The Joy Weaver
Meet fashion designer Kanika Goyal, her brand KGL is globally recognized and has been worn by global icons - MIA, Huda Kattan, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, among others
A day without laughter is a day wasted, said Charlie Chaplin. Imagine weaving humour into clothing. That's exactly what fashion label KGL is tailoring. "With our brand, we voice our opinions through humour. We loosen up the seams and make it easy, light headed and fun. Everybody loves a bit of good humour. We love bringing joy to people. We often do that by sarcastically addressing the ongoing cultural and other relevant issues like consumerism, selflove etc," said designer Kanika Goyal, who has won many accolades for her brand KGL.
In February 2022, the brand is debuting at New York Fashion Week and then showcasing in Paris-a step towards further expanding its global sales and visibility. The label plans to raise funds in the second half of the year.
KGL has collaborated with renowned brands such as Adidas Originals, Smartwater, Absolut to name a few and has been worn by global icons - MIA, Huda Kattan, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Lilly Singh, among others.
Over the years, the designer has been lauded for her work. She was part of Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2019 and amongst top designers recognized by Vogue, Grazia India, among others.
The brand has been showcasing with Lakme Fashion Week and Fashion Design Council of India Fashion week since 2015. It has also showcased at Who's Next, Premiere Classe in Paris, Galeries Lafayette in Dubai and Bicestor Village in the UK.
Prior to forming her brand, the designer completed her studies. "I come from Panchkula, Haryana. I completed my high school studies from Chandigarh. After that, I completed under graduation in Fashion and Lifestyle Accessories from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi (2007-11). During the four years I did multiple internships and gained a lot of insights. I also started a low-price bracket accessories brand with two of my friends in 2010 and that gave me the initial confidence of becoming an entrepreneur. In 2012, after my brief internship at Vogue India, I went to Parsons the New School for Design in New York for further studies in apparel design. My internships at Marchesa, Prada and Bibhu Mohapatra were extremely beneficial in streamlining my influences into a singular, more compact design philosophy and I launched my namesake label later in 2014. The same was rebranded as KGL in mid 2021."
The brand aims to reflect the mind over matter approach. "For us at KGL, it's about finding the gaps in the global fashion landscape, seeing what the new customer needs and adapting in a prompt manner is what keeps the brand ethos intact. We are just trying to create a narrative that appeals to this new mindset, aiming to reflect the mind over matter approach."
KGL believes in making sure their work is empowering in reality and not just in theory. "In 2016 we collaborated with Bhartiya Grameen Mahila Sangh (National Association of Rural Women India), a non profit organization, to uplift phulkari as a craft and that's something we showcased and was highly appreciated at a trade show in Paris."
Sharing her experience on scaling the business during Covid, she said, "We scaled our team by three times during the period. We redeveloped our e-shop and put more emphasis on social media amplification. Instead of launching our main season line in March 2020 - we put that on hold and instead designed and produced antiviral masks along with a gender fluid loungewear line with locally sourced cottons-which was extremely well received."
KGL aims to emerge as a global brand with multiple sub-parallel brands, not restricted to apparel, catering to different segments of consumers. The brand also plans to follow sustainable practices, uplift craft/community and create awareness about cultural/socio-economic issues.