Smaller independent fashion designers have found it extremely difficult to cope up with the ongoing crisis and many seem to have learned from the situation.
AKHL Studio is owned by a young designer Akhil Nagpal who recently showcased his debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week as a GenNext designer of the year.
Being a young brand which started last year, the lockdown meant closure of their studio and a financial blow due to the inability to sell the collection to the customers.
“We had to reduce the financial footprint of our operations and become lean and mean along with having a strong targeted approach on providing stock to our partners,” says Akhil.
The label’s collection can be found at various retailers like Ogaan and Pernia’s Pop-Up shop, and he highlights that they have been kind enough to understand and co-operate during such times.
The label’s strategy has shifted from a bulk supply model to a sequential and prioritised model where their collection will hit the stores one by one.
The label’s small size has been a key factor in turning around products. Akhil explains “Because of our smaller size, we are quite nimble on our feet, which allows us to churn out new products in an easier and faster manner. Our designs have adapted to this situation where instead of having embroidery on the entire garment, we do it on specific parts like trims which make an entirely new product. Moving forward we will make products that cater to a much smaller affair while also retaining our signature style.”
One of the key lessons that Akhil believes that the pandemic has taught him is the importance of the atelier model. “Fashion industry was moving away from the atelier model and closer to the retail model. The pandemic has proven that having a personal relationship with the customers through the atelier model is crucial as people are now consciously opting to come directly to the brand” mentions Akhil.
AKHL Studio is a contemporary label which caters to a younger audience through innovative techniques be it weaves or embroideries. AKHL Studio is also known for their sustainability efforts by using upcycled monofilament yarn for their collection.
AKHL Studio’s collections are available on their official website as well as at outlets like Ogaan, Pernia’s Pop-up and Aza India.