Celebrity designer Kunal Rawal on menswear trends and his collaboration with Koovs
Celebrity designer Kunal Rawal who recently collaborated with popular fashion label, Koovs for a menswear collection talks about how menswear has undergone a huge transformation over the years and why men are looking for versatile pieces with functional design and comfort.fashion and trends Updated: Nov 22, 2018 17:11 IST
Indian fashion has mostly been associated with the trends and styles that Bollywood approves of and social media is the proof. As womenswear has always had the undivided attention of the maker and the wearer, menswear trends are quickly catching up to prove the fact that men also care about what they wear and they are equally interested in knowing and talking about their individualistic sense of style, detailing and the patterns that work for them. Indian men want to explore more in terms of experimenting with new cuts, looks and colours as seen in the West for many decades. Celebrity designer Kunal Rawal who recently collaborated with popular fashion label, Koovs for a menswear collection talks about why Indian men care about what they wear, how they want to know more and break stereotypes.
What are the most significant menswear trends right now and why?
It’s important to note that men out there are looking for styles to match their aesthetic and pieces that resonate with their sensibilities. Certain styles and trends that work well on men and I personally love is tone on tone, thread work, use of different textures and modern fabric. The play of cuts and patterns and garment construction is something that we as a brand always focus on. That helps in creating multi-utility for every Kunal Rawal garment and sets the brand apart from its peers.
Your collaboration with Koovs captures the contemporary pulse. What were your inspirations to really stand out?
It’s an association I’m very excited about because it takes me back to my love for grunge and I’m getting to create casual contemporary styles that match up to my sensibilities. Not a lot of people know that even my occasion and party wear is also inspired from grunge and this collection
celebrates the same. Women have been experiment a lot when it comes to clothing and fashion choices. It’s also become evident in the recent years that men are also open to experimentation with their fashion choices; it’s slower but surer. It’s something that really inspires me and I’ve realised that men are looking for something that slightly more ‘them’, which makes it exciting for me as a designer to be involved in menswear fashion. Men are far more aware and confident of what they want to wear and what colours work for them.
Your collection also includes slogans which is a powerful trend right now. How you chose the ones you want to use?
We are known for a non-conformist and unconventional approach towards design in our traditional and western wear hence took a conscious decision to replicate the signature brand elements/patterns in this collection. For instance the marigold motif has been tweaked to make it a shoulder detail. Our Ikat is also seen in many designs with cusp silhouettes like the kurta shirts and our hand slogan is my way of saying we’re an Indian label. The hand represents blessings and the open-heart talks about fluidity and love.
Menswear has gone through an interesting transformation over a couple of years. What have you observed as a designer during the transformation?
Menswear has gone through a big transformation over the years. There has been an evolution of the overall aesthetic. Men are looking for versatile pieces with functional design and comfort. They like to wear styles suited to their personality and pairing things in their own unique ways. This is something we advocate as a label compared to someone who likes to pick a ready mannequin look.
We have witnessed a lifestyle change that is reflecting in the industry. We are now working with people who have different needs and requirements. A big victory for me as a designer is that I can incorporate their requirements to the extent that they use our product and realise that they cannot do without it for example, our sweat absorbent lining, our deconstructed styles which visually is a sherwani but is much more comfortable and provides 100% mobility.
Men are more aware about their body types and the trends prevailing globally. They are well researched and hence aware of the options available in the market. They are taking an informed decision on what they like to wear as well as identifying with their self. They show more interest in the making process to be more involved to make the right decisions.
Is your target just the youth all beyond 18-25 as well?
We have something for men from every age group.
Who is your style icon and why?
My father has always been my style icon as he puts things together very well and has a great sense of style.
Are you currently working on any other collection?
There’s a lot of happening with the label this season, so apart from the Kunal Rawal X KOOVS collaboration, we are expanding our retail footprint with a second store in south Mumbai. We are working on a new range for The Wedding Edition showcase at our Juhu store in mid Dec. We’re in the middle of the festive season so that’s keeping us busy too.
5 celebrities you really enjoyed styling and why?
As a stylist, I have enjoyed working on designing and styling the look keeping the personality in mind and have applied my aesthetic while catering to their requirements. I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of celebrities in the industry. To mention few names I have worked with in the past Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Akshay Kumar among others.
First Published: Nov 22, 2018 11:37 IST