Karu Research's Garments Are Where Indian Textiles Meet Casual Streetwear

Karu Research's Garments Are Where Indian Textiles Meet Casual Streetwear

Though we swear by our existing Menswear edits, we still find ourselves on the lookout for up-and-coming entrants looking to carve a niche in the ever-evolving menswear arena. Regardless of all your existing favourite brand essentials, like Jaywalking or Pleasures, we bring you a highly anticipated label on the rise.

Introducing Karu Research, a Delhi based menswear label set to make its mark with a fine art sensibility and casual streetwear coming together. Slated to hit the worldwide market by launching its Spring/Summer ‘22 collection at high-end fashion stores like Mr Porter, Selfridges, Ssense, Mini Shop Madrid and Calculus in the upcoming weeks, we’re excited to get you acquainted with the label.

Kartik Kumra, a 22-year old Punjabi Indian, is the face behind the emerging brand. An undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania studying Economics, the designer is impressively enough, self-taught through Youtube.

With a strong background in being a high-end clothing reseller, the young creative has gained exposure to a lot of high-end products through retailers such as DSM. The Indian origin designer is much more than a newbie at the sartorial game. Tapping into intensive research and keeping up with fashion podcasts like Throwing Fits and reading Margiela books have helped him manifest his ambition into a full-fledged Indian brand. Karuna makes for a reinterpreted take on Indian textiles and relaxed outerwear that sits next to pristine labels at worldwide stores.

Getting candid about his foray into the space of fashion, Kartik’s ventured into the world of fashion as a reseller during his teen years. Browsing through top fashion boutiques and menswear outlets, the young creative sensed a lack of representation and narrative-centric ensembles that are an inherent feature of Indian textiles.

His passion for parachuting artisanal Indian textiles into a globally recognized fashion module manifested in the form of Karu Research.

The idea of Karu came into existence when Kartik moved back to India from the states when his studies went online through the pandemic. Working towards his ambitions, he started building networks, meeting indigenous craftsman and found himself in remote craft towns across the country like Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Dastkaar fairs. Karu’s conceptual process consisted of solidifying a network of artisans, working closely with handloom fabrics like antique textiles, Kantha pieces, and block printing techniques that gave birth to one-off pieces. We’re talking labour-intensive, vibrantly coloured and smartly tailored everyday ensembles.

Aided by Instagram as an accelerant, Karu’s initial pieces included limited edition artisanal pieces that quickly appealed to a larger fashion audience for their refreshing silhouettes and strong identity. Presently, Karu Research’s larger cultural mission is to redefine the connotations of luxury fashion by adding Indian context to it and to rally forward the agenda of slow, timeless fashion.

Exploring India’s vast breadth of craftsmanship and supporting the artisanal fringe of fashion is the label’s vision for the future.

View the label’s collections here.

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