Krishna Mehta

Visit the City's First Pop-Up Concept Store

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Krishna Mehta has been a stalwart of and pioneer in India’s fashion industry. Having spent 35 years perfecting her signature style of effortless ethnic wear, Mehta decided that it was time for a change. The designer has shut down her eponymous Chowpatty showroom and moved to Kala Ghoda. Krishna Mehta has opened a limited time, pop-up concept store at House of Tales in Kala Ghoda where clothes are flanked by artisanal candles, handmade jewelry, tongue-in-cheek artwork and unique décor pieces. We caught up with the designer to chat about this new change.

 
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Tell us about your journey. Looking back 35 years, what were some important milestones for the brand? 
It’s been 35 years and I still wake up with a bounce in my step! I remember my first fashion show which was on the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship, where I featured my hand-painted batik men’s shirts. My heart was going a million miles an hour. I remember the year I opened my factory in Palanpur, Gujarat where I employed only the differently-abled. This was an initiative that was very close to my heart. I will never forget when I received an invitation to Milan Fashion Week to present my tie and dye collections, nor my appointment at Flash, the Swedish retail brand, to design for 100 stores. My first lecture at SNDT University stands out as it’s my way of passing my passion down to the next generation.
 
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There is so much happening on the fashion front in India. Where does Krishna Mehta fit in and how does the brand differentiate itself? 
I have never really felt like I’ve ever needed to fit in or belong in any way. I only made what I was passionate about and created my own space. Artisanal crafts, woven fabrics, printing and texturizing; these are all the things I truly love and continue to innovate on. I constantly tried to challenge myself and create newness in all my designs, whilst still remaining true to my aesthetics. 
 
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Why a pop-up store? 
I have always wanted to try different things, experiment with unique concepts and work with new ideas. I wanted to work with people who were just as passionate about their fields as I am about garments. From food to fabrics – I wanted to collaborate with the best! I therefore decided to create a concept store like the ones you see internationally. I've carefully selected the best brands and vendors to work with - their collections are changing almost every week, so a shopper can return again and again and not see the same items twice. 

 
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How do you see the retail landscape of India changing? 
There’s a lot more awareness. The new generation is much more open to experimentation; they are not set in fixed ideas. The openness is exhilarating! It’s a very exciting time.  
 

How do all the different brands come together to create something different? 
Each brand is doing what they are best at. And when this happens, together we all create a cohesive harmony. Indian fashion designers are at their prime; we are all making significant progress on the home front as well as internationally, while still speaking a unified brand language. 

 
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How does technology affect your work? 
Technology doesn’t affect my work; it only aids me in my work. Be it in the form of social media, or in making of products. All of it helps us create and celebrate superior designs. We start with natural raw materials, and finish them with laser edge technology! It’s remarkable to see this transformation
and be a part of it. 
 

Do you think that making fashion more accessible via technology is a bad or good thing? 
Making anything more accessible is good. Fashion is a part of your lifestyle; anything that you love is a part of fashion. Therefore, access to it means that more people can experience it, enjoy it and celebrate it! 

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Devika Pathak is a Mumbai-based freelance writer who enjoys the cinema, yoga and chocolate chip cookies. She's secretly a Panda, too. To learn more about her and her work, please visit www.devikapathak.com.

 
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