At the outset one’s likely to write her off as yet another lotus-eating heiress who’s making a foray into the world of fashion retail and design. However, there’s a touching sincerity and humility that radiates in the way the young and ambitious scion answers the questions. Even though dad Kishore Bajaj is one of the biggest names in the luxury hospitality industry, she decided to follow her own dreams which had more to do with fabrics, colours and garment construction than luxe menu.
Early flirtation with fashion
As a child she would go to her dad’s studio and sketch with the designers. It fascinated her to see drawings on paper coming to her dad for approval and days later seeing them translate into beautiful garments. “It automatically made me think, ‘I want to do that too!’ And I began drawing and sketching and forcing the master and tailors to create garments for me,” she says.
Stint at the fashion meccas
“I learned most from John Swiatek (who had previously worked at Parsons New York and taught the likes of Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs). I worked day and night at his class, got my work ridiculed and even ignored at times and soon my biggest nightmare turned into the best experience I had ever had. In three months I had learned more from that one man than I had at my entire stint at London, New York or Paris,” she shares.
No to hospitality
“In fact, my father’s first profession was also a designer or darji as he likes to call it and because of him, I was introduced to this world. I love the creative part of the hospitality business and I definitely give my input in the menu, the presentation, interiors and any visual aspects, but for now I am solely focused on Koëcsh and growing it to be a very successful global brand,” she says.
“Currently, my favourite Indian designer in terms of design is Ashish Gupta. I love his interpretation of traditional Indian techniques fused with contemporary silhouettes and master craftsmanship. Internationally, I admire the old-school designers Hubert de Givenchy, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Madeleine Vionnet because of the artisan techniques and workmanship they used to create their clothes,” says she. Her all time fave is old-school Thierry Mugler.
“Weirdly enough, my inspiration comes from very strange situations and experiences rather than pretty visuals or imagery. My design aesthetic is mostly edgy and daring. I love creating things that are new and different and haven’t been seen a lot before like the harness collars and corset belts,” says the designer who dreams of dressing up fashion’s enfant terrible Lady Gaga one day.
“I am just trying to grow Koëcsh as a platform for all things cool, fun and fashion forward. We want to be a portal not just for my designs and curated pieces but also for other designers who share similar taste in fashion and have not been able to make it big because no retailer wants to risk its space with them. Today, we are selling across 233 countries! Currently, we are not looking at any brick and mortar stores because I want to promote online shopping in India and I truly believe that it is the future. We have products ranging from `400 for a fun ring to `42,000 for a pair of vintage earrings. We also have the exclusive right for Jeffery Campbell shoes in India,” she signs off.