The pandemic has left us with lessons that we often overlooked. There has been a paradigm shift in the way we understand fashion. The way we portray ourselves today is majorly decided by our comfort and how good we feel in the attires, compared to the pre-pandemic era where these were often compromised.
Here is a young designer from Kochi who is working wonders with the perfect equation of aesthetics and comfort. Her line of clothing offers you the slender look that you would sport on any day, without your attire causing any discomfort as you seize your day. Going by the example set by her father, she has a tale of subtle cleverness in overcoming the challenges thrown at her. In conversation with Alka Hari, whose name label offers you the perfect designs that would give the aesthetic twist to your looks.
Tell us about yourself, your background, and your previous ventures.
I am Alka. I did my design course at Pearl Academy of fashion, Chennai, after which I joined my dad Hari Anand. That is where I was drawn into the world of fashion. I have done several fashion shows with him.
I always found myself extremely comfortable wearing cotton casual wear. However, on the quest for the same, I realized that Kochi lacked options as far as aesthetically pleasing cotton casual wear is concerned. Thus, I realized that there was a gap in the market in the demand and supply of quality fashion in cotton. With years of experience running fashion shows and helping my dad manage his label, I ended up setting my own design label.
Could you brief us about your name label Alka Hari?
We are a designer label based in Thammanam focusing on women’s casual and party wears in cotton and linen. Also, we do customization of attires for all occasions. The focus of our brand is to help women dress more elegantly stylish in comfortable clothing that fits the weather. Simplicity in design is something that we endorse.
Give us a sneak peek into the products that you deliver.
We offer a wide range of aesthetically pleasing attires, mainly focussing on casual wear including daily wear kurta, Anarkalis, pants, palazzos, and dupattas.
Could you take us on brief tour behind an apparel from your brand, right from thedesigning to the delivery?
We first make a mood board and then a color board. According to the preferences of our client, we make the designs. So once a design is sketched, we choose the fabric that goes well with the design, and then it is sent to the production department. After the garment is made, we send them to the finishing department where they do the final touch-ups like labeling, ironing, and hemming. After all that is done, we do shoots based on our collection. Then it is displayed at the store as well as an online market for purchase.
Tell us about a few projects that you have done so far, that is really close to your heart.
The collection AIKYAM would be easily the project closest to my heart. The said collection came out in 2019 post the fierce floods in Kerala. The collection was inspired by our recovery from chaos and calamities.
Do you have a role model in this profession, someone that you look up to for your designs/looks?
My dad, Hari Anand would be my biggest inspiration. Working with him in the initial part of my career could mould me right for the career trajectory I took and where I am now.
What are some of the challenges that you faced while setting up this brand? How did you overcome those?
I found it extremely difficult to lock in a store at a prime location due to a lack of availability and budget constraints. The way I tackled this situation is, I found the right location and then revamped it to make sure that it met the label’s aesthetic standards. I also invested in cost-effective social media marketing instead of expensive traditional marketing to grow my business.
How do you reach out to your customers?
Our interaction with our customers is through our social media handles as well as our physical store. We regularly update the handles with the latest designs in the market and also display them at our stores.
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