Updated: Oct 24
Pride, people, product - seamlessly connected in the aesthetics of each design, I look at Ka-Sha and my heart is aglow. The multitude of beauty in every fabric, form, technique and colour, Ka-Sha is a celebration of the varied hand-crafts of India. It is loved by the discerning eye across the world.
It is the nuances of India's culture that are truly intriguing. Sarees, beautiful prints, fabrics like brocade and silk, are so inherent to the culture. But the nuance is not in just the beauty and style.
It is in the versatility and innovation of wearing, keeping, and passing it on to the next generation. It is in making something out of your Mom's saree once it has outlived its life. It is in the repurposing of leftover fabrics and scraps after you got a made-to-order outfit at the local seamstress, and giving them a new life.
It is in taking age old crafts and unique techniques and juxtaposing them over comfortable silhouettes. This is core to the essence of Ka-Sha, India, that made its debut in 2012 at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. From then to now, it has been nothing but a proud journey - For the brand, for India and for all of us as Indians living outside the country.
Ka-Sha has a global footprint from making a splash at London Fashion Week, at TRANOI in Paris, at South Africa Fashion Week, at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, at London Design Festival etc. It is really a message from India, to the world. A bold and vivid one.
I am thrilled by how much the brand has to offer. Just like India itself. It is adaptable and yet it doesn't blend in. It strikes out beautifully.
At first glance you see a burst of textures, colours, patterns, layers and silhouettes - a beautiful chaos. All of this chaos is mindfully created. Mindful of the maker, the process, and the wearer.
Beneath those layers is an artisanal label hinged with modern functionality.
The silhouettes are made for real, modern women, which means the female body from the point of view of women. Needless to say they are sizeless, and seasonless.
The garments are reversible, making it versatile. The fabrics are natural and comfortable. The styles have multiple layers, making them unconventional classics.
With the many ways of mixing and layering you can never get bored with a piece of Ka-Sha.
The ideas really come from historical clothing and simply asking how something can be worn seamlessly from day to night.
To find something that fits into your life at that point, but also to use again. That is the idea.
Hence customisation is key for the label. It focuses on creating on made-to-order, minimising waste.
Ka-Sha has a distinctive bohemian style. And one that's quirky too. One that you can make your own.
Let me just go ahead and say it - You can’t fit Ka-Sha in a box.
Each collection is just one Sanskrit word that captures the emotion. Take for example the first collection. It was called Yatra, a Sanskrit word that means journey.
At international shows the names have only piqued curiosity and given it such a significantly strong identity. An identity of capturing the colossal allure of India.
You will see it in the delicate yet robust, artisanal techniques. A skillfully hand-embroidered tunic, a hand-painted design on a jacket, a contrasting dye on a dress - leaves you reveling in the endless possibilities of time and technique.
I have tremendous respect for craftsmanship from anywhere in the world. And rightfully so. Unfortunately fashion has faced a lot of feud in the way craftsmen, workers and tailors are treated. The scales just don’t balance.
But when I see Ka-Sha I see hope. Hope of a world where fashion is not the enemy.
A journey that started in 2012, inspired by Indian culture and the endeavour for Zero-Waste,
Ka-Sha believes that sustainability shouldn’t have to be a unique selling point.
Long before the concepts of repurposing and restoring became commercial to the world, it has always been part of India’s glorious culture. We just missed packaging it gloriously.
Delving deeper into existential questions and conscious practices birthed Heart to Haat - an indigenous ideology of reusing, re-purposing and reclaiming.
All Heart to Haat products are made using production waste to create products, ranging from bags to accessories to clothing. Each product ends up being a unique creation with a little history. Whether you want to restore a garment, repurpose it or want solutions on managing waste, Heart to Haat is your answer.
Loom and Hand is Ka-Sha’s initiative to combat deadstock and over-consumption by selling pre-existing hand-woven textiles from the handlooms across India.
Extending support to artisans affected by the pandemic, Ka-Sha provides a platform for them in collaboration with Raaha to give access to consumers globally.
Change by Design. That is the mission at Ka-Sha.
Training and skilling women, providing workers a better lifestyle, upcycling and adapting innovative techniques, are core to the entire spectrum of processes.
It is one big ecosystem and it functions beautifully as it recognises how it impacts larger families and the environment.
Here, happy people make happy clothes.
A brand that truly embodies the collective spirit. It brings people, craft and textile to life. It brings together the expansive spirit of India to life.
The consciousness in everything Ka-Sha creates leaves one in awe and admiration.
Ka-Sha is a love letter from India to the world.