Delhi-based Inca brings breezy fashion to Chennai on its maiden visit to the city
Inca, a new fashion label from Delhi, brings breezy silhouettes with a touch of modern nostalgia, to Chennai
From being one of India’s most sought after stylists in the Delhi fashion circles (styling celebs like Sushmita Sen and Tabu) to now helming a couture label of his own, Amit Hansraj has come a long way. Amit never studied design or fashion officially but learnt it on the job, working for 15 years in the fashion and apparel industry. From merchandising to marketing and then styling, his learnings culminated in what he calls his “lockdown baby”: Inca.
Fashion is however, not a new field for Amit. He’s been working in fashion since he was 19. First as a backstage helper and then he slowly moved his way up into being a creative consultant and a buyer for Delhi-based Ensemble. We catch up with the designer who believes that “prints are going to be the future” and has plans to explore home furnishings for his brand. Excerpts.
Tell us a little bit about Inca.
Inca was not a planned move. In fact, starting a brand was not on my agenda at all. In the beginning of 2020, I had taken a sabbatical after working for almost 20 years in the business/retail side of fashion. Barely a month into the sabbatical we were hit by the pandemic. A few people reached out to me (who had lost their jobs), these were all people involved in the fashion industry — from tailors to graphic designers. Since I couldn’t find them jobs I helped them work from their respective homes. We all were so excited to be productive after months of sitting at home that everybody went out of their way to make Inca happen.
What are the kinds of silhouettes you focus on?
I have always loved comfortable silhouettes with a touch of quirk. Most of my silhouettes are derivative of the kaftan. For me, comfort and style go hand in hand. Especially now, in the post pandemic world where people value comfort over everything else! Also, the fact that I don’t design for any particular type of woman.
What defines your aesthetic?
Inca is inspired by everyday things we see around us, garnished with what I call ‘modern nostalgia.’ Things we grew up with that are slowly vanishing in front of our eyes. Things that probably didn’t seem cool/modern at one time like Terrazzo floors.
How sustainable are you as a brand?
It’s very difficult for me to talk about these buzz words. There’s so much talk about sustainability that the word has lost its true meaning. We don’t claim to be ‘sustainable’ in what the general idea of sustainability is. But we pay all our partners fairly (in fact we pay more than the industry norms). We don’t over produce and stock. All our production is done in small batches.
Do you stick to a certain kind of fabric?
I have an affinity towards light weight satin which is breathable and falls beautifully on all body types. I have been working with blends of satin with linen and cotton.
How inclusive is your brand?
Inca is a gay-owned business and I know how it feels when brands do tokenism around trending topics. Our team is 80 per cent LGBTQIA+
Finally, if you had to describe your label in three adjectives, they’d be?
Passionate. Comfortable and Free Spirited.
INR 6,000 to INR 14,000. Available at Collage (in Chennai) and online.