#NextBigThing: Kshitij Kankaria Makes His Mark In The Styling Scene

Hrishitaa Sharma , 29 Jun 2017

You might remember Kshitij Kankaria from his debut at Lakme Fashion Week SR17 as his line of clothes was rebellious and #TagFree. The young designer is now on his way to the top of the style scene by curating concepts for great brands in India and abroad. So here’s a cover story on his journey and what makes him the Next Best Thing!

#TagFree curated by Kshitij Kankaria at Lakme Fashion Week SR'17
#TagFree curated by Kshitij Kankaria at Lakme Fashion Week SR'17
#TagFree curated by Kshitij Kankaria at Lakme Fashion Week SR'17
#TagFree curated by Kshitij Kankaria at Lakme Fashion Week SR'17

1. How did you get to where you are today?

I’m from a family of doctors, thus from the very beginning, it was obvious that I will opt for the same field. I soon realised that it’s not meant for me, so I chose to design. I was unsure of design at first as well, but it felt like a safe escape and I had the benefit of age on my side. I got my degree from NIFT, after which I came to Mumbai and started my first pret line called SOAK. It was hard to handle a clothing line in a new city but thanks to a successful start I kept at it. I also styled on the side and made money to invest in the business but had to shut the brand down due to a crunch. Before I could make sense of what’s next, I got signed by two agencies as a stylist and it’s been two years ever since. Styling is much different in India as compared to abroad and I am still learning to do justice to both.

2. What is the hardest thing about being a stylist?

I think that most exciting as well as most exhausting thing about being a freelance stylist is that you meet too many new people every single day. You have to be on your best behavior and the dynamics are constantly changing since you’re not assigned to one particular celebrity or a publication.

@kalkikanmani for @cottonworldlive by @ridburman hair and make up by @danielbauermakeupandhair creatives by @gautampulp

A post shared by Kshitij Kankaria (@kshitijkankaria) on

3. What was the most exciting shoot you’ve ever done?

One of the most adventurous and fond memory I have from the shoot of Numero in Tokyo. I had missed my connecting flight and arrived two hours late on the shoot when I was suppose to be there a day early. In a strange city, I had to find my way to reach the location straight after 40 hours of hustle. But once I made it, the team was super nice and I got to see Tokyo first hand, while shooting on the streets in the middle of the night. The experience was surreal but exhausting.

4. Who is your fashion icon?

I don’t have one in particular but I do like Rihanna most of the time.

Me and @kayaancontractor for @nike #cortez for @homegrownin. shot by @ishaannair7

A post shared by Kshitij Kankaria (@kshitijkankaria) on

5. Who have you styled so far?

I don’t do as much work for Bollywood. Most of my work is editorial, around creating those characters who don’t really exist.

6. Which is the one person you’d love to style?

Kate Moss from when she was 17 years old.

7. What’s your next big career move?

Things have worked out for me in a progression rather than a quick sudden move. As far now, I feel I’m moving more towards creative consultancy with few really cool brands in London and India that I’m very excited to work with.

8. If you could source from only one label for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

Can I pick two labels? I love Dries van Noten and Rajesh Pratap Singh. So, sourcing their wonderful clothes for the rest of my life would be great!

"BAAG" summer collection for @raw_mango shot by @ashishnshah hair and make up by @nisha_gulati talent @naomijanumala

A post shared by Kshitij Kankaria (@kshitijkankaria) on

9. Describe your personal style.

It changes each day with my mood but mostly I like everything over-sized and in solid colours.

Fashion week comfort in #kaleekal

A post shared by Kshitij Kankaria (@kshitijkankaria) on

10. Any advice for aspiring stylists?

Take it more seriously than you have been told and don’t follow anyone’s footsteps. Not following the herd will make you and your work unique. Find your team and work hard. Keep your eyes open all the time and try to spend more time alone to gather your inspirations.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Kshitij! We wish you all the love and luck in your creative journey to the top. Follow Kshitij on Instagram to see how talented her is with styling.

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