Anamika Khanna© Anamika Khanna

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Anamika Khanna

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As told to Nayare Ali

Why she matters: From Sonam Kapoor-Ahuja to Katrina Kaif and Kiara Advani, every A-lister swears by her creations, all finely crafted in a blend of textiles, with Western silhouettes that lend her designs a glamorous, modern twist. Her artistic son, Vishesh Khanna, paints a picture of the woman behind one of India’s most remarkable designer labels.

My mother, Anamika Khanna, is a workaholic! She begins her day at 5am and works with no breaks till 9pm. I don’t know whether that’s a plus or minus, but getting into the industry where her eponymous brand is already up there, with standards so high and her visual aesthetic so defined, I had to be immensely patient about finding my way in.

I knew I couldn’t just come and disrupt things because I studied or learnt something new and thought it would be cooler. With such superior standards in place, I often wondered whether I was cut out for this process. But the more I spent time with her and challenged myself, the more I was convinced that I was the right fit and this is what I wanted to do.

A Boss Who Values Passion

She’s quite a strict boss, even with us, her sons! But she gives her team, including us, complete autonomy over the way we want to do things. I believe this is intrinsic to foster creativity.

However, she’s extremely finicky about high quality, so you have to love and be devoted to this line of work. You can’t simply sign off on a creation to meet a deadline. It has to offer that ‘X’ factor.

And the best way to get her approval is to be passionate and work hard. She’s so obsessed with her work that she has absolutely no other interests! It’s a single-tracked focus, wherein every brain cell is thinking about design and innovation alone.

Persistence, The Key To Success

I watch her working 24x7 and thinking about how to create things and make them better all the time. I think it’s this obsession and attitude of persistence that’s been the key to her success. And, of course, impeccable taste.

Moreover, it’s also the craft, embroidery, construction, innovation and the constant newness of her designs, never leaving behind the brand ethos, that makes every Anamika Khanna piece so popular among the elite.

Plus, an icon like my mother also has her own icons, Ann Demeulemeester, when she was still designing, and others like Dries van Noten and Rei Kawakubo, who have challenged all the norms.

Close-Knit Ties

What do we do when we’re together? Work, mostly! Although we’ve also started hitting the gym together. We’re extremely close as a family. I’ve never had any strong differences of opinion with my mum, as we’re literally one unit...

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!