Urvashi Kaur is a formidable force in the fashion industry. She heralds a new age of sustainable fashion combined with effortlessly chic silhouettes. Who says simplicity and fashion don’t mix? Well, we say that her designs are a perfect example of wearable luxury. The travel inspired collections and eco-friendly techniques together with androgynous elements make an ineffable impact. And what not? The new collection by Urvashi Kaur is exclusively available to Exclusively.in for your buying pleasure!
Q: How did the label “Urvashi Kaur” come about?
A: I travel a lot. During my travels, I opened up to western world and their art influences. While I was doing theatre, I was also good at sketching portraits and coloring outfits. I didn’t think there was a serious possibility of choosing fashion as a career till I got the production of “Starlight Express” by Aamir Raza Hussain. It was a first Broadway show in India and I was told to do the costume. After that I realized that is what I want to do.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Travelling inspires me. I went to Paris, Spain, North Africa and all over India. I picked up Tribal elements from North Africa, colors and western art from Europe and implemented in my collections. My debut collection titled Yavani at WIFW was inspired by travel to Greece. It was a mix of Greece and South Indian elements with a color palate of cream and monochrome. The S/S’14 was inspired by Sema ceremony in Istanbul. My mother is an artist and I take cues from her art. My nani also travels to exotic places and brings back designer purchases, décor pieces and accessories that inspire me. Beauty of weaves, colors, textures and Indian aesthetics add to my inspirations.
Q: How would you describe the Indian luxury/designer wear industry today? How have you seen it change?
A: It can be divided into Pret and Resort collections.
Pret: I think that it emerged out of economic crisis and changing realities of urban India. Women are working and don’t have time to dress up. So, you need a collection that is versatile. Also, In India you wear clothes only once and then you can’t repeat it because that is your status.
Resort: People are travelling abroad frequently. They want to look smart and be comfortable while on vacation. The trend of destination weddings has also emerged as a prominent reason for change in the fashion industry.
Q: What do you think of fashion & e-commerce, particularly in India?
A: The collaboration between Exclusively.in and Urvashi Kaur began 3-4 years ago. It introduced me to international customers. It was helpful in giving me an insider view of economic potential and exposed the label to real people initially. The commercial viability of this collaboration is astonishing. In this digital age, social media has reached out to millions of people. The advent of bloggers, mobile phones and technology has adversely affected how people shop today.
Q: Where do you see/ would like to see Indian fashion developing towards?
A: Indian fashion is at a nascent stage but I’m ready to take a leap into developing sustainable fashion. Initially, women used to buy fabric and go to a tailor and get it stitched. But now wearing designers is a status symbol and the middle class don’t have time to and more spending power. This gives Indian designers immense opportunity to cater to this need gap by becoming more accessible.
Q: What is your specialty/USP?
A: I have a balanced approach to design. My silhouettes are androgynous. My speciality lies in loose relaxed aesthetic. I invest in innovation of fabrics and techniques. For example – the piping used in my clothes come out of recycled and waste fabrics.
Q: Designers you admire and look up to?
A: I absolutely adore Stella McCartney for her eco-friendly and ready-to-wear collections. Masculinity of her clothes inspired my collections and the accessories are to-die-for. Manish Arora designs are out of this world. But not everybody can carry his masterpieces.
Q: Which celebrity would you love seeing in Urvashi Kaur?
A: My customer is experimental and bold. I see rock stars, pop stars and people with cropped haircuts wearing my collections. I would like to see Sonam kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Dia Mirza, Deepika Padukone and Anoushka Sharma wearing it. Out of these Bollywood actresses, a few have already worn my designs.Internationally, actresses like Sharon Stone, Hillary Swank, Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie are my aspired customers.
Q: Elaborate on your latest collaborations.
A: I have collaborated with 3 NGO’s for producing fabrics and creating employment. The NGO’s are Khamir, Malkha and Sutra. Also, I have collaborated with Global Revolution Day. It is a thought provoking campaign asking the question “Who made the clothes?”. This is an initiative to make new designers aware of what it takes. It ensures reaching to fashion institutes and making young potential designers aware of sustainable fashion.
Q: Who are your customers and what benefits do you provide to them?
A: I believe in in southern India, customers are very open to their sense of community and value systems. They stay close to their roots and accept my textiles easily. Though in north India, customers follow western culture. They want over-the top clothes with heavy motifs and flamboyant detailing. Nowadays, people are becoming more aware because of their “lifestyle”. I ensure that our customers are provided with elegant details and interaction of fabrics by touch and feel factors.
Q: What are the values and culture of label “Urvashi Kaur”?
A: It is wearable luxury, economically sustainable and culturally influential. I make sure that the designs are global in construction and local in sensibility. The values are embedded on alternate fashion movement by embracing heritage textiles, natural dyes, indigenous organic weaves and age-old techniques. It is a mix of presentation and beauty with inherent textiles and accessories.
Q: Your favorite trend and guilty pleasures?
A: Sheer trend and hats.
Q: What are the essentials in your bag while traveling?
A: It takes me a lot of time to pack. I don’t travel light. From evening wear, gowns and dresses to makeup and jewelry box, I pack everything. It is like my portable mini wardrobe.
Q: What’s next for the brand?
A: I’m looking forward to the S/S’ 15 collection based on Tribal China and more collaborations with NGO’s.
Q: What is your fashion advice to our customers?
A: I believe that styling is extremely important. The whole ethos and beauty of outfit depends on how you style it, feel comfortable in it and mix and match it to suit your need. I suggest don’t be so bold that your personality hides. My ensembles aren’t a guise, they don’t accentuate your figure, and they are something beautiful.