The Hot Designer Who Hates Fashion: VK Nagrani Triumphs His Own Way
There’s nothing better than seeing your name in the press. Scratch that, only when it’s good coverage. Recently, our founder, VK Nagrani, was featured in a piece in the Daily Beast entitled, “The Hot Designer Who Hates Fashion: VK Nagrani Triumphs His Own Way.” While he’s a modest guy, we loved it. The piece goes into a few of VK’s more unique approach points to the fashion industry, an area that we’ve always been somewhat of an outlier participating in. That being said, we love that there are plenty of ways to approach clothing in new and interesting ways, rather than following the big box retail model that capitalizes on mass production and watered down style. At VK Nagrani, we like to think of ourselves as curators of fine clothing for our customers. Because your clothing should be part of your lifestyle, not just something that you absent mindedly pick up at the store. There is a certain pride that comes with being well dressed, and that feeling and that integrity is something that we seek to facilitate and deliver with every piece we make.
Here are a few of the interesting parts that they included in the piece:
On The Lodge: Our Headquarters for Everything Civilized
“VK Nagrani applies a modern twist to traditional menswear and this is exemplified by his studio ‘The Lodge’, a townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that he dubs an “exercise in civilized living.” Nagrani adores Batman, and The Lodge resembles a batcave inhabited by Bruce Wayne’s elder brother were he to forego fighting crime and showcase sartorial collections and cultural artefacts from the past.”
“The visitor to The Lodge is greeted by the sight of antique 19th century library card catalogs from Harvard, which house the company’s hosiery, and wooden columns from a century-old New Jersey prison. There’s a framed display of Nagrani’s father-in-law’s credit cards from the 1960s and a vintage pinball machine but there’s also a whisky bar, a DJ booth, and a viewing balcony.”
On His Celebrity Fans
“He’s never been one to court publicity relying on word-of-mouth and referrals but during my time at The Lodge, I heard that Mark Zuckerberg buys his black cotton hoodies and that The Mark Hotel, located a few stone’s away from The Lodge, is gifting Anna Wintour one of his $3,200 pashmina robes for next year’s Met Ball. Nagrani started out selling socks with designs ranging from a shirt on Magnum, P.I. to Winston Churchill. He derived enormous satisfaction from some customers choosing to base the rest of their wardrobe around his socks.”
“One early customer was President George H. W. Bush: “He’s a huge fan. Just over ten years ago he got a couple of pairs for Christmas. He was so impressed by the socks that he invited me through my client to come and visit him. I got a chance to see this man in his office and present him with these socks. I took all these conservative socks and a handful of wild ones. He grabbed all the wild ones.” He visited President Bush in Houston earlier this year.”
On His Place in the Fashion Industry
“Nagrani’s success over the counter has been achieved under the radar: ‘I expected that years later after all of this they would trust me but that didn’t happen,’ he says of the fashion
community. ‘I can’t depend on them for my own destiny. I have to go out there and I’ll recalibrate everything, reassess what I’m doing and then change it.’”
“I’m on the front porch and I’m never allowed through the front door because I don’t fit in. They’ve had to accept me because my product sells and the consumer demands it but they don’t really want to accept it. Those on the porch having a cigarette may get to know me. People in the industry inside the party will never know who I am because I’m never walking through the front door.”
There’s nobody quite like VK Nagrani elsewhere in the fashion world. He’s the source of our commitment to quality and timeless style. With that guiding ethos, we look forward to serving our customers well into the future with fine men’s apparel to fit a gentleman’s lifestyle.
Read more @ The Daily Beast