Fashion isn’t always about the labels. It isn’t about the brands. It’s something else entirely, something that comes from within you. Fashion has a significant impact. It improves one’s quality of life. A true designer knows the value of how important it is to create one’s own fashion. Mithi Kalra is one such fashion designer who is a celebrated name in the industry, has been working towards this tangent for a decade now.
After graduating from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Mithi Kalra established her eponymous label in 2012, with a studio in Noida and a crew of seven. Since then, Mithi has been selling through her House of Mithi Kalra website, retail store, and social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. Kalra has exhibited her creations at prestigious shows like India Runway Week and held exhibitions in Tier-1 and Tier-2 towns, thanks to her extensive clientele across the country and internationally.
She is well-known for combining indigenous materials with various Indian art to create stunning ensembles. Fashion is an expression of her deep-rooted culture, ethnicity, and sustainability, according to her. The label has dressed several notable Bollywood celebrities, including Sonali Kulkarni, Pooja Sawant, and others, and is known for her unique designs, fabrics, and colour sensitivities.
“My business grew at a rate of 70 per cent last year even during the time of COVID-19, as people started shopping online at a wider scale. Despite selling via Facebook and Instagram, I have also launched my website, mithikalra.com, last month due to the positive response from the audience. My collection range begins at Rs 5,000 and goes up to Rs 4 lakhs,” Mithi shares.
She says that the major 50 per cent of revenue comes from offline studio sales whereas 20 per cent of revenue comes from online sales on social media.
Her overseas clientele is scattered in Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai, which are her biggest source of revenue. While her collection in India is scattered in major cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Gujarat, Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune.
“I am also planning to open a store in Udaipur, as a lot of my clientele resides there and have been purchasing from me. I also plan to tap into Men’s wear this year and am launching my own real jewellery collection,” Mithi says.
Started her design house in 2015, as “House of Mithi Kalra”, her first collection was an intricate concoction of Madhubani Paintings on dresses based on Disney Princess. Mithi travelled a lot and aimed at reaching the craftsmen for the Madhubani Paintings directly, as she feels that the role of middlemen often takes away the wages that the weavers can earn,” The role of the craftsmen is underrated and there should be efforts from the Fashion Industry to help them grow equally. Kalra feels that this is a massive step in growing the textile industry towards the right direction,” she reiterates.
Aiming for the same success in future, Mithi says, “We plan to introduce different forms of art in our collection and take such arts globally. The first collection revolved around Madhubani Paintings that is practised in Bihar and done by hands, this was received well by critics and our customers in India and especially Overseas. We aim to introduce new concepts with different forms of paintings in our designs,”
In future, she aims to introduce the Bridal Collection on Sustainable Fabrics, “Today, bridal wear has a vast spectrum, it not only includes those heavily embroidered lehengas and embellished sarees but it has a good mix of Rich Anarkalis with Ethnic Skirts, our new collection includes subtle yet rich blouses paired with heavy skirts, making it a complete look of home-grown Lehengas,” she concludes.