KANELLE, a women centric brand that makes clothing that are stylish, effortless and easy to wear ensembles.
Kanika Jain, Founder & Creative Director, KANELLE created the brand in 2011 and is named as a combination of ‘Kanika’ and ‘elle’, which basically means ‘Kanika’s creations for her’. Her collections include separates that are timeless and are handcrafted with meticulous details. After completing her Masters in Marketing from London, Kanika trained at the London College of Fashion to hone her skills where she learnt the basics about fashion. She moved back to India and worked on several projects including styling and assisting designers for the Wills India Fashion Week. She then decided that she would make clothes for the contemporary young woman and admits she is a self-taught designer. She tells us more in this exclusive conversation.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR EARLY DAYS AND IF FASHION DESIGNING WAS ALWAYS AN AREA OF INTEREST?
As a child, I used to see my mother dress up in gorgeous sarees, that always made me curious to know more about the beautiful textiles she wore and indulge into questioning her about them. In those early days I was intrigued about the kind of fabrics she wore which naturally led me to learn more on the subject. With time, the inquisitiveness in me grew and I found myself being bitten by the fashion bug. The love interest for fashion and textiles, therefore started from those early days of my childhood and eventually making it a career.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START KANELLE?
Kanelle was born in 2011 with the intention of speaking my own design language and bringing to women some of the beautiful pieces of art that I had to offer. I was clear that I wanted to speak my own design language as I had my own ideas that I wanted to bring to life. It only made sense to put to paper what I had imagined and then finally create that for someone to wear it. This thought is what made me start my Label back then.
TELL US SOMETHING OF THE DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF KANELLE?
KANELLE is a brand, created for women who like easy-to-wear fashion. The collections explore timeless separates, comprising of meticulous details through an innovative approach. With the use of handcrafted indigenous textiles, KANELLE embraces wardrobe staples that are luxurious and feminine while being unique and wearable. KANELLE DNA: expressive, inclusive and transitional. Every collection has a story to tell that makes each piece of clothing expressive in its own way. We believe fashion should not be restricted to certain category of women; hence, all our collections have something for all women who love fashion. Each garment, when styled, could transition from dressing up to dressing down. #KANELLEWOMAN is someone who likes to wear fashion every day and styles to makes each ensemble their own.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CLOTHING LINES AND DIFFERENT KINDS OF WOMEN CLOTHING YOU MAKE?
Our idea of clothing as a brand is that we make everyday clothing that are relaxed and are not just occasion wear. This is because I believe that fashion must be not only be restricted to wearing on occasions and must be embraced on an everyday basis. Also, we make essential separates as it gives women the freedom to wear them how they wish and whenever they wish. Our clothing is something that can be transitioned from day to evening. We do have a festive line that is only seasonal and is launched in festive season only.
WHAT KIND OF FABRICS DO YOU USE TO MAKE YOUR CLOTHES?
A lot of our fabric is handwoven textiles, however we make sure to use all natural fibres for all our fabrics that we use in our collections.The use ofcottons, khadis, silks, organza’s, denim, wool etc and some part of knitwear made in cotton and woollen yarns are very prominent in our collections.
WHAT MAKES YOUR COLLECTIONS UNIQUE AND DEFINE YOUR CLOTHES?
The uniqueness comes from each and every design we create in terms of the surfaces, the print pattern and the inspiration we have. Every collection we have is very expressive and has a story of its own and we feel fashion is inclusive and is for everyone. Also most clothes can go from day to night and that is why it is transitional. The USP of KANELLE is that the clothes are artistic, unique and very wearable.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Every collection is inspired by different things, sometimes the inspiration comes from nature or the environment and sometimes from an artist and their works and sometimes it is just something that is my state of mind. I could be very positive about something or say a book I am reading or an artist I like, so inspiration can be from anywhere.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE NEW COLLECTIONS AND HOW DO SEASONS INSPIRE YOU?
We mostly have two main collections a year, Spring Summer and Fall Winter. There are some of the capsule collections that we launch in between seasons and introduce it in various times of the year including the festive line.
WHICH HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING COLLECTION TO DATE AND WHY?
Every collection comes with its own set of challenges. There is no particular collection that I can say has been most challenging coz we try and bring something new every season and we work equally hard on it and face a new set of challenges/hurdles that come as a package with it.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON ECOLOGICAL CHOICES IN FASHION?
I think sustainability in fashion is a term which has been used in many ways and at many levels in today’s time. It is amazing to see how some brands/organisations are making conscious choices of being sustainable and using the best means possible to avoid anything that would damage or destroy our ecosystem. But on the contrary, the use of sustainability has been so overused and misused as well in some ways. It is very important for people to understand the realness of the subject and use the knowledge to actually make the right choices accordingly.
WHAT ARE SOME FASHION TRENDS YOU SEE IN 2020?
Some of the trends of 2020 will be more of peasant dresses and happy playful prints converted into relaxed silhouettes that are easily transitioned from day to evening.
TELL US ABOUT THE FABRICS YOU ARE WORKING WITH AND WHY YOU HAVE CHOSEN THEM?
We mostly work with a mix of handwoven and mill made fabrics but all made out of natural fibers as mentioned above. We very carefully choose our fabrics in order to make sure it does not compromise our design, fit & comfort of the clothing we make.
HOW HAS YOUR FASHION AESTHETICS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
I think in my personal opinion, for every designer if you are not progressing you are regressing. Every collection we do teaches us a lot as each collection comes with a certain newness and brings with it a new set of challenges. With the passing of each year, we have only grown in terms of our learning that has led to diving deep in our craft and creating designs that are artistic yet functional. Every collection has taught us something new and I feel proud to have learnt on the job. The last nine years have been full of challenges and there is so much learning that it has been a great journey looking back.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
We just finished compiling our Fall Winter 2020 collection and will start to work on other collections.
This story first appeared in Apparel magazine’s March 2020 issue here: