Just Came Out of the Box!

“We all strive for perfection when it comes to life or career but, when it comes to fashion we prefer being imperfect to look perfect.”

What do you call too much accessorizing?

 It’s called fashion.

It’s like an era of being a little ­different. Where being perfect is completely boring be it in the clothes you wear, the way you talk, the way you walk or the way you accessorize yourself. If you are too perfect or too conventional, sorry, my friend you are pretty old school.

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From delicate pearls to a giant snake wrapped around someone’s neck we have been keen observers, we have seen it all. The shift in the accessory world cannot be ignored because, well, it is huge and anything and everything makes sense now.

We have seen fashion trends change now and then; from a simple black hat to studded berets, from kitten heels to fur shoes. It’s crazy how fashion keeps evolving itself so often.

Being an unconventional accessory lover or say little miss imperfect, it has its own perks. I mean come on, you can wear all sorts of animals on you; how cool is that?

Quirky rings, ear cuffs, earrings, necklaces, handbags and all sorts of other accessories you can think of, have evolved into something that surely nobody even thought of. It’s bizarre; the industry is bizarre; it goes beyond that little kitten attached to your hair tie.

Not all accessories are cool, some are really weird too, the ones we see and we are like, ah isn’t that necklace more of a tooth-brush sort of a thing, you brush with it or what. We thought maybe it was just jewellery designer- Pamela Love who used to do this while she was in school, but, guess we were wrong. More and more earring trends we see and we are like, hey, I think you forgot one of your earring and the looks that you get afterwards, they are more like “you don’t know fashion, back off”.

Backing off is definitely a good option here because imperfection is really in, not only in the fashion world but everywhere, even Kanta bai knows it because she thought it would be too happening to be like Kareena Kapoor from the movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and wear two different sandals and come to work and be like “isko fashion kehte hai, tum nahi jala?“ and the staring lasts for about 2 hours because Kanta bai too got stung by the insect of imperfection, so we know Spring Summer 2015 is definitely not a season for subtle accessories.

From ramp to the streets, people have showcased and worn accessories made of paper, duct tape, MRI reports, and much more. These things are too hard for us to even imagine, but thanks to the zillions of creative minds we have in the industry who keep surprising us by their out of the box madness.

But, did you ever imagine handmade jewellery will still be in trend? School days were different when we were asked to create things out of waste paper, but people actually wearing earrings, necklaces made of paper and showcasing them on the streets while shopping, going for work or even to parties; it’s becoming a rage.

Fashion is a vicious circle, it goes and it comes back again, similarly, the trend of handmade accessories came in 2013 and went off but now the trend is back in action and this time it’s here to stay.

Spotting people wearing such trendy handcrafted accessories on the streets, we couldn’t resist ourselves from asking if it was only us or if actually handmade accessories are back on the fashionable streets of the city. To which, Priyam, a 21 year-old regular shopper from Janpath and a student by profession says, “I can’t stop wearing these trendy pieces. There are so light and so handy. I used to see many people wearing these and am glad that now I am one of them. I adore handmade things, my favourite are the earrings

Harshita, a NIFT student studying Fashion Business Management says, “I have been an accessory lover since forever. I make my own necklaces using threads, paper and wires and I have been doing this since school time but, when I was in school, it never meant anything, people used to see it, give a compliment and leave but,  now it’s so good to see that those school time accessories are actually trending these days and now when I think about it I actually see potential for the same in the long run. There is a huge demand for it nowadays, my own friends ask me to make some for them. It is definitely trending.

Often seen everywhere, at fashion weeks or in any local market, people are crazy about handmade accessories and there are hundreds of e-commerce websites selling them; one of being this really new and chic brand, Kagaz.

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A brand that has about thousands of followers on Facebook and other social media sites and has made a niche for itself in the social circle in such a short span of time.

Founded by two young boys, Gagan Preet Singh and Aman Preet Singh, both science students and we have no clue why they did that.

They believe in what St. Francis once said,

He who works with his hands is a labourer.

He who works with his hands and head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.

“Kagaz is about a thought, an idea to make valuables from the waste, an idea to bring about unconventional experiments in the form of art, to create an art store which has no boundaries, to never follow prescribed ways to make an accessory. It is an open platform for people who can make anything out of anything and if they fail, to give them the hope to try again. Kagaz is that hope.

We don’t really have a design philosophy or we don’t call it one. We think about making a new design that is raw, generic and should be easily accessible. We try to get into the most basic of raw materials like paper, buttons, threads and we try merging them with our own creativity. We are not scared to try things and thus some of them become our products and some waste. We are just here to make the youth understand our ideology behind Kagaz and what it takes to preserve and respect art”, says Gagan, one of the co-founders of the brand.

“The dream is to make Kagaz world’s largest art store “

When asked about how the concept came to their mind, he says “It was not something that I wanted to do. I mean I never thought about it. I remember it started when I flunked my 3rd semester exams and I didn’t tell my parents about them and started creating random things, it was then when one of my friend saw some pieces of jewellery which I had created and she was baffled and asked ‘why did you buy these?’ and was amazed when she got to know I had created them myself and pitched it up the idea of Kagaz into my mind and even started with a Facebook page for me on ‘31st December 2013’ and it was then that Kagaz was born. We started off with my mother’s black old sweater’s buttons then came a necklace of my mark sheet, newspapers, peanuts, stones, jute and many more items. ”

Wasn’t it difficult to come up with new materials now and then? “Oh! It was like a scavenger hunt in the starting”

There is a huge competition for imitation jewellery these days, how do you keep your brand up to the mark? “We have a team of dedicated people who trust the idea behind the brand and work really hard to get to the goals, there are a lot of brands in the market which might be doing this even better than us, but, what we do it’s for a cause. We do it to see that smile on people’s face when they are amazed to see the things that can be made with the help of waste materials, we do this for happiness for the people who use our products and for the people who help us achieve the goals of those products and that’s what really matters to us and as it is said, competition is where you have a chance to win. So, yes, we are aware of the competition and also of the fact that if implemented well, this can be a revolution and we are up for it.”

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On asking about he came up with the unconventional name of the brand, he says, “I thought a lot of and looked for a lot of options for a handicraft jewellery story and then, ‘kagaz ki duniya’ occurred to me because at that time most of my products were made from paper and then after a little brainstorming we came up with the name, Kagaz and the first logo was designed and we were up on the social media and running.”

“We are handmade and that’s what makes us different”, he says when asked about how Kagaz is different from the existing accessory brands. He further adds, we are not overpriced and at the same time we provide amazing quality for which we have a separate quality analysis team. We pick our materials up from roadside literally and make them usable. Our ideology is very unique, we support renewable art.”

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“I love the accessories Kagaz makes. I can wear them all day long without any heaviness on myself or in my pocket. They are that cheap. A typical combination of ‘sasta, sundar, tikau’”, says Anshul, one of the frequent customers of Kagaz.

When asked what according to him being nonconformist is in his field of work he says, “The whole journey of Kagaz is very unconventional. We never followed any norms or rules governing fashion or handicrafts. We did it in our own way. Surprisingly, no one from our team is from a design, fashion or art background, it’s just what we love.  We are not being driven by threats of being a failure. We never create boundaries as I said earlier for anyone in our team for anything that they try. It’s all about experiments after all.”

He further adds, “Who would have thought, a string picked from roadside will make a stunning pair of earrings. So, you see, our decisions are not feared by the final results. We are a breed of doers and it’ll be always like this. The brand is not something with calculated steps; it’ll be always more of a ‘s***, look at this, looks brilliant. How did you make that?”

“We are making our own notions and making people believe in that.”

What kind of scope do you foresee for your brand? “We are not anywhere right now. But, I believe that in a year or so we will make our name in Indian market.”

New Image4.jpg“The dream is to make Kagaz world’s largest ‘art’ store and art has no limits, no boundaries. I want to keep it growing always never limiting it to any genre of art. I’ll achieve this. In coming two years, you’ll see Kagaz as India’s next big thing.” He concludes with a slight giggle and says, “Save this interview.”

It’s not only Kagaz’s story, I believe it’s what we have done all our lives, trying to preserve art be it in school, college or even when some of us joined those art classes during the summer break.

Different, but same, worlds of art and fashion share a serious and special relationship. When the two worlds blend, authentic creativity takes birth. Fashion and style are essential platforms for creative artists, like those of Kagaz, to evolve and expand globally.

So, as they say, go fill your cart with rainbows, cupcakes and Kagaz.

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