A homegrown brand that has cemented its place in the global landscape of fashion by experimenting with menswear through the distinct lens of Indian craftsmanship, Karu Research continues to expand its influence in the realm of aesthetics. The streetwear brand recently premiered their collection at the Paris Menswear Fashion Week and also had a successful pop up in New York back in 2022. This rising influence is intersecting with their consistently growing celebrity clientele, including rapper Kendrick Lamar and famous racing driver Lewis Hamilton sporting traditional artisanal embroidery.
Launched by a final year student Kartik Kumra in the year 2020, Karu Research is an anomaly by the virtue of its success during pandemic years and because of its unique vision of masculinity; one that blends fluid textiles with structural silhouettes and brings life into the domain of menswear style by incorporating prints like Kantha and Paisley that were previously undiscovered in this domain. Their recent campaign ‘Zindagi Chuno’ drives home a similar narrative as the film utilises the medium of performance art and movement.
Highlighting its recent collection, the brand visually crafts a symphony of music, dance and drama where various uniquely Indian elements appear in the clothing as well as the environment, mimicking the grounded and authentic expressions of the culture at large. A selection of knitwear, relaxed pants, vests and shirts capture our imagination through the vivid use of Indian handicrafts. The garments showcase a harmonious blend of colours while simultaneously presenting an alternate vision of traditional wear.
The campaign highlights a distinctive vision of fashion through the utilising handcrafted techniques such as hand-quilted fabrics and patchwork silk block prints, in turn modernising sustainable techniques. While streetwear is an expanding arena in fashion it remains largely driven by mass-produced garments. The brand therefore strays away from trendy pieces and helps their consumers build more seasonless wardrobes that reflect unique patterns and aesthetics instead of merely blending in with an abundance of minimalistic designs.
Karu also closely works with various craft clusters across the country, mainly handloom weavers from Andhra Pradesh and Bengal, hand embroiderers from Delhi and Bengal and Natural Dyers from Karnataka and Odisha. They are not only preserving these heritage textiles but passing it onto a new generation of fashion enthusiasts by blending them with uber cool street fits. The Autumn Winter collection 2023 is a celebration of this spirit and embodies a hopeful optimism. You can explore the collection here.
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