Karan Torani | 27Founder and creative director, Torani
Image: Madhu Kapparath
Karan Torani was crestfallen when he couldn’t join any of the world’s top fashion schools where he had applied. His father’s business had suffered a financial setback and he opted to pursue his fashion degree at Pearl Academy in New Delhi instead.
He then worked with designers Nida Mahmood and Manish Arora before quitting in 2018. While pursuing his entrepreneurial ambitions—he hired four craftsmen—he worked on several freelance projects to keep the money coming in.
Torani consciously stayed away from the oversaturated bridal wear market. With his maternal grandmother and past experiences as inspirations, Torani launched his eponymous label in July 2018 by posting images of a collection of 24 garments on his Instagram account. Within a week, it was picked up by the head merchandiser of multi-brand store Ensemble and the collection sold out in a week.
“Karan is the quintessential storyteller, drawing upon his Sindhi roots and upbringing to breathe life into his label. He is a risk-taker, investing precious resources into impactful campaigns that differentiate his brand,” says Tina Tahiliani Parikh, managing director of Ensemble.
From working with four craftsmen to scaling up a company with 200 employees and opening a standalone flagship store in 2020 in New Delhi, Torani’s business has seen a meteoric rise in the last two years.
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“The label for me is a potpourri of reimagined memories. The clothes hold the romance of a bygone era, seen through a modern lens,” says Torani, who besides sustainability, also focusses on bringing to light societal taboos through his campaigns and visual storytelling.
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(This story appears in the 12 February, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)