Anisha Kumar is a brand that focuses on creating positive impacts for their clients and for the world around them. The pieces that Anisha Kumar designs combines ethnic and modern styles in order to create silhouettes for any and all ethnicities to wear.
The pieces are handmade, and created with the environment, sustainability and positive ethics in mind.
Anisha is a designer based in Toronto, Canada. As an artist, she works to promote creativity in her pieces by including styles that can be tailored to anyone’s personality.
Scroll below to learn more about Anisha and her brand, through our exclusive interview!
SC: When did your love of fashion begin?
AK: I have always found fashion inspiring. There’s an allure to it that always made me want to be part of that world. I loved seeing runway shows and the process of expressing oneself self through clothing. A lot of it had to do with just feeling the most confident when I was wearing an outfit I loved.
SC: When did you know you wanted to launch your own clothing line?
AK: I took a trip to India with my mom where I was inspired by the craftsmanship, intricate details of the clothing and how much passion was put into the garment. I loved seeing young girls with their mothers learning to sew and make their own creative outfits. It made me want to learn more. Later that same year, my cousin got married and I was the MC. I remember going out to find an outfit to wear and not being able to find anything I liked, so I decided to make my own. I got a lot of positive feedback so I decided to give it a try in terms of starting a brand.
SC: In 2018 you took a trip to India with your mom and witnessed what fashion was like in India. What do you love about Indian fashion and how is it different from American fashion?
AK: The type of Indian fashion I was inspired by was predominantly all handmade which made each piece unique. When you wanted to buy something it might take a week or so before your outfit was ready and it was perfectly tailored to your body. so it really made you feel confident because it was comfortable and beautiful. It was slower paced so you weren’t buying in excess. the quality/type of material is also different. American fashion has styles/silhouettes that I really like. there is so much variety! I love being able to mix the two.
SC: Your clothes look very “street style luxe.” Do you draw inspiration from street style?
AK: Absolutely! I love how creative and expressive people in the city are and it really shows through their style. I grew up in a suburban neighbourhood so it was always awesome to go to the city and see how fashion changed. In addition, I love film and music so a lot of the elements you see in those spaces translated into my work. I really wasn’t that connected to my culture when I grew up. So after my trip, I was able to merge those two worlds together.
SC: You’ve said that your clothes are inspired by Toronto’s culture and your own. In what ways do you showcase the two cultures in your clothing?
AK: The fabric and construction technique is heavily inspired by India while the silhouettes/ cuts and sometimes colour choices tend to be more inspired by Toronto. as we progress you’ll see more pull from the Toronto inspiration as we introduce new styles and create more “everyday” pieces
SC: What’s your design process like?
AK: I usually start with a message/idea which can come from anywhere – music, movies, life experience and then it tends to translate into the design. my design is a form of expressionism. I don’t want to just “make clothes”, we have enough. Plus, I want to change the design process so that it is more sustainable/eco-friendly. Also I want each collection to have a story. and at the end when you look at them together it paints a larger picture.
SC: Your clothes were featured in Toronto Fashion Week. What was it like preparing for a fashion show?
AK: Preparing was a wild experience, it all happened very quickly. luckily I had just finished designing my second collection so the timing of the event was perfect. Lots of long hours ( I was working a full-time job simultaneously) so a lot of the work took place on evenings and weekends. I had an incredible team to bring the vision to life. In addition, really focused on the story and message of the show. I wanted the show to be inspiring and inclusive.
SC: Some of your designs are made in India. What do you look for in vendors when clothes must go into production?
AK: Craftsmanship quality is most important – they need to have good practices ( no cutting corners in the production, doing things with care, attention to detail ). they need to be trustworthy and we need a strong relationship where we can effectively communicate ideas. they need to be working in an ethical environment and be equitably compensated. Finally, they need to be using sustainable practices
SC: You got your Bachelors’ Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. How has your business degree helped you launch your clothing line?
AK: In a way, it helped me become more confident. Just understanding how businesses are run, KPIs to keep in mind, being able to keep my own books, understanding if it’s going to be a viable business etc.
SC: Why is it important for designers to be aware of the environmental impact of their pieces?
AK: The fashion industry contributes so heavily to environmental issues and it’s definitely way “easier” to take the less ethical route. but if we want to have a positive impact on our planet and give consumers the option to make better choices we have to deliver a product that can do that. At the end of the day, designers shape not only the fashion industry but the way every person impacts the planet. Depending on what brand you buy from if you know that their clothes are sustainably made you know your doing your part to help the world we live in. Consumers hold the power of choice and we can provide better options to choose from. you don’t have to sacrifice style or quality to do so, so why wouldn’t you?
SC: What does the future hold for Anisha Kumar?
AK: There’s a world of possibility and it’s only just started. There are definitely things I’m experimenting with and trying. It honestly is so exciting. I’m going to be continuing to bring my passions together ( including art film and music) and merging them in each collection/ project that is released.