Company Profile: AKHL

AKHL was founded by Akhil Nagpal in 2019.

AKHL is defined by its commitment to innovation, experimentation and the crafting of evocative pieces of fashion by contemporising traditional Indian handcrafting and handweaving techniques.

Essential to its designs are distinctive and complex textiles, engineered using unusual and often upcycled materials, employing a wide range of processes including hand weaving, traditional Indian hand embroidery, hand printing, applique and spectrum dyeing.

Ultimately, these signature textiles, in conjunction with handwoven and new age fabrics, are meticulously tailored into inventive and evocative luxury womenswear.

Since its founding, AKHL has been a recipient of various awards and honours. It showcased its debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week SS20 as the winner of the prestigious Gen Next Competition and won The Grazia Young Fashion Award in 2021.

It has also been awarded the curated title ‘Black Sheep’ on Not Just A Label, given to the most innovative and striking designers on the platform.

AKHL has been featured on the ‘Label Alert’ segment in Harper’s Bazaar India and Grazia India as well as in various other editorials by leading Indian fashion publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and Cosmopolitan.

Reflektor SS21 Collection
AKHL SS21 collection has been visually inspired by interactions and distortions of light and colour. The studio has  studied these interactions in highly-engineered and uniquely processed reflective installation artworks by Olafur Eliasson and James Turnell, as well as in softer, yet equally compelling, natural reflective surfaces.

These vivid colour and light visual studies helped them develop new-age handwoven and hand-embroidered textiles as well as sharply-cut sculptural silhouettes, all of them ultimately culminating into an innovative and evocative collection of modern ensembles.

The most dominant textile in this collection has been their handwoven/hand-embroidered silk-raffia mesh. This textile is first meticulously woven on a handloom, it has a raw silk warp and a raffia weft.

Once off the loom, they intricately interlace this mesh with two varieties of hand-spun textured yarns, one parallel to the warp and the other to the weft. It’s an intensive process, forming a signature textile that is 100% handcrafted, employs high-quality raw materials, its made using traditional Indian handweaving techniques but looks new-age and can be very easily structured or silhouetted.

The collection, overall, is grounded in metallic meshes, hand-embroidered textured fabrics, silk-organzas and chiffons in greys, blacks and neutrals, all serving as background surfaces for spectrum coloured hand-embroidery and applique details in glass and lurex yarns.

Often times in the collection, however, AKHL reconfigure these rules, creating radiant spectrum coloured bases with their fabrics while using neutral but highly reflective glass-like metallic detailing in the foreground of the garments.

This collection largely consists of modern ensembles built from dynamic separates but also from some truly statement day and evening dresses.

The pieces have been crafted in a variety of styles, some incisively tailored and sculpted, while others meticulously gathered and flared out, some even wonderfully fringed, but the emphasis was always on creating new and modern shapes for fashion-forward women.

After graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2017 with various awards, he worked with Peter Pilotto in London and Manish Arora and Amit Aggarwal in Delhi before starting his label in 2019.

Instagram @akhlstudio


With thanks to AKHL studio for the text and images

{ Comments are closed! }