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Denim and different versions of it have come a long way. Due to a number of designers innovating and experimenting, they are no more a staple of one’s off-duty wardrobe, casually paired with t-shirts and sneakers. Over the years, denim labels have come to define sartorial finesse with designers creating interesting renditions.

Be it Monisha Jaising’s patchwork jeans, Masaba Gupta’s denim saree or even Huemn’s slouchy pair of jeans, denim has registered a strong presence in the contemporary fashionscape. The fabric has also been embraced globally by the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier (his denim blazers still make a statement), Chanel’s cool denim skirts, and Tory Burch’s breezy denim dresses have always made a case for strong summer fashion. Indian denim labels are creating their own niche, defining the new cool and infusing an element of a quirk in the Indian fashion scene.

Just in case you are a true denim aficionado, these Indian denim labels will interest you.

DesiTude

Image: Courtesy Instagram
Image: Courtesy Instagram

A brainchild of Kerela based on Siddharth Mohan Nair, DesiTude specializes in everything made from Khadi. Keeping the Gandhian philosophy of Swadesi at its core, the brand has been gaining popularity due to its Khadi denim. What makes them unique is their lighter, flexible weave. Be it in the form of a tie-dye denim blazer, skirt or even a denim waistcoat, there is a lot of choose from. Currently being retailed directly from its own website, this brand is out to create some noise.

We love: Khadi denim jacket & Khadi denim waistcoat 

Korra

Image: Courtesy Instagram
Image: Courtesy Instagram

Be it creating eco-friendly and upcycled denim products from the leftover materials to ensuring that the tailors get their due recognition for every piece they have worked on, Korra’s brand philosophy is all about exploring different aspects of sustainability. Founded by Shyam Sukhramani, Himanshu Shani, Mia Morikawa, and Rajesh Jaju, Korra is known for its quirky denim jackets and jeans. The service which sets this brand apart is its customization, just in case you want to get something stitched to your size, a brand representative will come to your house, take measures and you will be delivered a custom fit product. Just to add a bit of personal touch, every tailor leaves his signature on the piece he has worked on.

We love: Long Italian skirts & Blazers 

11.11

Image: Courtesy Instagram
Image: Courtesy Instagram

Another leading brand experimenting with different renditions of denim is 11.11. Launched by Shani Himanshu in 2009 (designer Mia Morikawa joined the brand in 2010) is known for its khadi denim. The label ensures to work with 100 per cent organic cotton which is ethically sourced. The brand believes in narrating the tale from seed to stitch, therefore every product is handmade. Further abiding by the idea of sustainability is their usage of 100 per cent natural dyes for denim. Besides this they always work with Kala cotton, 200 counts Khadi Cotton to create their denim products. Besides retailing from a stand-alone store in Delhi and one in Tokyo the brand retails out of 40 other leading stores in US, Canada, and Korea.

We love: Worker khadi denim jacket & Denim gilet 

Kanelle

Image: Courtesy Instagram
Image: Courtesy Instagram

Launched in 2011, Kanika Jain’s label Kanelle garnered rave reviews when it showcased an exclusive line of pieces made in denim at the New York Fashion Week SS/18. Veering away from the heavy-duty denim, Jain aimed to create a lighter, much smoother version of the same. The fabric was washed and treated, later combined with exclusively created yarm mesh to feel soft against the skin. Specialized details such as fringing, twisted pleats, and artisanal buttons were later on added. Her exclusive denim collection Blue Jean Baby comprises of breezy culottes, tops, denim tunics, and textured denim jackets.

We love: Denim jackets & culottes 

Diksha Khanna

Image: Courtesy Diksha Khanna
Image: Courtesy Diksha Khanna

How can we ever forget the distressed denim sari worn by Sonam Kapoor paired with a white shirt? The designer Diksha Khanna shot to fame after the much-celebrated red carpet stint. Khanna who launched her label in 2014 keeps up cycling as a focal point of her brand. Making use of exclusively created handloom denim and distressed scrap denim and using needlepoint embroideries to create denim shrugs, jackets, and even kimonos. Imagine denim dresses in languid silhouettes, breezy denim oversized shirts paired with skirts and denim overcoats with patchwork, this is what comes to define Khanna’s eclectic take on denim.

We love: Denim night suits & denim gown

Anupam Dabral
Sr. Associate Editor
It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.