Heralded as the Indian fashion industry’s pioneers, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla have been witness to ample advancements in the design space. Known for their signature mirror-worked ensembles, the celebrity favourites have garnered a brand new fan base for their tongue-in-cheek commentary on social media. They’re authentic and they’re forthright. They’ve built empires from scratch and continue to reinvent themselves with time. Here’s what’s inspiring them these days.
ELLE: Describe the Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla universe in three words.
Sandeep Khosla (SK): Extravagant. Eclectic. Extraordinary.
ELLE: Having been in the industry for some time now, what major changes have you witnessed in the Indian customer?
Abu Jani (AJ): It’s unbelievable that we’ve been around for 37 years with no intentions of slowing down any time soon. The time’s been rich in experimentation, constant learning, transformative growth and ambitious creative expression. And as we have evolved, so has our customer. They are adventurous when it comes to their fashion choices and open to breaking boundaries. We believe in quality over quantity, in developing one’s own personal style that boasts a flair for classical elegance–one that sets long-lasting standards.
ELLE: How do you tackle the incessant copying and cheap reproductions your brand has been unfortunately subjected to?
SK: We are far from flattered by it. If anything, it is deeply disrespectful to an artist to steal their designs and shows a complete lack of ethics. Plagiarism is rife in the high-fashion industry. It’s both exploitative and reveals a loathsome lack of imagination and originality.
ELLE: What led to Asal’s birth? What gap in the market does it wish to address?
AJ: Asal by Abu Sandeep was born out of our own desire to create clothes for a much wider audience. We witnessed so many designers ripping off AJSK that we decided it was time to create our own diffusion label, which boasted similar aesthetic sensibilities but at a more accessible price point.
ELLE: What does the future look like for both AJSK and Asal?
SK: Big, bold and beautiful. We are in the process of major expansion through more stores in India and across the globe and creating higher production capabilities. Footwear, jewellery and fragrances will soon become part of our offering under both labels. We are dreaming big and working hard to achieve quantum leaps in the next thirty-six months.
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