We are a generation of Smartphone Poets and Drugstore Cowboys. Many of us feign our way through life - put on aspirational costumes as if we are more than we are. We dress in sleek academia attire or swashbuckling costumes that add to the facade we have created. But as far as self-expression goes, fashion as a medium is giving people exactly what they need - a chance to go beyond trends and mass-produced pieces and to truly carry themselves in attire that is as unique as them.
Kanika Sethi’s brand Drugstore Cowboy is her way of saying, as she astutely put it, “Screw fashion!”
The designer draws from a term that originated from cowboy movies — a drugstore cowboy is a person who dresses like a cowboy but has never worked as one and has utmost ridden a drugstore counter stool. She extends from this thought to the realm of fashion and the potential it holds to construct images beyond transient trends.
As a designer, Kanika Sethi has been practising her craft for almost a decade and experiments across different genres to create what she deems “spontaneous, weird art while indulging in tons of humour.” As a venture, she envisions Drugstore Cowboy as a brand where she can design without any regard for any restrictive themes or concepts while being utterly transparent with its audience - going against the generic fashion systems. The shirts and prints from the brands are exclusively tailored in limited pieces and are not restocked or remade, promising their customer truly one-of-a-kind pieces.
Drugstore Cowboys pieces are exclusively available on their website. Under the label, the pieces are categorised into collections such as ‘1 of 1’ and ‘Summer suggested Fabrics’ as well as a dedicated section for their bags. They also provide the option to shop by fabric preferences which range from cotton and flannel to denim and organza.
The segment that the designer is most focused on is their 1 of 1 Pieces. This segment that features customised pieces encapsulates everything that Drugstore Cowboy stands for. The pieces under this category are all made to order, and would only be shipped at least a week after the order is placed. The unisex pieces are usually crafted in comfortable fabrics and emblazoned with type or designs that create a statement. Some of our favourites at HG from Drugstore Cowboy include their cropped white shirt that features the name of the brand that is hand-painted onto it. While this piece is being recreated by the brand, most of their pieces are one-offs. The Hand Painted Chequered Face Shirt that is currently available on the website is a size L with a relaxed fit and only has a single piece in stock.
The suggested Summer Fabrics is a great choice for Indians as it is dedicated to those who feel “super hawtt in this extreme sunny season” with the label’s array of shirts in fabrics that ease the heat. Crafted from Silk Satin that the designer claims is light as a feather, is breathable, has a smooth texture, doesn’t absorb sweat and can even help regulate body temperature to prevent overheating. The range also includes select pieces in equally light cotton and/or polycotton that are a great choice for summer.
The brand also has a category for Bags for their Glad Rag Bags in two shade options - yellow and blue. The utilitarian piece is constructed with immense styling possibilities in mind as it comes with components that can be adjusted with 8 loops, 2 adjusters, 20 eyelids and 2 pouches which can be hooked anywhere. The bag consists of an 8 x 4.5in puffer phone bag, a 3.5 X 2.5 in card pouch, a 4 in coin and accessory pouch, one detachable waist belt and a fixed belt. The fixtures on the piece range from buckles to hook accessories are manufactured in heavy, rust-free materials. Most importantly, every single piece from the brand including the bags is made in India.
While the brand is still up and coming, it has found a dedicated fan base for its one-off pieces. Among the limited permanent line, Drugstore Cowboy's Cotton-Poly Blue-Beige Illustrated Shirt is a best seller. This piece with camp collar, half-sleeves, apple cut hem and embroidery on the back exemplifies everything the brand stands for - individuality, quality and authenticity.
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