March 16, 2024 FDCI

Think Chill

Remember The Jetsons, and the 90s trend Vaporwave? Kanika Goyal brings that shiny high gloss vibe to the line she has designed for the American brand Skechers.

By Asmita Aggarwal

After four years at NIFT Delhi and then Parsons New York, where she studied for two years, Kanika Goyal was ready in 2015 to launch her label. And she says with a giggle, “I am a very happy person, so clothes are a good medium to share my joy with others.”

Kanika runs two label, KGL (Kanika Goyal Label) a bit exclusive and Kilogram aimed at the mass market, now she has embarked on a new aesthetic, to be the only designer to be hired by Skechers, the California-based comfy sneaker company to design a line of apparel for India. “The show is theirs,” she corrects me, adding, “and the creative direction is mine.” Almost 16 articles and 31 looks were launched at the LFW X FDCI 2024 showcasing in Mumbai, for spring summer, taking you back to the era of the nubile Britney Spears crooning Kiss me baby one more time, of the 90s when the pop star was a sensation and could be seen on every billboard.

“It was the pre-internet era, I would say it was rather bold, for Sketchers it is more of a fun take on the 90s fashion, a Y2K appeal. Thus, you see the pop art, checkerboard patterns, logo mania and lots of colour blocking,” says Goyal, as she reveals she started with athleisure when she first launched her label almost nine years ago.

She has paid a tribute to Vaporwave aesthetic outfits, which are futuristic, think chrome, shiny robots, flying cars, and metallic shoes, as if you are The Jetsons (George, his homemaker wife Jane, and their children, Judy, and Elroy, have a robotic maid, Rosie and a talking dog, Astro). These sometimes “random” trends which are said to be back in 2024, are an offshoot of the electronic music scene, visually it is all over the place— it has elements of techno, retro and futuristic. Think VHS tapes, gaming graphics, pixelation, school logos and The Simpsons. “I call it nostalgia with an effective colour blast,” says Kanika who has added glitches, cyberpunk themes, geometric lines and peppered it with eye-catching neons.

The key to what she has done for Sketchers is mixed comfort with style, as generally the shoe is considered a boon for a certain older generation, but Kanika’s intervention is making it cool for GenZ. The apparel is relaxed, oversized, and she added parkas, bralets, dresses, cropped jackets, trench coats, T-shirts with a more youth centric approach, with separates so you mix and match.

“Fashion is cyclical and even though I love architecture, and the 70s, I feel this collection has really brought me back to the 90s which are making their presence felt everywhere—movies, to fashion,” she confides adding that these sporty ensembles can take you from day to night.

Tangerines, emeralds, aquas were merged with metallics in high gloss, to give the entire collection a high sheen look, a kind of over-the-top appeal. “You can wear it on vacations, even though it is performance wear, it has a distinct lifestyle element to it,” she confesses adding that her approach to this has been individualistic, in some ways an extension to what her brand stands for—cool graphics and a chill vibe.

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Fashion Design Council of India