Fashion

Designer couple Gaurav Khanijo and Amrita Thakur reveal the best gift they've received from each other

Fashion is their one true love

A courtship of just one month, and contemporary menswear designer Gaurav Khanijo and Indian womenswear designer Amrita Thakur knew they wanted to spend their lives together. It’s been eight years since, and while they may argue about whom their dog Tug loves more or who takes longer to get dressed—and they maintain an ongoing Delhi-versus-Mumbai (their respective home cities) debate—they are completely in sync when it comes to fashion, their one true love.

ELLE: What do you think of each other’s style?

Gaurav Khanijo: I think Amrita’s got a great sense of style. Whether it’s picking a piece of furniture, bed covers or even jewellery, she’s a natural.
Amrita Thakur: Gaurav’s style is rugged and relaxed, with a lot of attention to detail. I love wearing his leather jackets because he invests in good ones, while I spend all my money on shoes. Winter dressing is something I’m hopeless at, being a Bombay girl, so I pick up a lot of layering tricks from him.

ELLE: Are your design processes very different?

GK: Our labels are totally distinct and cater to different audiences, so our processes also vary. Nature, global religions, music and millennials inspire my designs. But we share a lot with each other, in terms of what is happening [with the brands], where the forecast is heading, and what can drive our businesses.

ELLE: What are your favourite vacation spots?

GK: I love the beach. So, Greece and Croatia, for their good vibes.
AT: Greece, for being breathtaking! And Rome, for the beauty amid all the chaos.

ELLE: Who are your style icons?

GK: David Bowie, Prince and the Yakuza.
AT: Maharani Indira Devi of Cooch Behar, actors Rekha and Audrey Hepburn, and fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert. And the women in my family.

ELLE: What are your favourite pieces from your wardrobe?

GK: I love my jackets, linen suits and hats.
AT: A draped black Tarun Tahiliani skirt and a Shahab Durazi top that my sister passed down to me.

ELLE: The best gift you’ve ever received from each other?

GK: She’s really good in that department. She surprised me with a pair of boots from Tod’s that I had wanted for a while.
AT: The promise ring Gaurav proposed with. It is engraved with a personal message.

ELLE: You are both fashion collectors of sorts. Tell us your secrets.

GK: I love the colourways that come with limited-edition sneakers. Even if a pair is launching in the middle of the night, I will stay up to get my hands on it. I still remember I had ordered a pair of the Nike Air Force Sf1 to a friend’s house in Frankfurt. Because she was in the middle of shifting homes, my sneakers were delivered to the wrong address and then got lost for almost three months before I tracked them to Berlin, and had them sent to Mumbai. Even though I paid supremely high duty and faced all that trouble tracing them, they were absolutely worth it.
AT: The key to buying expensive shoes is to wait until they are marked down. I once got a pair of Chloé shoes for less than half of the original price after waiting for six months.

Photographs: Anubhav Sood

Sittings editor: Pujarini Ghosh

Hair and make-up: Blossom Kochhar College of Creative Arts