Kayaan Contractor On Working With Gaurav Gupta For Her Capsule Collection & More


Fashion content creator Kayaan Shiraz Contractor consistently manages to combine fashion and luxury through her content. Initially working as a wardrobe assistant for films, Kayaan transitioned into blogging as the role became more widely recognized. Through Shapeshifter.in (launched in 2016), Kayaan expressed her love for fashion editorials and story-telling, making her one of the industry’s pioneers. She has come a long way since then.

Recently, through the five-episode series The Creators by GREY GOOSE Vive Le Voyage, which translates to ‘Long Live the Journey,’ Grey Goose has brought together a renowned mentor-mentee pair, Gaurav Gupta and Kayaan Contractor. The series follows Kayaan on a quest to explore various aspects of her identity and style while overcoming obstacles with guidance from her mentor, Gaurav. Each setup showcases Kayaan’s collection – étant, which promotes inclusivity and gender neutrality through the concept that “there are no rules.”

We caught up with Kayaan to give us a deep dive into her collection, what it was like being mentored by Gaurav Gupta, and more.

ELLE: Launching your own capsule collection, how has the journey been so far?

Kayaan Contractor: The journey so far has undoubtedly been a remarkable learning experience. Transitioning from a styling background to a designing one has been very exciting. I get to learn more and more every day and hone my skills. While I did attend fashion school and studied sewing quite a while ago, I opted for styling as it seemed like an easier option at the time. However, working on my own capsule collection has been an exhilarating experience that has given me the chance to rekindle my passion for designing. As I continue to learn and develop my craft, I eagerly await the results of my hard work.

ELLE: What were a few new things or the eureka moments you experienced while being mentored by Gaurav Gupta to launch your debut collection?

KC: Being mentored by the iconic Gaurav Gupta was an unforgettable experience, to say the least! His larger-than-life personality, humility, and down-to-earth nature made every moment with him an absolute delight. Throughout this entire journey, he has been an invaluable sounding board, providing guidance on inside finishes and other intricate details about the process. Observing his impeccable workmanship has been a masterclass, with his unique ways of putting things together that provide fresh perspectives. While there were countless eureka moments along the way, I can say without a doubt that this has been a one-of-a-kind opportunity that I will cherish for a lifetime. My sincere gratitude goes out to GREY GOOSE Vive Le Voyage for this incredible opportunity. 

ELLE: What is the inspiration behind your first collection? How much does your personal aesthetic and style ethos of being gender agnostic influence your designs?

KC: The idea was to create a gender-fluid collection, one that transcends the traditional boundaries of fashion. My aim was to create pieces that could be worn by anyone, regardless of gender. Personally, I’m not tied to a specific style, but I enjoy experimenting with layering pieces from my closet. In fact, one of the biggest inspirations behind this collection was my father’s shirt which I end up wearing on several occasions. I wanted to channel the same level of versatility and accessibility into the collection, creating pieces that are both easy to wear and effortlessly stylish. Making fashion that is truly accessible to everyone has been the most rewarding aspect of this journey.

ELLE: Transitioning from a content creator to a designer can be a massive shift. Was becoming a designer always part of the plan or was it something you discovered along the way? 

KC: I don’t view it as a transition, but rather as an evolution of my creativity. At heart, I will always be a content creator, with a passion for bringing ideas to life through my work. Having previously studied fashion design and garment construction, coming back to it feels like a natural progression. In fact, I find content creation to be more tedious at times, as it requires constant ideation and market appeal. However, designing allows me to explore new ideas and translate them into tangible products. Knowing what to expect has made the shift into fashion design an exciting rush. I am thrilled to be able to bring my ideas to life in a new medium.

ELLE: What are some of your thoughts on associating with GREY GOOSE and being part of its Vive Le Voyage series?

KC: Partnering with the GREY GOOSE Vive Le Voyage series has been a truly remarkable experience! Without their support and encouragement, I’m not sure if I would have taken that leap into the design space. Their unwavering faith in my abilities and their willingness to be a part of this journey gave me the much-needed push. Every step of the voyage was an adventure, filled with new experiences and endless possibilities. Now that I look back, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and the incredible journey it has led me on. Thanks to them, I am now confident in my ability to start my own label and pursue my dreams fearlessly. Collaborating with the GREY GOOSE Vive Le Voyage team was an absolute pleasure, and I enjoyed every moment. 

ELLE: Given that this was your debut collection showcase, did being associated with GREY GOOSE right at the beginning of foraying into the world of fashion design aid the transition?

KC: With the incredible support of the GREY GOOSE team, I finally have the courage to venture into the world of design. They have provided me with excellent platform to showcase my creativity and pushed me in the direction of my dreams. It’s truly inspiring to see brands like this supporting emerging talent and empowering them to pursue their passions. We are currently hard at work on the pieces and the nitty-gritty details of starting an entire company, and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me. With GREY GOOSE Vive Le Voyage by my side, I am excited and ready to take on any challenge that comes my way!

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