Kartik Research Men’s Spring 2025

After last season’s fashion show, Kartik Kumra was invited to dinner by cabinet ministers in India, along with other young entrepreneurs deemed the country’s future.

“It put me in a zone of thinking about what the brand means at this point,” said Kumra. “It’s no longer a college project, which it was for the first two years, when I was running it as a hobby.”

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With Kartik Research the representative Indian ready-to-wear brand, Kumra thought: “Is there a responsibility to culturally represent certain things that maybe aren’t as singularly romantic as they have been?”

From that headspace — and friction — sprung an elegant collection for spring, including structured tailoring and heirloom-style pieces. On one naturally dyed indigo silk jacket, Kumra hand-embroidered a golden wave-like graphic that was on the India cricket jersey from 1999. Another motif sprung from a photo he took of an Indian apartment building’s wall.

Kumra used block prints on silk, but in a less traditional repetitive way. Handloom cotton was decorated with embroidered old chintz print.

“It’s old, but framing them in an interesting way that feels appropriate for now,” he said.

The show included 12 exclusive pairs of Converse sneakers that Kumra fashioned, some encrusted with tiny mirrors.

“A lot of the core principles in the collection are the same — we still don’t use any electricity,” said Kumra, adding the denim is upcycled. “It’s very sustainably made.”

He paused womenswear after one season in order to find a distribution channel. Kartik Research recently opened a store in Delhi, and a New York location is expected later this year.

Launch Gallery: Kartik Research Spring 2025 Men’s Collection

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