A few months ago, we sat down with Sarthak Saxena, the Head of Design at Indian menswear brand Kardo. We asked him what the Kardo team wanted people to know about the brand’s vision and process. “For us, it’s always been about taking indigenous Indian textiles and turning them into pieces for the global audience. We want to teach people about the richness of our country’s textiles, but also our cultures and communities.”
Kardo was founded in 2013 by Rikki Kher, after he spent years running a textile sourcing company in India. On a daily basis, Kher was handling beautifully printed and created fabrics that carried the traditions of centuries of Indian craftsmanship. He saw an opportunity to take these textiles that were mainly being used for traditional Indian garments and turn them into pieces that could be worn by people all around the world.
10 years later, Kardo has become a global brand and is carried by 150 stores across 20 countries. During our interview, Saxena explained how the brand works with artisans all across India to keep creating one-of-a-kind pieces and celebrating local craftsmanship at a larger scale. “We work with artisans in Jaipur for block-printing, Gujarat for kantha stitching and rabari patchwork, Manali for wool-weaving, Bengal for handloom and weaving, and Hyderabad and Tamil Nadu for ikat (a fabric dyeing process).” By supporting and collaborating with local communities, Kardo hopes to preserve these techniques for as long as possible and keep environmental impact low.
The brand has just launched its vibrant Spring/Summer 2023 collection titled “Friendship”. In line with the Kardo vision, the collection serves as an appreciation and celebration of all the hands that have touched and supported the brand, including textile artisans, tailors, agents, buyers and stores, and loyal customers.