#NextBigThing: This Dynamic Female Duo Are Bollywood's New Favourite Designers

Hrishitaa Sharma , 23 Oct 2017
Aditi Rao Hydari, Alia Bhatt, Ileana D'cruz
Aditi Rao Hydari, Alia Bhatt, Ileana D’cruz

We have recently caught many starlets donning a unique aesthetic showcasing some abstract prints, fringe detailing and embellishments. The creative work belongs to the up and coming designer duo Saaksha & Kinni. Alia Bhatt, Karisma Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Aditi Rao Hydari are some of the divas who have sported this label and caused a stir with their looks.

So we caught up with Saaksha & Kinni and got to know about their journey to B-town fashion. Keep reading, they have such a delightful story!

1. When and how did you know that you both want to start your own label together?

Kinni: In late 2015, we decided to take the plunge and start our own label. It came after years of not being able to find the perfect harmony of Indo western clothes—Clothes that weren’t embellished with the typical bright gold embroidery and neon bright prints. Being friends and sisters-in-law, it was easy to work together and spend so many hours locked away brainstorming.

2. How have your different backgrounds helped you both in your design journey?

Saaksha : Saaksha & Kinni is a label that is the culmination of journeys that began in two different countries. Kinni, with a decade of embedding Indian artistry in western creations for global fashion houses including Balmain, Elie Saab, Armani, Gucci, always had an interest in fashion. I was born and brought up in the UK, and always had an appreciation and deep understanding of European styles and silhouettes. Upon the confluence of these two perspectives arose two key questions. Why shouldn’t these intricate karigari embroidery techniques be made available to women in India? Why can’t we cater to adventurous women who are willing to experiment with Indo western silhouettes? And it was on the wings of these two questions that the Saaksha Kinni Label was launched.

3. Name few labels or designers you seek inspiration from.

Kinni: We are huge admirers of Dries Van Notes and Gary Graham – their use of prints and embroidery is unimaginable.

4. What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced as young, female, up-and-coming designers trying to make a name for themselves?

Saaksha: I think the hardest challenge was getting noticed. I still remember a PR owner telling us at the very start of our journey that there is a designer in almost every family. The thought alone was daunting and intimidating!

5. How is fashion industry different abroad from India?

Kinni: India has quite a forgiving fashion industry. Abroad there is such a high standard adhered to in terms of originality and self-knowledge. A lot of designers here take the word inspiration a little too literally and implement other’s ideas rather than being truly original and different. Having said, designers like Pero, Antar Agni, Kaleekal etc are really putting India on the map in terms of creativity.

6. Who’s the one celebrity you both love to see your designs on?

Saaksha: We would love to see our designs on Olivia Palermo. She is such a style icon and someone whose has looked up to in terms of female empowerment and power dressing.

7. You showcased your label as a part of Gen Next at Lakme Fashion Week. What was that experience like?

Kinni: Gen Next was a dream come true. It was such a huge honour and amazing platform to debut as part of. We had to be critical in terms of attention to detail, cuts, and of course fit. It was extremely challenging—A lot of late nights and tears! But it was all worth it once it came to show day.

8. Recently Alia Bhatt was photographed wearing one of your dresses. Did you ever think such a major A-lister would wear your label? Did that change anything for your business?

Saaksha: It was truly humbling when Alia wore one of our ensembles. The kind of reach she has whenever she wears anything is not just national but global. What was especially nice was that so many magazines and blogs covered the dress and for the most part had such nice things to say about the outfit itself. In terms of business, there was definitely an influx of both international stores and clients wanting to know more about the brand.

9. Give us two qualities about each other that you admire?

Kinni : Saaksha is so hard working it’s unbelievable, there is literally no off switch. She is also extremely caring and compassionate, I have never seen her argue with anyone!

Saaksha: Kinni is a creative genius, the kinds of ideas she has are truly unique and inspiring. She is also one of the most selfless people I know.

10. What’s the one tip you both would like to give aspiring designers who want to become entrepreneurs?

Saaksha: Before you even put pen to paper, you have to really know yourself. Know who you are, what you stand for and who you are creating for. Without knowing these things, you will never be able to create a brand that stands the test of time. Of course work hard, stay humble and treat every single person who works with you with the utmost respect and care.

11. Do you ever find that you two are at odds or butt heads when decision-making? How do you advise dealing with that in the workplace?

Kinni: To be completely honest we have never had a disagreement or been on opposite sides when making decisions. I think part of that is having complete trust and faith in each other. But also that we really divide up departments. We know who has final say in each department and that works really well for us.

12. What makes Saaksha & Kinni stand apart from all the other fashion brands?

Kinni: We really play with masculinity vs femininity and try to draw from that notion in our garments. We mix softer fabrics with intense, bold embroidery. We also use the singularly home grown technique of using dulled metal sheets woven through intricate thread work which is both unusual in garments and powerful in appearance.

13. Describe Saaksha & Kinni’s aesthetic in 3 words.

Saaksha: Impactful. Comfortable. Luxe-boho.

And here’s our very own Fashion & Beauty Director Meriam Ahari wore one of their own pieces and this is how she rocked it!

Now wouldn’t you like to see these two lovely ladies reach the top? We wish you all the luck and love Saaksha & Kinni. May you keep creating and inspiring us all.

Follow @missmalinifashion & @missmalinibeauty for more updates.

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Style & Beauty