Aki Narula

Updated on Apr 27, 2004 11:31 AM IST

Started the AKI label in 1996 from Kolkata after a commerce degree from St. Xaviers college, I worked with Lintas as a management trainee.

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PTI | Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Started the AKI label in 1996 from Kolkata after a commerce degree from St. Xaviers college, I worked with Lintas as a management trainee. This lasted for ten months and I was off to Arizona State University, US to pursue a course in communications. Back in the country in 1992 started the cost accountancy programme.

Have always been interested in the fine nuances if life whether its apparel, accessory, food or interiors. This passion led me to giving my inputs for costumes of concerts, college plays and Xavotsav.

In 1994 Damania Airlines introduced the fashion designer award from 5 metros. I took part from Kolkota and won. The Khazana store from Taj Bengal got in touch with me and asked me to do a line men's kurta pyjamas. The first collection sold out in 2 days. Then 'Ogaan' Delhi got in touch with me for a collection. This was when I chucked the cost accountancy program and brought home 1 master and 2 tailors and launched my label.

Had my first show with 'Melange', Mumbai at Opera House. An all out women's wear collection. In a span of six months, January 1997 the AKI label was being retailed from premier design salons of the country, Ensemble, Melange, Camelot, Ogaan etc. In august of 1997 I moved bag, baggage, heart and soul to Delhi. This is where I set up my workshop consisting of 25 hands.

In 2000 participated in Lakme India Fashion Week and the response was overwhelming. This led to an assignment of designing some costumes for 'Monsoon Wedding'. Soon after the break through happened when I was commissioned to design some looks for 'Dil Chahta hai' After LIFW 2001, Selfridges London placed a huge order with me for their Bollywood promotion. Soon after I did the opening sequence for Miss India 2002. Aditya Bhattacharya then asked me to do the costumes and look for his entire film 'Dubai Return' starring Irfan Khan.

In February 2002 I was appointed Design Director at 'Sheetal Design Studio'. This meant spending 2 weeks in Mumbai and 2 weeks in Delhi. I had my launch show 'Man Unbound' at Sheetal Design Studio in April 2002. In August 2002 began working on Sameer Karnik's film 'Kyun ho gaya na' starring Aishwarya rai and Vivek Oberoi.

Showcased my couture line AKI for 'Sheetal' at 'Mohabbat' show which got rave reviews. In February 2003 started retailing at Zingara at Cannes and St. Tropez. I continue to spend 3 weeks in Mumbai working on AKI for SDS label which comprises of both men's wear and women's wear and workout of Delhi for a week every month for the Aki label for salons across the country. My flagship store is in Delhi at 1 MG Road.

At the IFW Grand Finale this year, Aki, alongwith Anshu Arora Sen and Anamika Khanna will interpret show sponsor Lakme India's fashion statement for 2004 - Fruit Shock. While Anshu and Anamika will show 'Pop' and 'Burst' respectively, Aki's 'Crush' look brings in a carnival of evenly stained, drenched rich colours, like a strawberry crushed in your hand.

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