

What was the first book clutched by you?

Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’.

What book is a bestseller in your collection?

Hopefully, we’ll get to see ‘The Cursed Child’ clutches soon.  

 Three style tips to flaunt intellect through fashion?

  1. It can’t be mindless – One needs to know why they are flaunting a book clutch or any other fashion with intellect and not just carrying it because it’s fancy.
  2. If it has a quote on it – the quote should be something which has left a lasting impression on you or you really believe in.
  3. It is really cool to be the nerdy chick once in a while!

One very intellectual thing in your clutch? 

The product itself. 

How do you decide what book to clutch?

This depends on what is popular, I try and get suggestions from avid readers. 

How do you restore the books which were clutched?

If we make the clutches from actual covers, we then rebind the books and give it up for charity. Other times, we try and recreate the covers on canvas.

Express your opinion on feminism in one book title?

Pride & Prejudice. It is a classic that is also popular in our clutches collection. If one has read the story, they will know how ‘Pride and Prejudice’ temporarily blinds a person’s ability to see through the reality. One needs to look past that. All must do this because, it has nothing to do with gender, but with human behavior.

Yes, feminism is and will always be about equality and basic human rights.

Being an avid reader, recommend a book that every woman should read.

‘The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakarni & ‘Dance Like a Man’ by Mahesh Dattani. Apart from that, I love the art and history references Dan Brown uses in his books. So, I would also recommend his books.

Tell us about the challenges you’ve faced in your business?

Ah, there are always initial hiccups when you start a business, but getting the product right and sturdy enough was one of my challenges. 

How do you empower women through your business?

Not directly, but flaunting a clutch which reflects the kind of person you are, and what you believe in is empowering in a way.

What else would you like to turn into fashion?

Ahh, as of now I can not look beyond books.

Your favorite female character from a book?

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice and Prof. McGonagall, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter series and Anastasia Steel from 50 Shades of Grey

One book that changed your life?

If you look closely, all books have something or the other to teach you. It constantly helps you evolve. But some books that really did leave a lasting impression on me are ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom, ‘Many Lives Many Masters’ & ‘Only Love Is Real’ by Dr. Brian Weiss. 

Society portrays fashion as glamorous and hollow. But ventures like Carpe Diem add more depth and self-expression to the world of fashion. And self-expression is empowering.

All fashion-loving bibliophiles come this way and check Carpe Diem  Facebook out.

Until then,

You carpe that diem.

Photo Source: Vandana Panjabi

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