The DNA Of Indian Fashion: Anamika Khanna


Couturier Anamika Khanna has been lauded time and again for reinventing contemporary silhouettes through her signature capes, kaftans, dhoti pants and timeless separates. Known for her innovative design approach Khanna reflects on the essence of her craft and why she looks inwards for artistic expression.

ELLE: Tell us about the evolution of your brand AK-OK.

Anamika Khanna (AK): I always wanted to make clothes that I like to wear daily. I made a sample line and everyone started to stop me and ask where I got it from. That’s how AK-OK took shape. Having a ready-to-wear line lets me express myself more without the limitations of couture and bridal fashion. I can move from one creative space to another to navigate couture and pret, but my design essence will always be visible in both brands.

ELLE: How do you strike a balance between being distinctive and being marketable?

AK: I have never thought about marketing. I focus on creating beautiful things and go with the mindset. The other aspects take their course.

ELLE: How do you foresee the future of Indian craft and textiles on the global map?

AK: Indian designers are now globally relevant, with couture weeks happening worldwide. Indian crafts are now revered all over. The old idea of it being limited to walls and museums is slowly fading.

ELLE: What are your thoughts on sustainability in the luxury fashion industry?

AK: Sustainability is a complicated topic. Our clothes are handcrafted with the finest materials, dyes and embroideries and designed to be cherished for life. It reduces constant purchasing, and that is something I believe in.

ELLE: How has your definition of ambition and success evolved over the years?

AK: When you’re young, you are ambitious, ready to take risks and do things to build a certain public perception of you. Over time, every decision or idea I work on is for a more personal, creative and spiritual reason. This realisation comes with maturity.

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