Growing up surrounded by the luxurious silks and sartorial finesse of menswear inspired fashion trendsetter Krésha Bajaj’s aesthetic. From creating whimsical, lavish and ethereal collections for women under her label Krésha Bajaj, the designer has now ventured into creating bespoke collections for men as well. The entrepreneur shot to fame for her concept of the ‘Love Story Lehenga,’ an intricately embroidered outfit customised to showcase a bride and groom’s journey of love.
Bajaj hails from a family of one of the oldest bespoke menswear tailors, Badasaab, and she credits her childhood experiences for her Homme outing. The new menswear collection named Aether is the elegant manifestation of everything, from shirts and bomber jackets to sherwanis and bandis.
A double-breasted jacket in Australian vintage green paired with a baby pink kurta hits the sweet spot between experimentation and wearability. “I started designing for women, but I find men’s clothing equally interesting; their structure, functionality and feel is so important,” says Bajaj. Just like her womenswear brand, there is a focus on craftsmanship and quality. However, the aesthetic is of the Homme label is more understated. Bajaj creates layered multi-functional pieces that are designed to last. In an exclusive one-on-one with LuxeBook, the designer reveals her inspiration behind the collection, and her ideas for the future.
Why did you decide to launch a menswear brand?
I started sketching ideas, when most children were outdoors playing. My playground was my father’s tailoring shop. Growing up around menswear, it was only natural for me to keep sketching ideas that were put away in a drawer for no one to see. In early 2020, when my sketchbook was bursting with ideas and no more blank pages to sketch in, I realized it was time to bring the collection to life.
How long has it been in the making?
Menswear has been in the making for over a year now. We had initially planned to launch a store, both e-commerce and physical, which got delayed due to the pandemic. Right now, we want our clients to enjoy these designs for this wedding season as we had already started getting a lot of requests from men.
Is the aesthetic of the Krésha Bajaj label brought forward in this collection?
Our core philosophy is the same, attention to detail and quality will always be top priority. However, Krésha Bajaj Homme will be a little more sartorial in terms of silhouettes and styles. Aesthetically, some pieces will complement each other for sure, but I wanted Homme to be adventurous and understated at the same time, not at all whimsical like our femme pieces are.
What is the first collection of Krésha Bajaj Homme inspired by?
The first one started with inspiration from my Acropora collection which was initially based on underwater life but eventually morphed into something where I was inspired by the forces of nature. Earth, fire, wind, water and the fifth element being, Aether, which is what the collection is named after. This collection has something for everyone, from an 18-year-old to an 80-year-old with an emphasis on the highest quality tailoring.
Will a menswear version of your signature ‘Love Story Lehenga’ make its way to this collection or any future ones?
I think that’s an easy yes. I have already designed multiple love story garments for men, ranging from Sherwanis to Kurtas. Obviously, there are major changes to the treatment of how a Love Story Lehenga is created because it still must be appealing to the men we are designing for and convey the elements in a seamless way without being forced.
Who are some menswear designers you love?
I think Shahab Durazi has always been someone that I look up to. His designs are effortless and timeless. And internationally I absolutely adore Loro Piana, their pattern makers are some of the best in the world.
What advice would you give to designers starting their own brand?
I would say, trust your design aesthetic and go with it. Don’t try to mimic another designer because that will only take you so far. It’s okay to start slow but eventually once your vision is understood and appreciated by the right audience for it then sky is the limit.
What is your long-term vision for the brand?
We have quite a few ideas on the table, however, it is too early to discuss. We definitely see Krésha Bajaj Homme turning into more of a lifestyle brand, occasion wear and not just wedding attire which gives us room to play around.
Are there any other exciting launches in the works?
We did have a launch planned for our new Pret Label which had a lot of swimwear and dive wear, but with the situation worsening with COVID, we’ve decided to put it on hold for a while.
The Krésha Bajaj Homme collection is sold exclusively at their flagship store in Bandra, Mumbai by appointment, whilewww.kreshabajaj.com is being launched soon.