Fashion Designer Kanika Goyal© Kilogram

Kanika Goyal On How To Ace The ‘Casually Cool’ Look In 2023

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Delhi-based designer Kanika Goyal is one of the few names in the industry who have managed to carve a niche for themselves on the global map. The designer is a regular at fashion weeks across the globe and her label is a pioneer of anti-fit and neo-luxurious style in India.

Designer Kanika Goyal at New York Fashion Week©GettyImages

Goyal, who established her eponymous label back in 2014, launched another label under her umbrella earlier this year.

Kilogram, the new label, is Goyal’s way of reaching a wider audience through elevated basics that are effortlessly cool and embody the laidback spirit of the still nascent street style in the country.

“We work with easy-to-wear unisex quality basics and imbue them with narrative all while maintaining an effortlessly cool and visually ambiguous street element in the graphic language. A sentiment of exploration and conversational commentary is omnipresent along with a visual juxtaposition of varied graphic techniques,” says Goyal, as she chats with HELLO! ahead of the drop of Kilogram’s second collection ‘Dreamsicle’.

“‘Dreamsicle’ sees Kilogram delve into the idea of a skewered reality through a dream-like lens. The storyline picks up from the previous invasion of the Kilogram universe by the flying squirrel. It explores the nocturnal hallucinations of our protagonist as it enters into deep slumber and the season of visions begins,” says the designer, adding that she can see the co-ord sets and baseball caps from the collection being the perfect vacation outfits this season.

The new collection is an extension of Goyal’s aesthetic and inherent ability to place the finger on the pulse of what’s cool at the moment. The collection is full of graphic prints and vibrant colours that makes it perfect for the Summer.

Goyal has managed to tap into the elusive cool factor that is usually woefully lacking in most labels in the space. But what does ‘cool’ mean to her? “Anything unique and out of ordinary,” she replies promptly.

The designer elaborates on the rise of ‘cool’ fashion, a variant of the street style that has been around for decades. Like most things, well, cool, it’s a movement benign led by Gen Z and is evolving every day. “Fashion has always existed as that medium to express a personal standpoint. Streetwear taps on the youth’s desire to challenge the traditional norms. Nowadays, it’s more about fashion being a medium to express one’s mood and personality. It is persuasive all by itself and is an extremely valuable tool in moving through the world, whether social or business,” she says, “Technology and social media definitely plays a crucial role in the growing rise of hype culture in India that in turn has led to the popularity and evolution of streetwear.”

The beautiful thing, according to Goyal, about the new wave of street style in India, which is largely characterised by anti-fit clothing and bold graphic prints, is that there’s not much you can get wrong about it. “Anti-fit clothing is both powerful and playful at the same time. It represents the increasing desire for comfort and practicality in everyday clothing. And a departure from traditional fashion norms and a celebration of individuality and self-expression. I don’t think you can go wrong with that.”

However, she cautions, being mindful of proportions is something that can keep your oversized look from looking sloppy, rather than cool.