Women Entrepreneurs

The Luxe Designer Gauri Khan Shares Her Business Plans And Journey

Khan is currently busy designing a spa in Goa which spreads over 50,000 square feet. She calls it her most ambitious project yet. She also plans to venture into online retail.
The Luxe Designer Gauri Khan Shares Her Business Plans And Journey
Image credit: Gauri Khan
Junior Feature Writer
4 min read
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Gauri Khan Designs is an eclectic mix of custom and select designer pieces, ranging from antique to contemporary. Nita Ambani, Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and the enviable star-studded list is countless. They are only some of the clients of Gauri Khan Designs (GKD). The star wife-turned-star designer wants to deliver excellence and nothing short of it whenever she embarks on a project. “Gauri Khan Designs doesn’t just focus on interiors but on design as a broader concept. We are into product designing, branding, endorsements, working with international designers and collaborating with local craftsmen in addition to interiors", shares Khan.

The Story Behind
Khan’s journey into the world of designing started on a rather gradual note. As she was doing up her homes and getting immersed in the process thoroughly, her friends started appreciating her taste and designing skills. “A close friend of mine, Kaajal, offered me to join her design studio after which I eventually launched my line at The Charcoal Project. The following year, I opened my own design studio Gauri Khan Designs,” she reminisces.

 

Design by Gauri Khan
Arnaya marble collaboration with GKD. Design by Gauri Khan

Arnaya marble collaboration with GKD. Design by Gauri Khan

Gauri Khan Designs is a multiple-brand store housing international brands such as Roberto Cavalli and Ralph Lauren Home. The store also houses original designs by Khan. Gauri says the mantra of her store is to offer something to everyone. The collection at the store is diverse ranging from classic to modern.

Living Up To Her Name

Making her name as an ace designer, with no formal training required sheer passion and hard work. Khan talks about the collaborative and trust factor required for designing, “People entrust you with their properties just on the basis of your vision, without any tangible evidence of what you are going to do. To achieve that within a strict timeline is a challenge. I aim to deliver excellence. I never aim for satisfactory.”

Khan hopes to widen her clientele by venturing into online retail. She, however, is not interested in doing mass business because as she shares, “I simply wouldn’t be able to focus on each and every product. But whenever time permits, I would like to reach out to everyone with my designs and keep my prices affordable as I would like to design for the whole of India, not just luxury brands.”

Khan is currently busy designing a spa in Goa which spreads over 50,000 square feet. She calls it her most ambitious project.


Design by Gauri Khan

Khan has worked on diverse projects over the span of her career. She has designed for homes, commercial properties and even products. “Our work with product design includes designing a limited-edition bottle for the seventh-anniversary celebration of the premium milk brand, Pride of Cows as well as curating an exclusive range of designer lights for Tisva, a premium lighting solution from the house of Usha International,” shares Khan. 

A tribute to Indian Art and Culture

Khan wants to bring the rich Indian heritage to the global forefront. She meticulously picks up handicraft for her store from Kolkata, Jaipur and Gujarat. Talking about representing India globally, she shares, “We did a collaboration called Tattvam. In it, the collection of Jaipur Rugs was designed in collaboration with women weavers of Rajasthan. It was displayed at Maison & Objet, Paris in January 2018. The weaving traditions have been kept alive by these women. It’s so wonderful and exciting to be part of a project that champions both women empowerment and our Indian heritage.”

Khan apart from designing is busy in movie productions and raising her three kids. “I think most of the women are masters at juggling roles, be it at work or on the personal front. For me personally, the key is to maintain a certain degree of discipline and also having a supportive partner like Shah Rukh makes it easier,” professes Khan.

Khan says that the Bollywood superstar has an eye for design which really helps her bounce off ideas.

Brand GKD

  • GKD designed luxury flats for Ace Group in Noida.
  • Khan’s speciality lies in mixing colours.
  • Her personal style is a relaxed and no-fuss look.
  • She first showcased her work at The Charcoal Project by Sussanne Khan.

(This article was first published in the August 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

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