Kanika Goyal talks art, design and being one of the most celebrated designers in India

The Delhi-based designer, Kanika Goyal found her roots dugged deep in womenswear, menswear and a diffusion line who she calls ‘provocative minimalism’. Her label weaves the evolution of a multi-cultural designer while imbibing the ideals of luxury. Kanika in a conversation with Krishti Khound about her creative cognition and what implements her approach to fashion and design.

Ex: Congratulations on making it to the Forbes under 30 list, could you throw some light on your journey in the industry?
I completed under graduation from NIFT, New Delhi in fashion and lifestyle accessories, after which I went on to pursue fashion designing from Parsons-the New School for Design. There I studied tailoring extensively and realised that it is hardly viewed without the serious connotations attached to it. That was the starting point for me. I wanted to design clothes that follow the rules of traditional tailoring but are edgier, younger, and on that account, easier to embrace. The city, New York, in general, definitely helped me to shape my aesthetic. I worked at Marchesa, Prada (V.M.) and with Bibhu Mohapatra for one year before moving back to India and definitely was a mentor to me as I learned a lot, that I implement today, from him. I moved back in March 2014 and could instantly see the gap in the market here. I started working on my label in August and showcased my first fall 14/15 collection in October 2014. My journey has been great till now!

Ex: What should we expect from the brand in the autumn/ winter LFW’19?
As our lives speed up and time feels scarce, we find a new appreciation of stasis and the beauty of slow in this world of perpetual movement. Slowness, silence, and boredom inspire us and spark creative thinking, motivating us to seek new goals and projects. We have explored this re-calibration in this collection, using humour and sarcasm in typography as a tool to communicate our urgent need to disconnect from technology to reconnect with ourselves. We look at architecture as our inspiration for tailoring. A thoughtful and more intelligent approach to combine structure with fluidity, with a stronger focus on construction. The curvilinear lines and cavities represent our pursuit of essentialism. A mix of synthetic and natural fabrics give a sense of luxury.

Ex: Tell us about your creative process.
I take my inspiration from Bauhaus architecture mainly. I’m from Chandigarh and growing up there has subconsciously made me understand and appreciate Bauhaus architecture. Asymmetry is something that is the core of the brand. I love seeing the shadows created by buildings during different hours of the day. We follow the same concept, where a Kanika Goyal garment would reveal different details/cuts when viewed from different angles. I also get inspired by deconstructivism and brutalism. A major inspiration apart from the above is the people that are around me. I tend to get inspired by the way they talk or narrate a certain story.

Ex: What is your take on the role sustainability plays in the fashion industry?
The future of fashion demands homegrown brands to be sustainable. There is a need to use materials that are far less resource-dependent, are more recyclable and have longer lifecycles. Brands need to design garments that are classics and have a longer life so people love, look after, and want to keep using them for longer periods. It is important to make clear commitments to transform the way brands do business. Sustainability should start from the grass-root level whether it is about the utensils in the company’s kitchen or about the day to day packaging material. We ignore multiple things on a day-to-day basis in terms of the operations that truly require our attention and rectification.

Ex: The fashion industry today is highly competitive and uncertain, how do you think that it’s a concern?
It’s true that the fashion industry is saturated and that definitely makes it competitive. It does become a challenge every season to create the ‘new’ and keep the retail prices in check due to the intense competition. The Indian fashion industry, in particular, is changing dynamically and rapidly. The uncertainty is definitely there the consumer demands are changing every season as more and more information is being provided. Social media plays a very important role here as the consumer is now at par with the global trends and is constantly hunting for newness.

Ex: What is your signature ‘Kanika Goyal’ piece?
It would be a color-blocked top with signature typography.


  • Your go-to fashion trend: Oversized tees
  • One piece of tech that you use for designing: iPad Pro
  • Your Muse: Dua lipa, Olivia Palermo, Chiara Ferragni. There are so many women that I admire.
  • Favourite app: Instagram
  • Most overused fashion trend/trick: Gold jewelry layering, and sneakers
  • Must have tech gadget that’s not your phone or laptop: iPad Pro
  • Most exotic location: New York Tech bucket list: Go pro

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