Two years after their debut menswear line hit the ramp and subsequently the racks of stores, Karan Johar and Varun Bahl are taking their collaboration a step further by announcing plans to introduce the brand to international markets.
“Yes, we’ve both agreed that we want to open stores all over the world. Next year, we’ll take the brand to fairs in France, and that will be the starting point,” confirms Bahl. “Till then, we’re planning stores in Kolkata and Chandigarh by mid-next year.” Meanwhile, the duo has also launched their first standalone store in the city at Kala Ghoda, and is looking for a place in the suburbs next.
Karan, busy as ever with multiple film projects, insists that finding time is not a problem for him. “It’s a creative urge. I can’t stop it. Plus, Varun and my sensibilities are very similar, so we are efficient in our work,” he enthuses.
The Kala Ghoda store, a 1,300 sq ft space, stocks the duo’s menswear collection as well as Varun’s line for women. The former section stocks their digital print casuals, bandhgalas, shackets (shirt-cum-jacket), blingy jackets as well as Bahl’s trademark curve seam trousers. About three-four collections are expected to be retailed every year at the retail space, which follows what Bahl refers to as a ‘living room concept’.
“I like people to feel at home and take their time deciding what to buy,” he explains. Ask the established designer what role his untrained partner plays in the business and he gushes, “Karan’s contribution is just as much as mine in ideating and conceptualising. He does the styling for his films and knows a lot of designers. In fact, I’ve learnt alot from him too — about scale, presentation, selection of models, having a vision and handling grand shows.”