Q&A with designer Anand Kabra

After graduating from London College of Fashion in 1997, Anand started his design journey and soon after launched his iconic label in 2001.

He then made his debut at fashion week in India with his Spring Summer 07 collection in October and has since made waves across the world with his focus on compelling contemporary designs that meld maximal vibrancy with effortless elegance.

At Amrika, we are always looking for the latest trends and upcoming designers who specialise within indo-western wear so you can discover edits that are both playful and traditional at the same time.

As a brand, we are proud to stock Anand’s most exquisite embellishments and pending our recent reveal for his separates collection, we got in touch with the designer to find out what he has been working on recently, what has inspired his latest designs and what we can look forward to from him in the near future.

Continue reading to enjoy our exclusive interview with this wonderful designer;

Anand Kabra show

Your brand is so conceptual yet maintains a real elegance and sophistication, how do you strike this balance?

Design for me is always intuitive and instinctive.

I’m always influenced by observing people and lifestyles. With time I’ve come to realise that my treatment of design will always be classic, I will always borrow from the past to rework and simplify for the future.

I treat design as a commercial art form, it is extremely important to pay attention to technique, craft and quality. I’ve never subscribed to fast fashion or jumped on the ‘see now, buy now’ bandwagon. I also honestly believe in not adding to the noise that surrounds us but to have a strong enough voice that is taken seriously.

I guess this strong DNA translates to timeless “elegance and sophistication” which you kindly mention!

Anand Kabra Outfit

How would you best describe your brand and vision?

It is my continuous endeavour to create a niche brand that has a strong Indian essence, a brand that is from India, well made in India, designed by an Indian, but a brand that still is global in its relatability and vision.

For me it is always presenting our rich cultural heritage of costume and craft in a manner that is special, practical and relevant to the modern woman.

Anand Kabra Outfit

How would you define the modern fashionista?

I admire and design for women who are strong and independent, women who have a strong sense of individuality without finding the need to scream from rooftops. Ultimately, I adore women who are not afraid to express themselves through their clothing and are not dictated by trends, price tags and brands.

Nothing excites me more than to see a woman who can combine couture with high street and express her individuality. Since fashion has no rules I don’t see the need to conform to it.

Anand Kabra Outfit

How has lockdown life inspired your creativity as a designer?

Lockdown life was a big eye opener for me.

Once I got over the initial shock and confusion, I started appreciating the slowing down and the silence. It allowed me to reflect on what I did and what I would like to do.

A lot of working methods were changed, new system’s with mindfulness and a holistic approach were implemented. Design became paramount and the need to work towards leaving a legacy became the focus for the future. We are still settling down and dealing with the new normal , but super excited to see how the future of “Anand Kabra “ unfurls.

Anand Kabra outfit

What was the inspiration behind your collection with Amrika?

Anand: The starting point for every collection is the current mood, the lifestyle and responsibilities of the woman in today’s social structure.

For this collection, the focus was on the philosophy of wearing clothes. It was all about separates that could be styled to create multiple looks. Movement was extremely important so the pieces were light and fuss free. Lengths were shorter, silhouettes were straighter and relaxed. Design ( fabric and texture) inspiration like always came from the opulence of Indian architecture, Japanese minimalism , and some tribal influences.

Anand Kabra Outfit

What do you think the future will look like for Indo-westwern fashion?

I'm not a huge fan of the phrase ‘indo- western” and prefer to call it fashion from India, if I’m being totally honest!

The biggest hurdle I face as a designer coming from India is to break the preconceived notion of costume and exotica. As much as it has been a strong foundation to start from, I think we need to break out of it and create clothing with a strong Indian essence. What I see as an Anarkali, someone else might interpret it as a dress, a kurta to me might be a tunic for someone else.

This is the future ......