Reminiscing an old world charm and aiming to recreate yesteryear’s magic, label ‘Kanika Sharma’ is deeply rooted in ‘Roots & Culture’. Exclusive cuts in an unorthodox colour palette symbolise classic, nostalgic, elegant, hand-crafted, evergreen and effortless styles that are a direct reflection of strong elements of Punjab, Lahore and Kashmir.
“The collections I design are a revival of my childhood memories and with every new collection, I try to derive inspiration from these elements to create something new. My mother continues to be a muse and inspiration for my work,” Kanika Sharma, Founder and Creative Head of Label Kanika Sharma, told Apparel Resources in an exclusive interview.
Growing up, Kanika was always intrigued by visuals more than texts and this helped her understand that her interest lay in the creative space. She started her foray into the world of fashion at a young age while still at school. After securing CBSE Rank 1 in the 12th board examination all over India, Kanika went onto graduate from ‘Pearl Academy Of Fashion’ in BA (Hons.) in Fashion Designing. Ranked first in Design Concepts for four consecutive years, she was offered a scholarship to pursue post-graduation from Domas University in Milan.
After working with various designers from the fashion industry, Kanika finally launched her namesake label in 2017, in the most unexpected way – “Launching my own label wasn’t really a planned move at its onset, but was something that unfolded on its own,” Kanika told Apparel Resources adding, “My sister was getting married and she had a long list of things she didn’t want in her trousseau. She was extremely clear that she didn’t want the usual looks associated with weddings and she visited almost all possible designer stores in her quest to find what she was looking for – but to no avail. This is where I stepped in and offered to make her outfits and since then, there has been no looking back!”
PRODUCT ASSORTMENT AND PRICING
Offering a wide assortment, Kanika Sharma label includes pretwear, festivewear as well as bridalwear.
With price starting at Rs.8,000, Kanika Sharma’s casual pretline includes dresses with layering, jackets, pants, etc., whilst her festive pretline is priced between Rs.15,000 and Rs.30,000, and includes complete ensemble sets comprising 3 products namely – kurta, bottom and dupatta. Starting from Rs. 40,000 and going up to Rs.80,000, the label’s bridalwear line boasts of value teamed with impeccable styling.
CRAFTS AND TECHNIQUES
As per Kanika, “The USP of the brand is that it’s not restricted to a certain season or region or age group. I like to develop classic and evergreen ensembles that won’t fade with time and retain their elegance forever. My favourite techniques are Phulkari from Punjab and Kani from Kashmir.”
In an effort to keep the charm of Indian crafts alive, it is interesting to note that the label explores a new craft technique with every new collection it comes out with. “We added the term ‘India’ to our label name ‘KanikaSharma_India,’ because we wanted to retain the authenticity of India and give recognition to various artisans through whom we source our fabrics locally,” Kanika highlighted.
A conscious effort of adding sustainability as a continuous practice in its clothing and encouraging its valuable weavers is deeply enshrined in the label’s ideology.
As a brand, Kanika Sharma tends to travel back in time when it comes to fashion and revive it in a way that gives its styles a certain newness, but retains its intricacies and appeal at the same time. The label prides itself in the use of Kashmiri kantha embroidery, Kashmiri resham zardosi embroidery, Kani bara jaal resham karigari, dabka, pitta and villa and Gotta Pati.
MANUFACTURING AND SOURCING
Kanika Sharma deploys the use of only pure fabrics and takes great pride in creating its own fabrics while working with many local artisans and weavers across India. In this way, the label aims to retain maximum usage of the beautiful cultural practices prevalent in India.
“We source and also create some of our own fabrics, but we always try to implement something of our own by giving the material a more personalised feel. Cotton, mul malai cotton, tussar, chanderi, summer silk, paper silk and raw silk are some of the main materials we work with,” Kanika corroborated, adding, “This season, we have experimented with velvets, net and organza. Our bottoms are usually kept flowy, comfortable and stretchable, so crepe and mul malai cotton complement them the best.”
All products, from sampling to first fit to final production to finishing and packaging, are completely done in-house at the label’s own unit based in New Delhi.
The label comes out with a minimum of two collections per year along with an additional two to three capsule collections that are released depending upon their projects and the demand of the market.
Commenting on the same, Kanika said, “In a short span of time, we have made our presence in leading A-list multi-designer stores in India – both online and offline. We keep re-adding and revolving every 2 to 3 months depending upon what kind of ensembles work for which store.”
She then went on to add, “Apart from creating a business, we have also established a niche personal clientele relationship. This enables our brand to fly on a creative front and also establishes us as a commercial success.”
At present, Label Kanika Sharma retails to many stores that are based both online and offline such as Ogaan, Aza, Aashni & Co., Anantam, Evoluzione, Pernia’s Pop Up Store, amongst others. Besides India, the label also enjoys an international clientele and has its presence in the US and UK as well.