Kolkata label Kanishka offers a classy festive edit on its 50th year
Fifty years back when understated fashion, handwoven products and sustainability weren’t as common parlance as now, homegrown brand Kanishka established itself as a label that caters to the sophisticated sartorial needs of the socially conscious fashionistas. Famous for their block prints on pure woven silks, tussars, muls or comfortable organic cotton, Kanishka’s saris spell class.
In its 50th year, we talk to the founders, Nandita and Dilip Raja, who look back at their journey and share their plans ahead besides talking about their latest festive offerings. Excerpts:
It’s 50 years of graceful fashion for Kanishka. How does it feel?
It’s a wonderful journey that we have made together with our loyal patrons. Kanishka stands for much more than just the saris we make. If it’s difficult to pursue a career in aesthetics now, it was immensely more difficult to pursue it 50 years ago. We are glad we kept the focus on our design capability, quality and our customers and followed our dream.
What’s the way forward in the post-pandemic situation?
We feel every challenge can be looked upon as an opportunity and we are using this time to build our online capabilities and find new ways of staying in touch with our patrons, alongside working on making our in-store experience exemplary. We are also careful about our exhibitions that we continue to do. Our factory has just restarted and post the pandemic we will continue to focus on our products like we always have besides continuing to build our design capabilities and keep supporting the crafts and handloom sector.
How do you think fashion will change during this time?
We think people will emerge as more discerning individuals and the fashion sector will also represent itself with responsibility by returning to natural products and appreciating handicrafts. As a community, we are also more respectful of our natural environment, and how we treat our world.
What are you offering for the festive season?
Our festive collection features our most popular tussar hand block prints that reflect a festive celebratory mood. It will also be a time when families will meet in small groups and we have a wide range of products that make for excellent gifts. The festive season collection brings back a series of prints and designs that incorporate the riot of colours of nature, of the earth and also focusses on designs that keep script, geometry and patterns that Kanishka’s famous for. The collection also incorporates light cottons apart from the silks and woven wonders that define our heritage.
Tips for puja fashion?
This year your fashion choice should be complemented by garments that offer ease and comfort. One can turn out in their ethnic best for the festival, pairing their traditional saris with heirloom jewellery. It is also going to be a year when we celebrate our own identity and focus on our own selves. Wear what suits your personality. Celebrate the Bengali in you and wear your confidence on your sleeves — that’s the only trend to follow. If you are stepping out for the day, you can choose from our natural cotton multilayered protective face masks.