Designer Viraj Khanna crafts an embroidered jacket for Puma’s ambassador, Shanaya Kapoor

Artist-designer Viraj Khanna gives Puma an Indian spin with an ari and zardozi embroidered jacket

February 16, 2024 03:50 pm | Updated February 17, 2024 11:37 am IST

The bomber jacket designed for Puma

The bomber jacket designed for Puma | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sportswear brand Puma gets an Indian makeover with varied embroidered textile cut-outs, courtesy a collaboration with artist-designer Viraj Khanna, son of noted Indian designer Anamika Khanna and brand AK-OK. It was featured in the brand’s bomber jacket — designed exclusively for its Gen Z brand ambassador, Shanaya Kapoor — that was sported by her for her first-ever Knicks basketball game at New York’s Madison Square last month. .

“Puma got in touch with me to bring art and sport together to create this bomber jacket. They liked how I was directly using my artwork for Anamika Khanna and AK-OK,” says Viraj, who has patchworked two figurative textile works on the sleeves that feature abstract art and motifs such as boots, an eye, etc. “I made these initially as mixed media works on paper and then embroidered the same. The embroidery was then used as patchwork,” he explains. The jacket that will be part of a larger collection with the brand that is under wraps.

Artwork by Viraj Khanna

Artwork by Viraj Khanna | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Viraj says the process of painting and then embroidering “has been quite interesting because there is a two-fold experimentation”. “It is a different experience when embroidering for a particular outfit as opposed to using an existing textile and patching it onto something. When doing the latter, careful cut-outs are required and there is a lot of trial and error. This process made the artwork seem more abstract rather than strongly figurative,” says the designer who has used ari and zardozi embroidery for the jacket, and is working on a new collection (comprising jackets, capes, blazers) at AK-OK that will launch at Lakme Fashion Week next month.

Artwork by Viraj Khanna

Artwork by Viraj Khanna | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As for his new collection with Puma that will include jackets, track pants, and track suits, Viraj will be cutting and collaging existing artwork, and crafting embroidery for different outfits. “Embroidery work is something that I’ve primarily been working with off late. The expanse of materials that can be used help me effectively express myself in different ways. For example, I would use thread and resham for a more subtle look and lots of sequins and pearls for something extravagant,” he concludes.

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