Diana Vreeland once said that pink is the navy blue of India. At Tusk, that couldn’t be more true. Calling inspiration from the native blend of exotic spices like saffron, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger, the rich, vibrant colors of a Tusk evoke founder Hiten Manseta’s birthplace of Bombay.
Raised in a typical Indian joint family, with many generations of his family living together in one home, Hiten was surrounded by relatives decades into the textile industry. Family dinner conversations often revolved around business and were sometimes interrupted by a merchant coming to call. It was seemingly natural then, that when the time came, Hiten took over the reins of the family business. What was unexpected, however, was that he went to the United States to do it.
Drawing support from the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, the symbol of harmony and good fortune, Hiten left Bombay and moved to New York City to launch his brand, Tusk, in 1993. He teamed up with a long-time friend and artist from Japan to design the company’s logo and signature Tusk zipper pulls that would become the trademark of an original Tusk product. And though Hiten and his team started out working out of a basement, their integrity in design and materials, and the quality of the manufacturing of Hiten’s factory in India, saw their reputation soar quickly. Demand encouraged Tusk to add thoughtfully designed top-grain leather handbags to its collection and, eventually, move out of the basement and into a sleek work and showroom in Chelsea where they’re still located today.