How Kalki Koechlin’s personal wardrobe inspired an entire Hidesign collection

Kalki Koechlin is perched on a swinging bed at the Le Dupleix hotel in Pondicherry, munching on watermelon slices while introducing her latest collaboration — a Hidesign collection of bags. We take a quick look around: quaint French interiors overlooking a sunny street and a medley of 10 unique bags sprawled around the chirpy star.

“This one is my favourite,” she says, hugging a tan mini backpack. “I cycle or bike around a lot, and for me, this is a bag I can just sling around and take everywhere.”

From casual duffel bags and silvery snake print clutches to bags that mean business, the Hidesign X Kalki collection embodies facets of Kalki’s own personality. “This collection is like an actor’s first movie. When you usually do your first film, you are yourself. And that’s what we’ve put into this collection — everything I know about myself and my personality.”

Kalki Dilip looking at hardware while designing the collection

Kalki with Dilip Kapur of Hidesign

For Dilip Kapur, the brand’s founder, Kalki was a natural choice for the Bollywood-Design Hidesign collection. “We’ve always been very disconnected from Bollywood, even though 75% of what we do is all about India,” he said. “We didn’t want an endorsement, we wanted someone who understood us. Kalki comes from the same place we come from, with the same culture and background. And it just clicked.”

After rummaging through Kalki’s own wardrobe and 200 images from her own Pinterest searches, the Hidesign team’s collection captured a part of Kalki’s style. “I asked her to show me all her bags and clothes, what her favourite words are, favourite colours – and then, we shaped what she told us into bags,” Dilip talked about the process.

We then asked Kalki about her favourite bags in her hometown. How would Kalki Koechlin do Pondicherry?

HidesignxKalki Freedom mini duffel sling Rust 2

Concerts and plays at Bharat Nivas: The Freedom Duffel

“I would take the duffel maroon bag. We have a lot of concerts at Bharat Nivas, and you usually sit on the floor during. We also have an amphitheater with bonfires.”

The beach: The Freedom Tote

“It has a guitar strap and it wouldn’t get dirty too quickly either.”

Partying: 3 AM sling

“The grey is one of my favorites for a night out. It’s about a girl who’s ready to party at the after-party.”

*Side note* For men who like to party: “When I am dating someone and we go out at night, he puts his shit in my bag. And I’m like ‘carry your own bag!’ That’s how the dull gold unisex bag came about.”

The ashram: The Human Backpack

“This is a beige practical backpack that goes with anything. I’d wear that with acid-washed jeans and white clothes, since white is the colour of the Ashram.”

For a Hidesign meeting: The Evolve Business Bag

“The business bag has pockets to put your tablets and documents, and that’s what I would take if I was probably going for a meeting.”

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