London School of Economics major Abhishek Kankaria teams up with college buddy Shrruti Tapuria to design a range of bags and jewellery.
By Asmita Aggarwal
Why is the label called whatever?
Whatever reflects Attitude!
Whatever reflects Confidence!
Whatever reflects Style!
Whatever reflects a Statement!
Whatever is a label that brings out the ‘You in You’
The label was started by you and Shrruti. How did you both meet?
We met in college and have been buddies since then. We are from Kolkata. We graduated college together after which Shrruti pursued her career in fashion jewellery. I studied marketing at the London School of Economics after which I got into exports of jute and cotton bags from our jute mills. Whatever was launched in March 2013 at the India Fashion Week.
What kind of jewellery do you design and what’s the thought behind it?
The jewellery is a blend of classic and contemporary style. They are designed to make a statement for all occasions be it formal or casual. It is crafted in silver embellished with semi-precious stones and zircons.
How did you get into designing bags and what is the ideology?
They are formal and evening bags embellished with stones on artificial leather. The bags have been handcrafted with intricate detailing for specific occasions. A need for statement pieces led me to design bags with a difference.
Can you tell us why women there is a shift in attitudes and women are opting for alternate jewellery?
Alternate jewellery is most stylish and women don’t mind experimenting as it is both affordable and worth the look. They definitely add glamour to the attire in creating a perfect ensemble. Unlike precious jewellery, women feel safer in alternate jewellery for travelling. Be it parties, events or destination weddings it has become a rage.
What do you think is the USP of your line of bags?
Our bags are vibrant, classy and elegant. They are statement pieces that set you apart from the crowd.
What prompted you to design jewellery?
An eye for beauty, a passion for styling and the love to envision the breath-taking view of a woman from head to toe in one’s own creation is the driving force behind the enchanting jewellery line of Shrruti.
How do you divide roles between Shrruti and yourself?
Shrruti designs the jewellery and I design the bags. Our pieces are handcrafted and the quality is the league of real jewellery. We do modern designs and we do not repeat a collection to maintain the uniqueness of our designs.
Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
We see Whatever becoming a trendsetting label and the most talked about brand. With our design prowess, we are confident this will be a reality very soon! We have worked closely with Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Printemps, Galleries Lafayette, Chloe and many more labels for our collection of cotton and jute bags. We are planning in similar lines for Whatever.
Which are the brands you admire?
We admire iconic brands that have been the torchbearers that steer the scene forward like Zara, Juicy Couture, de Grisogono, Fendi, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Swarovski and Corum.
There’s a plethora of options when it comes to your field in the market right now. What inspired you to start Whatever?
A compassion for style trendsetting, an eye for beauty got us together to make a blend of accessories. We felt it’s the styling and grooming which brings out the personality and not looks.