Ashna Gupta Kalra, who started her own brand in 2012 after studying fashion in the UK and honing her skills as an intern for various international brands and designers, recently launched her flagship store Ash Haute Couture at Juhu. The young designer reveals why flowers play a key role in her creations.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. You launched your brand in 2012 and had quite a profitable online presence. What prompted you to set up a physical store after three years?
A. We launched our label in Los Angeles in 2012 and marketed it for the US market. Thanks to that, we built a good customer base in India and it has increased since then. The success of my online venture encouraged us to open a store. We had received a lot of requests from my clients for a more personalised service, which was possible only through a retail outlet.
Ashna Gupta Kalra
Q. Tell us about the Spring/Summer collection
A. The collection conjures the rich visual of blooming flowers. The prints dabble in soft pastel colours and vibrant hues, evoking the charm and elation of the spring season.
Q. What is the USP of your designs?
A. Prints and attention to detail are the key factors. We develop all the prints in-house each season based on the theme and season. Extensive research and digitally developed artwork results in a capsule collection. Also, our apparel are of the highest quality yet affordable at the same time demonstrating that fine design and taste are not necessarily determined by the price tag.
Q. What colour schemes do you like to work with?
A. Our colour schemes are based on the inspiration for the season. However, bright quirky hues are my all-time favourite.
Zarine Khan in an Ashna Kalra Gupta creation
Q. What are the fashion trends for this summer?
A. Be prepared to embrace your inner lady with floral print dresses, peek-a-boo cuts, culottes, languid jumpsuits, and sexy twin sets. This summer, crop tops with culottes are a must.
Q. You have worked with international brands such as French Connection and Burberry. What is the most important thing you have learned from them?
A. The main thing I learned at the various design houses is "You have to know whom you are designing for!" Knowledge of your customer, appropriate price range and accessibility are the key points for any
Q. How would you describe your personal style?
A. My style is very feminine and comfortable. And my designs reflect the same theory. I love wearing prints and vibrant colours.