Feature Story: Vasudha Khanna

Upon first introduction, Delhi-based designer Vasudha Khanna appears as a strong, ambitious girl with a crystal clear idea of what she wants and where she wants to go. Ten minutes into the conversation? Even more so.

A native of Amritsar and a graduate from SNDT Mumbai, the talented seamstress has also interned at length with Falguni and Shane Peacock, while already having created her first western wear label in the country’s fashion capital, and continuing it back in her hometown where it was hugely successful. “I’m based out of Gurgaon for the past 6 months. I first had a private launch of my collection, which was very well received, and so I’ve been doing a lot of exhibitions since. So far, I’ve been getting a very positive response and I’m really happy about that.”

So when did her interest in fashion begin? “Though I was academically really strong – I was a topper all my life – and everybody expected me to do an MBA, I always wanted to do something in fashion, and being a designer was my dream.”

Cocktail wear and drapes being her strong suit, she loves injecting a glam into the wardrobes of her long clientele. “My collection is perfect for when you want to dress formal for events and festivals, but not necessarily completely ethnic; there’s also a Western element to my designs. Cutout gowns are my forte, I think,” she says. “Simple, structured clothes are not my thing at all. I like garments that are flowy and I love embellishments and bling! Funnily though, when I won Student of the Year at fashion school for the best collection, construction and accessories, it was nothing like what I do now! It was all very structured and simple. Now, even if I try designing a simple crop top and skirt, it’ll end up being a sexy, backless gown!”

The inspiration for which, she believes, cannot be exactly pinpointed. “I think people, things, situations around me inspire me. I don’t want to sound cliché by saying I’m inspired by a particular thing, because that’s not how it works with a designer. Your tastes keep changing, nothing’s constant. For example, right now I’m into the whole Egyptian aesthetic, but I can never really say. You also have to keep yourself updated with the latest trends.”

We wonder what an average day in the life of a fashion designer looks like. “My average day is pretty hectic. I assist my husband in his work for the first half of the day, before heading to my boutique. I spend a lot of time with my tailors at the workshop, because what I do needs a lot of personal attention. I don’t sketch stuff and show it to them, I drape every outfit myself. I personally create the garment from scratch. Then I’m busy with appointments and then I’ll probably go out in the evenings,” she smiles. Is the job satisfaction worth all the work? “It’s all worth it when my clients send me pictures of themselves wearing my designs looking super glamorous! They’ll post in on Instagram and I love reading all the comments it receives. Positive feedback from a client means the world to me! Money is only secondary. If they genuinely praise your work, it gives a designer great satisfaction.”

What does this ambitious dreamer have in store? “I want my brand to be in all the leading stores of the country. I also hope to open my own store in about a year,” says Vasudha.

At this point, we’re really excited to have the entrepreneur on board. “Digital fashion has arrived. Most of the shopping I do is online – it’s convenient, easy and fun – it’s the future now. And Zapyle is a great concept – the idea of rotating your closet has never been done before in India, and most people I know are already excited about it, even before its launch, and so am I!”


Naaila Khan