Dream Designer

While many designers struggle to establish their eponymous boutiques in the industry, Archana Kocchar has clearly made a mark, owing to equal parts talent and passion. She is currently one of the preferred choices amongst myriad celebrities; from Prabhu Deva to Vijender Singh, Shraddha Kapoor to Jacqueline Fernandez, many well-known faces have walked the ramp flaunting her stylish couture. Read on to hear more about her evolution as a designer and her future aspirations.

How did your career in fashion design begin?
I was born and brought up in Mumbai. I studied commerce and business management at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), and always wanted to be in a profession that allowed me to channel my creativity. For me, fashion is that outlet. The freedom to explore my creativity on different fabrics was my biggest motivation. So when my friend approached me to design a collection for her exhibition, I was more than happy to do so. There has been no looking back since then.

Tell us about your new summer bridal collection.
The new summer bridal collection is all about comfort and style. It includes contemporary lehengas, saree lehengas, flair sleeves and capes. The colour palette for this range embraces different shades including red, ivory, pink and mint.

How was it to work with Ayesha Takia and Daisy Shah?
Every star has a personal style and design sensibility. We designers make clothes which suit their personalities and make them feel comfortable. I have designed clothes for many celebrities and they have all been very kind to me. They love my creations, which is very motivating.

Do you prefer to design for men or women?
I love to design for both men and women. While menswear needs minor detailing, there is a lot that can be explored in terms of silhouettes and embroidery in women’s wear. So they’re equally challenging.

Tell us about the Ahimsa Silk collection that you showcased at New York Fashion Week in 2015 as part of the Make in India campaign.
My collection Ahimsa Resama was inspired by the peace silk, also known as the “Ahimsa Silk”. This collection is 100% organic and I can proudly say that half a million silkworms were saved while making this collection. The colour palette of the collection was beige, which is the natural colour of silk.

What inspires you as a designer?
It’s my attitude towards life that has got me this far. I always say that God has been very kind in giving me good opportunities, and I have grabbed them with both hands and made the most of it.

Is there any one celebrity whom you would like to see showcasing your designs?
It’s difficult to name one. I have designed for many celebrity friends. All of them have been very kind to us and love us.

What is that one fashion tip you often give people during summer?
Summers are all about keeping things simple and sober.

Which international designer did you most enjoy working with?
I have worked with many international designers in the past. I was also recently invited by Galeries Lafayette Paris to showcase my collection with other international design houses like Kenzo, Christian Lacroix, Ungaro, and Nina Ricci; it was a great opportunity to work with stalwarts like them.

Who is your favourite designer in India?
I think everyone has a unique design sensibility and they are all good in their own way.   

--- as told to Sneha