Designer Kavya Singh Kundu plans to change the way sustainable wear is perceived
The designer is melding the aesthetics of fast fashion with the ethics of slow fashion in her label
Melding the aesthetics of fast fashion with the ethics of slow fashion is no mean feat. And that’s exactly what budding designer Kavya Singh Kundu aspires to do. The eponymous label that started its journey this November is inspired by the designer’s own love for all things bling and shiny and clothes that are sustainable in their practices but at the same time, affordable and trendy.
“My creations are not limited to boxy silhouettes and anti-fit ensembles. They are fun, modern and chic yet sustainable and can be worn in multiple ways,” shares Kavya, while talking about her label. The latest Fall-Winter collection has been made using handwoven fabrics for most styles apart from some organic fibre, mill made fabrics such as orange fibre and bamboo fibre textiles.
The clothing line also comprises styles that use sustainable sequins, cut from a 20 per cent recycled PET sequin film, which is yet widely unexplored in the Indian subcontinent. We had a chat with the designer about her brand, her latest collection and the way forward for millennial fashion. Excerpts:
Tell us what’s the inspiration behind the brand?
I felt a gap in the market for everyday affordable trendy clothes that were based on sustainable practices. I missed clothes that are classic but also have a cool edgy element or a simple statement to them. This led me to develop outfits that cater to people who want to buy better without compromising on the glam quotient.
Were you ever in two minds about launching a brand post-pandemic?
We still are very much amid the pandemic but no, I never had any doubts. I knew the challenges would be different and greater than usual, but the time was correct and there was no waiting.
How has the response been so far?
The response has really been overwhelming. Even at a time like this when buying is less than usual, I’ve had such a great month. What I’m happiest about is that clients are really connecting to the ethos of the brand, not just buying.
Being a NIFT alumna, how much has handicraft and handloom influenced your own label?
At NIFT we were encouraged to visit craft clusters and study the various handloom and handicraft sectors. I’ve been deeply influenced and sensitised by this to keep their work alive. I work with the weavers in Phulia to help develop most fabrics that I use for my collections, and I plan to start exploring other state crafts for the upcoming collections as well.
How intelligently have you put sustainability to use, given how important it is in the context of 2020?
It’s the need of the hour and not a choice any longer. It’s the only way forward to save our planet and to live in harmony. When I say that my brand is built on sustainable practices, it doesn’t just mean the materials I use and the components of the garment. While creating our collections too we try to design pieces that can sustain years of wearing and can be worn in multiple ways too. We also keep our prices relatively low so that most people can afford them.
What are the things that any upcoming fashion label must keep in mind?
Finding the gap and catering to it. It can’t just be another brand doing the same old thing. It really has to be in sync with the need of the hour and should be able to educate and give back in whatever way possible.
Tell us what to expect from your label?
I wanted the clothes to be elevated classics, styles that are versatile but in no way boring. Like if you wanted a shiny sequin dress, there aren’t many sustainable choices because of the nature of conventional sequins, but with this debut collection, I’ve launched styles using sustainable sequins. I want to keep exploring these materials to create something for everyone.
Tell us about your debut collection.
My debut collection really has it all if I may say so. We’ve done staples with a twist — denim jackets, culottes, pencil skirts to blouses, tunics, off-shoulders dresses and even bling numbers. For fabrics, also, we’ve explored day cotton and light silks to silk organza with zari and even organic fibre fabrics like orange and bamboo. The collection has whites and blacks besides autumn colours like rust, mustard, wine and olive and pastels like lilac and sage as well.
Tell us what will rule the winter fashion?
Winter fashion is all about layering, and that’s always going to stay. What changes is how you do it each year. Right now I’m loving the trend of throwing your jacket or coat across your shoulders and not wearing it completely. Also, now with most interactions restricted to online meetings, the upper garment in an ensemble is gaining a lot of importance, and power shoulders are everywhere now.
Winter wardrobe essentials?
Jackets for day and night and boots if the weather permits.
What to expect from your house in Spring Summer ’21?
We’re working on some exciting new textiles for the summer. Soft silks and sheer layering will dominate the season.
Price: Rs 4,950 to Rs 13,750 Collector’s Edition Price: Rs18,500 to Rs 4,750 (made to order).