Back to basics with designer Vivek Karunakaran

The designer shares that he is keen to put Chennai on the fashion map   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Over the past week, a certain hashtag has made its presence felt all over our social media timelines. Flawsome — defined as “an individual who embraces their ‘flaws’ and knows they are awesome regardless” — is the mantra, and it’s being shared by the likes of actors Anil Kapoor and Siddharth, editor of GQ Che Kurrien, singers Andreah Jeremiah, Benny Dayal and Shakthisree Gopalan, and cricketers Abhinav Mukund and S Badrinath.

The campaign is the brainchild of Chennai-based designer Vivek Karunakaran. As one of the few designers from the South who is known nationally, he had a specific aim. “I want India to notice that we, in this part of the country, are also capable of creating style-centric campaigns. It is not just saying we do good stuff here, it’s about projecting the good stuff we do,” he explains.

A photograph from the ‘Flawsome’ campaign by Vivek Karunakaran

A photograph from the ‘Flawsome’ campaign by Vivek Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Twist in the tale

‘Flawsome’ is also what he has called the debut collection of his new line, VK Essentials — that’s the shirt the celebrities are sporting in their posts. “Every five months, we will create one product that’s a wardrobe staple, and will have a story around it. For the introductory line, we went with the classic white/black shirt, and added our own twist to it,” explains Karunakaran. Made of Egyptian cotton, and priced “aggressively and competitively” at ₹2,800, they come with a grey accent on the placket.

Karunakaran says that he has always wondered how his clothing could be part of every person’s wardrobe. “A lot of people are hesitant to shop when they hear the ‘designer’ tag — but if someone likes it, they should be able to pick it up without thinking twice about the price,” he says. The shirt also plays into gender fluid, non-binary themes: while it’s tailored for men, it’s meant for everyone.

The launch also marked 10 years of his eponymous brand and now has different verticals — a luxury and diffusion line, a trousseau collection and a pret label. While he is known for his eclectic take on bundis, coming up soon is the online launch of VK Spirit, the ready-to-wear pret line that he’s proud of. “We’re in talks to carry the clothes in international retail stores as well, so fingers crossed on that,” he concludes.

Flawsome is available at the Vivek Karunakaran flagship store on Rutland Gate 4th Street and online at

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 12:02:38 PM |

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