Every year, the fashion shows from the Big Four—New York, London, Paris, and Milan— give the world its breakout talents to watch for. This year, we discovered not just a designer but also a statement in a sweeping change in men’s fashion. Kaushik Velendra, a recent graduate from Central Saint Martins, has the spotlights on him now. Only 26-years-old, the London-based designer’s story has already come full circle.
He started out in the entertainment industry in South India at the age of 13 as a spot boy and worked his way up to become a costume designer in Mani Ratnam and Yash Raj Films’ productions and worked as a stylist for Kamal Haasan for seven years. Velendra also grew up around French couture extraordinaire Jean Francois Lesange in Chennai as his neighbour whom he would later go on to collaborate with for his collection. His designs intersect activewear and high precision tailoring in fabrics that cast into the wearer’s body shape, lending them the futuristic design DNA of his atelier. The moulded shoulder pieces.
Couture capes are intended to redefine how men dress and perceive their bodies. Velendra’s designs have now been worn by supermodel Alton Mason at the 2020 Grammy Awards, British actor Jack Brett Anderson on the BAFTA red carpet this year, and closer home, by Ranveer Singh for the recent Filmfare Awards. “It would’ve taken me years to dress someone like a Ranveer Singh. The global exposure I have received helped in making that happen,” shares Velendra. However, the designer states that he doesn’t want to make what the world stereotypically recognises as “Indian clothes”, inevitably associated with bright colours and bling.“People ask me ‛what is Indian about you?’ I say, ‛I am Indian, but that doesn’t mean my clothes have to be Indian.’ That is a stereotype I want