ADK: Designing For Adidas To Launching Homegrown Streetwear Label at 23 - Homegrown

ADK: Designing For Adidas To Launching Homegrown Streetwear Label at 23

Featuring pop colours, reflective panels and juxtaposing materials like PVC and waterproof fabrics, the first collection from home-grown street wear brand ADK is a testament to the designer’s vision of going against the grain. “My idea to combine construction tape with sweatshirts were not well received”, Avishi Dayal Kalra said with a lot of humour in her voice. The 23 year old, however is not one to be discouraged by such a little thing as a few negative feedbacks.

Growing up as the daughter of a fashion designer, Avishi was always creatively inclined, drawing apparels in her mother’s notebooks and telling people that she wanted to be a fashion designer when she grew up and more interested in art than studying. During her journey from being a design student to having her own label, Avishi worked with multiple designers and brands, each of them pushing her and challenging her to own up to her innate talent. According to her, the advice from Shivan Bhatia, of Shivan and Narresh to “find the one thing that you can continue doing, a field where you can do something new and keep working” is what has shaped her career.

Black and flourescent colored street wear apparel from label ADK worn by three model with Adidas night joggers

With a large number of designers working with Indian wear, Avishi knew it was not for her, but street wear was also not her first choice. As someone who loves doing on-ground prime research, hitting the streets to work on her college project is what set her down the street wear path. For her final project, she looked to what people were wearing on the streets and it was also the same time that Deepika Padukone’s Nike campaign came about which all culminated in a collection that was street inspired. Her initial hesitation to delve in to street wear also came from the notion that sports inspired designs always need some sort of technological aspects incorporated with it. But for her, street wear is about the individual style of each person that you come across on the street, the everyday style in street culture.

One of her biggest dream was to work with Adidas and that came true for her much earlier than she had anticipated, at the age of 22. She was welcomed into the fold as one of their own but they also pushed her to pursue the idea of beginning her own label. According to Avishi, the final factor that truly motivated her was the feedback from the head designer for Nor Black Nor White, while interviewing for a position to work with them “I think that was the best interview I have ever given in my life as it went on for two hours. After going through all of my portfolio and everything she was asking me why I was not doing something of my own and when I said I was too young to do it and she said, no, you are too talented not to do it.”­

Model with curly brown hair wearing white, blue and yellow street wear with mesh sleeves

Avishi initially started putting together a collection of her own for HG Street and then later decided to make it the first collection for her eponymous brand. During her research for her first collection, Avishi noticed that a lot of designers work with India inspired graffiti, patterns or silhouettes in their designs, but creating designs from India that are at par with International street wear designs is what she aspires to do.

The collection called Drop 1 features reflective construction tapes as a main aspect, which she was introduced to by her friends who were working on designing uniforms for automobile industry and different factories in India. She also used pop colours inspired by the uniforms that she encountered in Austria while she was doing her research. She also combined PVC and waterproof materials in the collection. The idea of mixing up these fabrics and using construction tapes with casual attire was met with a lot negative feedback, but Avishi held on saying, “if you are true to yourself and your design, and if you put in your hard work, everything works out.

According to Avishi, “My designs are meant for anyone who urges to be different and believe in standing out. It is for people who are unapologetic about being themselves.” As an actor who is the prime example for an ADK customer, Avishi send out a few pieces from her designs to actor Ranveer Singh, which he ended up wearing while promoting Gully Boy and put her on the map as an up and coming streetwear designer.

She went on to thank the people at Adidas who provided her with Adidas Night Joggers to be part of Drop 1 and said that her ultimate dream is to perhaps collaborate with Adidas Originals one day, as the brand is close to heart.

Featuring youthful street wear designs that are at par with international labels, Drop 1 is just the beginning for the brand ADK. Avishi is currently researching for her next collection, drawing inspiration from aspects much different from that of Drop 1, aiming to keep her customers on their toes.

Further images from Drop 1 can be viewed and purchased through their Instagram

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