In Conversation With The Creator Of The Fashionable Bus Conductor Sling Bag
Since the launch in July 2009, Princesse K has successfully established itself as a premium independent handbag label with an increasing global presence recognized for its exceptional designs and unique style. With collections that are a refreshing splash of colours and prints, Princesse K bags are the perfect accessory. We learn all about the brand from the owner and the creative brains behind it – Karishma Shahani.
Tell us about the conception of Princesse K and what made you venture into handbags?
I went to the International University of Monaco in 2007 – 2008 and received a Masters of Science in Luxury Brand Management. This is where I was inspired to start a handbag label. I was exposed to European artists from different eras and also got to learn in depth about various European luxury houses. After my return to India in 2008, I decided to combine my knowledge along with my access to Indian craftsmanship to create Princesse K. I have also created a menswear label called Lord K under which I design laptop bags and messenger bags for men.
When I started the brand, I was very clear on one thing, that the products had to be animal-friendly. So you won’t find the use of leather in the products manufactured. The products are moderately priced so that it can be purchased by everyone. The whole idea behind creating Princesse K was to share my design sensibilities with like-minded people.
The Bus Conductor Sling Bag has been your best selling collection on Shop InOnIt so far. What was the inspiration behind this design?
As a child I used to travel with my grandparents in BEST buses in Mumbai. I was fascinated by the sling bags on the bus conductor’s shoulders and even back then, I knew I would make one for my personal use. Since it was appreciated by many, it set out to remain as a classic from the past collection.
Who is a Princesse K woman?
I design for anyone who likes to embrace their uniqueness and is very comfortable in her own skin.
Tell us about the range that featured under Lord K.
We have a messenger bag range and laptop bag range under the brand name Lord K. The Houndstooth bag and the brown canvas laptop bag for men have been designed by me.
According to you, which celebrity can pull off your collections well?
Sonam Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Malaika Arora, Poorna Jaganath, Sridevi, Carol Gracias and the list goes on.
Where did the title Princesse K come from?
The brand has been named after Princess Grace Kelly – the Princess of Monaco – and also plays with my first name’s initial.
What challenges do you face while putting together a collection?
Each collection has an inspiration behind it. If you browse through our previous collections you can see the inspiration clearly. While the first collection was inspired by Indian fabrics and weaves and tie and dye processes, the second was inspired by the tropical rain forests and made use of Indian embroiderers’ craftsmanship to help the rain-forest birds and insects come alive on each bag. A lot of research goes into creating a collection. I love using Indian fabrics and I constantly visit handloom stores and stores that specialize in Indian weaves from different states to see what is new and what catches my eye. I visit different cities and always visit the local weave stores to pick up fabrics. You can learn a lot of each state’s traditional fabric at these local stores. At the design board I always combine contemporary shapes and merge the fabrics with them to create the collections. These challenges get the products out in time.
How are you enjoying your association with Shop InOnIt?
We love selling on Shop InOnIt. The response has been great and we love the way you showcase our products.
What’s in the pipeline?
The Love or Lust collection – a series of metallic and pop coloured clutches will be out this week and a Maharani collection, which is a collaboration between a London based artist and me.
PrincesseK bags have a global presence. How does it feel?
It feels great and we want to expand to newer cities and share the designs with more people who are fond of experimenting with their style.
As told to Suezelle D’Costa