Kraft Corridor: Restoring Hand Embroidery
It’s hard to articulate the power of fashion and style through words. From the greatest fashion designers to legendary models and stylists they have all known that the style of dressing is an art that is life-enhancing. This art is a way of life that makes you elegant and confident. Today fashion and style are instant languages and thus our choice of clothing is an inaudible language of expression of who we are.
Chikan embroidery is a famous form of art believed to be introduced in Lucknow during the Mughal era. The elegant and minute handwork on the garment gives it a very subtle, stylish and classy feel.
Some believe it to be a Persian form of art introduced in the 17th century. There’s yet another section which calls this form of art to be originated in 3rd BC when a traveler taught peasants this subtle art in return for water. A major section of society calls it a present from Noor Jahan, wife of Mughal emperor Jehangir. She is believed to have passed on this art to India.
Business connect in its new section brings forward a brand that creates a class, brings elegance into the picture and speaks volumes through its art of intricate hand embroidery.
Kraft Corridor is a luxury women’s wear brand based out of Lucknow (India), a place known for its intricate hand embroideries by skilled artisans. It was established in July 2017 and its first luxury collection was launched in March 2018.
Get to know Kraft Corridor
Kraft Corridor is a rare, special and genuine designer’s and craftsmen’s hub that produces everything by hand in Lucknow, perfectly amalgamating the traditional crafts and skills with modern designs, while managing to serve clients across the globe.
The collection of Kraft Corridor is a perfect blend of indigenous skills with modern designs and are embellished with a fabulous combination of ethnic and western surfaces in different contemporary style, thus targeting women of all age groups. In its bid to preserve the traditional crafts, the brand works on traditional motifs and colors and blends them with the latest silhouettes for better acceptability of the mainstream market.
The Collection: The collection includes various styles of lehengas, suit sets, Kurtis, gowns, dresses, jackets. It also has introduced men’s kurta this year and is venturing into home décor items such as cushions, table linen and bed linen.
Enabling Rural Artisans
Kraft Corridor works with rural artisans of Lucknow, India, who have inherited the more than 2000-year-old craft of ‘chikankari’ and also other hand embroideries thus encouraging preservation and growth of traditional skills and crafts.
Achievements and Milestones:
Kraft Corridor has participated in Bangalore Fashion Week in August 2018, India Beach Fashion Week, Goa in November 2018 and Asian Designer Week, New Delhi in April 2019. The festive collection showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019 edition in August 2019 was highly appreciated for the intricate and exclusive hand embroidery on handwoven fabrics and its unique placement and silhouettes.
Kraft Corridor also participated in Vancouver Fashion Week in October 2019 and showcased its Spring Summer 2020 collection comprising of embroidered cotton jackets in a combination of both bright and pastel shades. With this the brand is all set to mark its foot in the international market as well.
Creating a wardrobe tailored specifically to your tastes:
Creating a wardrobe tailored specifically to the tastes of the customers, needs both creativity and flexibility. And that’s what the designers at Kraft Corridor are doing, using their skills to address customer needs and foster a positive experience at the same time building a niche DNA for their brand. The designers frequently travel to different cities in India to personally meet the customers and guide them through the bespoke process.
Though the customization process demands time on the part of the customer, but the entire process elevates the final look of the outfit and helps to personalize the wardrobe. It begins with the client’s measurements and continues with a selection of style, color, fabric, embroidery placement and other details like the occasion for which the outfit is planned.
In most of the high-end pieces, the designers first prepare the test fit of the outfit and sketch the placement of the embroidery. Once approved the piece goes for embroidery. It is then tailored to give it a structured and good finesse.
What inspired you to start your own venture?
“Mesmerized by the history of traditional skills and crafts, I was inspired to work closely with the artisans to enable them to meet the design, product and quality standards of the ever-evolving domestic and international market, thereby enabling them to lead a dignified living and leading to preservation of their skills and crafts”.
What gives you an edge over your peers and how your company is different from others in the same arena?
“Hand embroidery in contemporary designs is our forte. We experiment and explore a lot on fusion embroidery. Even with mass luxury wear flooding the market, nothing can replace a bespoke outfit created by our master craftsmen. We have mastered the art of custom-made and have already impressed our customers of Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai”.
Did you face any obstacles during the initial days? How did you sail through them?
Getting a good team in place was a challenge in the initial days. Our industry needs experts for all fields, be it fashion designer, textile designer, master cutter, master tailor or artisans with expertise in different types of embroideries. Identifying the right expertise and making them settle in a team was a challenge in the initial days”.
What was your learning during struggling days?
“Understanding the market and knowing our target customers is important. In the first year of business, we focused on a small target which helped us to cater to that set with ease. Increasing the horizon gradually depending on the team strengths and funds is key is ensuring that the plans don’t fall flat even after a lot of planning and good strategy”.
What are the efforts made by you not to lag behind in the race of having the latest technology?
“We have developed our website www.kraftcorridor.com and the same has a mobile version too in both android and ios. Our inventory and billing system is automated”.
How much do you rely on Research and Development?
“We frequently do our own trend research, however, mostly follow the WGSN forecasting for trends in fashion since we are also targeting the international market this year”.
Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see in your startup?
“Hand embroidery in different unique designs is our USP. All our collections showcased so far starting from Spring Summer 2018 till now has some unique design and embroidery elements. The artisans we work with directly are skilled and have inherited this art of hand embroidery for ages. With the amalgamation of work of master craftsmen and new-age designers, all our designs look like masterpieces”.
How do you see the future of the company, and what plans do you want to achieve in the near future?
“We would like Kraft Corridor to emerge as a luxury wear brand catering to men and women of all ages. Hand embroidery is our forte and we would like to explore contemporary designs. Our motto is to focus on sustainable fashion and include handwoven fabrics and hand embroidery in all our designs”.