Modern Chic - Vanshika Choudhary talks with you & I

She’s the pretty Delhi girl who followed her dreams after pursuing her education in Singapore by founding the KNYA brand in 2017. The fashion brand’s philosophy is to deliver sophisticated, classic elegance with a distinctive edge, but at an accessible price point. On returning to India with an international education, Vanshika found that there were no Indian brands selling Western wear with an aesthetic that someone like her would relate to. And that was the start of the journey.

How did you get into the fashion world?
I went to Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore where I studied fashion media and industries. During my time there I was asked to work on a business model as a class project, but by the end of those three years I was so engrossed in it that I took it upon myself to make that business model into a brand. That’s how KNYA was born. Having a family business in textiles, I knew I could get over most of the hurdles involved in staring a clothing brand.

KNYA was founded in 2015, but was launched in August 2017, after two years of intensive research on the market and finding its brand placement. KNYA was born out of my interest in offering something that I felt was missing in the marketplace. The market was (and still is) mainly dominated by international fast fashion brands. I wanted to elevate the taste level of fast fashion for modern women who have diverse personal styles and a strong sense of individuality. It sounds clichéd, but our design process is extremely simple. We are inspired by the things we encounter in everyday life. Sometimes an idea for a collection starts with a single thought while picking out something to wear to work.

What is the USP of your brand?
Having a family business in textiles, I have been able to acquire a deep understanding of various yarns and fabrics. In today’s world we have so much variety, especially in clothing, but there is a lack of quality. At KNYA, we strive to close that gap. We travel the world to choose fabrics that fit our collections. We use a lot of Chinese silk because it keeps one cool in summer and warm in winter, while also being supremely soft year round. Our workwear shirts are made of French poplin and Giza cotton, as they’re light enough for everyday wear. We also experiment a lot with different blends of fibres, keeping in mind the functionality and durability of the fabric.

What does style mean to you personally?
For me style is all about self-expression, reflecting my own personal moods and attitudes. There are days when I’m upset about things, and I don’t want to dress up for work. So I simply put on a top with trousers and leave the house. And then some days when I feel empowered, I wear a pantsuit with heels and go to work. I personally love classics; so half my wardrobe is full of crisp white shirts and blazers.

Where do you derive inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the strength of a woman – from her confidence, her passion and her love. I’m not a designer myself, but I understand their needs. So I sit with a team of designers and together we come up with a collection.

What kind of women do you design for?
KNYA aspires to befriend every modern independent woman in her journey towards success. The KNYA woman is evocative of the highest ambition and has a will to get things done. She is a dreamer, a doer and a believer who sees no limits. Her beauty can be outweighed only by her unstoppable nature and a strong passion for the finer things in life. The KNYA woman aspires to dress sharp and pursues the latest fads with undeterred confidence.

There’s something so gorgeous about a woman who has got everything going on for her. That being said, working women all around the world have no shortage of decisions to make, including what to wear between the hours of 9 and 6. And one thing all working women have in common is their impeccable sense of dressing that is also emblematic of their big ambitions and dreams. These are the women we design for.

What are some of your other hobbies and passions?
I’m a big movie buff; I have to go to the cinema at least once a week. I have great fondness for art, literature and theatre. I try my best to take out time and paint sometimes, or read a book at least once a month. My favourite book is Kane and Abel by Jeffery Archer. I’m a very patriotic person; it’s always been my dream to do something for my country, and I hope that one day I can.