Khara Kapas is a unique label that seamlessly blends the contemporary style with the essence of traditional Indian craftsmanship. We had the pleasure of speaking with the visionary founder behind the label, Shilpi Yadav, about the brand’s distinctive identity and journey, embracing and incorporating Indian craftsmanship and fabrics into its designs, and its latest collection, An Indian Summer, and the vision behind this new lineup. 

 What inspired you to launch the label Khara Kapas? What does its unique name stand for? 

Khara Kapas was conceptualized in early 2015 in my quest for a global and homegrown cotton-only brand. I wanted to make clothes that were fashionable, ethically made, and comfortable. The thought was to work with only cotton. The name was conceptualized keeping this ideology. Hence, Kahar (pure) Kapas (cotton). We finally gave a vision to the concept in 2015 when we launched the brand.  

How does the brand incorporate traditional Indian fabrics and craftsmanship into its beautiful, vibrant designs? 

Khara Kapas is a homegrown label with all its sourcing, design concepts, and manufacturing done in India. Our prints are inspired by traditional printing and dyeing techniques. We work with Indian fabrics that are sourced and manufactured within our country. The color designs and cuts have a visible Indian essence keeping us distinguished. It’s our take on our customers and roots. Being an army kid, I was exposed to our vast culture from a very young age as I traveled the country in my younger years. The exposure I got as a kid reflects in my design process and fabric selection. The essence of this design process also reflects in our flagship store in Gurgaon, at 32nd Avenue. The interiors and space are designed true to our ideology and essence. 


What are your favorite fabrics and artisanal techniques you enjoy working with to create the products, and why? 

My all-time favorite fabric will always be mulmul. It was my mission to bring mulmul to mainstream fashion through my clothes. It’s the fluidity and feel of the fabric, especially for the scorching Indian heat. Whether it’s Shibori and the work of color while clamp dyeing or traditional printing and the subtle colors on cotton, both techniques are magnificent in their own unique way. What we are also exploring is my fine art inspired by Indian fauna and flora that we are now transferring to our prints. It’s a new design direction for our artwork. 

Each silhouette made by Khara Kapas is truly one-of-a-kind. What, according to you, makes your clothing distinctive from the other brands, and how do people perceive your collections?

I think what distinguishes me is the fact that I have always been true to my vision of what works for women of all shapes and sizes. It’s comfort over fashion. It’s the belief that if I can’t wear or live every single piece designed under Khara Kapas, then I can't expect my customers to love it. We make no compromises there. It has to be comfortable with a blend of style and impeccably topped with quality. Clothes that last you a lifetime.

 We’re so excited about the latest collection, An Indian Summer. Can you tell us more about this new lineup and the vision behind it? 

An Indian summer is true to its name. It’s everything that Indian summer is all about. The balmy heat days call for breezy mulmul silhouettes like a good lineup of tiered dresses, co-ord sets, airy maxis, and fun skater dresses. We have introduced my signature watercolor prints inspired by Indian fauna and flora. Summer is all about mulmul, and our collection includes mulmul, fine poplin, and cool linen fabrics. We have strappy dresses perfect for the evenings and vacation looks too. And our kaftan dresses are unmissable this season. 

What makes this collection stand out amongst others? 

It’s all of the above things. What is being loved the most is our signature watercolor prints that are from my personal watercolor collection. Our style ‘Shikanji’ is a super hit already, and so are our kaftan ‘Sea Shells’ and ‘Tequila Sunrise’. 

What’s next in store for Khara Kapas? We’re always excited to learn about our designers’ upcoming projects!

We have always been excited about new categories and brand extensions. Our jewelry is already being loved, and so are our bags. We will extend our menswear into a bigger category, and we are planning to add a home line soon. And we are on a quest to open physical stores this year. So hopefully, we will be announcing that soon!




Interviewer and Writer PRERNA MALHOTRA

Layout and Graphic Design VEDHIKA HV

IKKIVI Zine is a property of IKKIVI by Founder NIVI MURTHY



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