This Summer London designer and stylist, Saran Kohli, launched his musically inspired urban collection of bespoke menswear in New York City. The son of legendary South Asian designer Mani Kohli of Khubsoorat Collection, Saran has been involved in the fashion world since a very young age. A graduate from London College of Fashion in Fashion Management. Saran is also a well-respected dance choreographer and performer, proving that talent comes in all shapes and forms. The designer has been featured on MTV Europe and MTV Asia’s show, Style Guru. His line consists of a full-range of menswear including trousers, shirts, ties, hoodies, shoes and is most recognized for its distinctive style of jackets that can best be described as a fusion of impeccable English silhouettes with an urban vibe. His work is favored most by musicians and actors such as Jay Sean, Fugitive, Mumzy Stranger, DJ Ironic, H Dhami (The Rishi Rich Project), Juggy D, Ameet Chana (Bend it Like Beckham), Bikram Singh, The Truth and Bobby Wonda, amongst others.
I had the pleasure of meeting Saran this Summer. This time I chatted with him about what inspires him, his love of dance and debuting his line in New York City.
CHABELLA-What inspires you?
SARAN KOHLI-Music, Dance, Films, traveling and discovering cultures around the world in the small world we live in.
C-What does it mean for you to be launching your own label, in New York particularly?
SK-New York is the fashion capital of the world, with one of the most diverse societies. It’s a city of dreams and for fashion it offers unlimited inspiration with influences from all over the world and this is very much evident when you walk around the city. It means the world to me to launch my menswear and I believe in myself to offer something personal and a well traveled menswear line which would speak of global cultures.
C-Who are your favorite designers?
SK-Michiko Koshino, Mani kohli, D&G, Andrew Hamilton, Narendra Prassad, Good idea, Paul Smith.
C-How would you describe your personal style?
SK-A mix of old and new. “In fashion” and vintage. I like to mix high-end and high-street to create a good balance. I am obsessed with custom tailoring so got stock of suits which transform me to be in control when I wear them. All these go along with tons of shoes I stack up, as I am a sucker for them.
C-How does dance influence your style as a designer?
SK-Dance is something God gave me when I entered this world. I have been tickling my toes since the age of four, and won’t stop until I see heaven. I grew up in the 80s with old school hip-hop and boogaloo in my bloodstream. Dance has a major influence as it dictates my draping and cuts. It inspires me to experiment with fabrics and how to show-off through dancing.
C-Favorite places to shop in New York and London?
SK-In New York, I love SOHO, Spring Street and Broadway as it has great mix of everything. I am love with vintage, so was exposed to Bedford in Brooklyn. In London, I love Canarby Street, Convent Garden and Brick Lane.
C-Favorite fashion icon?
SK-Well, there are a few…one of them being my mom, Mani Kohli, who gave birth to me, and exposed me to fashion. I admire Dolce & Gabana, as they create iconic well-traveled menswear.
C-What are some trends you see in London that you didn’t see in New York?
SK-London is a hub for experimentation and the alternative looks. Streetwear fashion has gone really upscale with really cool cuts in trousers, from harem pants to multi pockets, it all can be seen.
C-Why is bespoke so important to you?
SK-It is very important as we live in a very fast paced world. Bespoke will never go out of fashion and it never goes against the time. A well cut suit or any item of bespoke clothing offers the perfect solution to achieving the best for the wardrobe.
C-What pieces should all men have in their closet?
SK-I believe less is more, so a guy definitely needs to have:
1- A great pair of shoes that will tell endless walk of stories.
2. Fine leather belt.
3. A classy watch to slow the time.
4. A well cut suit. Without that you are not in control.
C-What single thing would improve your quality of life?
SK-More love and time for family and friends. Life is just to short.
C-Describe Saran Kohli in three words.
SK-Short! haha Expressive, colourful, cultured.
May I also add, talented! And we can only expect greater things to come from this gifted designer. The Saran Kohli collection is carried through Khubsoorat Collection’s retail stores in London, New York and New Jersey. Also look out for the collection in the upcoming British action flick London Town (working title) directed by Michael De’Sioye, and set for release in Summer 2011.