Fashion Designer Of The Week: Introducing The Talented Kavya Prakhyati

Kavya Prakhyati is a 27-year-old Boston-based designer focused on creating sustainable fashion rooted in femininity and romance. She draws inspiration from couture techniques, renaissance paintings, 90s movies, and her Indian heritage.

Kavya graduated with a certificate from the school of fashion design in 2019 and apprenticed for Daniel Faucher Couture, learning the craft of tailored, custom-made garments. Some of her garments have appeared on independent magazine covers, and a collection of her garments were featured in Boston Fashion Week.

Her handmade-to-order garment addresses and empowers different body types and design needs through the use of traditional sewing techniques. She believes that her customers should buy her pieces because they truly speak to them. It just so happens that she encourages sustainable production and empowers everyone along the way.

Sassy & Co magazine recently caught up with Kavya to discuss her journey in the fashion industry and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the fashion industry?

I started off studying marketing and worked as a market analyst. I wanted to pursue a career in fashion, and I was always drawn to it ever since school. For many reasons, I chose to play safe with my career choice until I realised it wasn’t for me and decided to do what I always wanted. I went back to school to study Fashion Design, which really helped me develop my technical skills. I have been doing this for five years now (I did internships with very talented and established designers in Boston and got my first job as a technical designer in New York) and have never looked back.

What do you like most about being a designer?

Seeing the ideas come to life! I spend a lot of time drafting patterns/draping, manipulating fabric, sewing the garment using intricate details, and then finally seeing it on my clients or models is a total dream come true, especially when they notice the little details and tell you how they feel in the dress.

Meeting other creatives in the industry is another thing I love. I’m always meeting new people (online & in-person), and listening to different perspectives and ideas is always refreshing!

Downside to being a fashion designer?

Someone commented on my TikTok saying, “how does it feel to live my dream?” and I wanted to respond by listing several reasons why the fashion industry is difficult. Still, the truth is that although many downsides exist, they can all be overcome with workable solutions. That being said, the fashion industry is very demanding, both financially and time-wise. Another downside is that the fashion industry is so saturated that it’s hard to stand out, so you have to work really hard to differentiate yourself and be seen. Made-to-order designers, in particular, have trouble finding success in this ‘fast-paced, inexpensive clothing’ environment because their goods don’t have a quick turnaround time and are expensive. Thankfully, the situation is one of the most talked-about topics at the moment, so it’s easier to educate consumers about the trade-off and true cost.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the fashion industry so far?

I would have to say that one of my most (recent) memorable experiences was having Dodie (a British singer-songwriter) perform in one of my garments. A true pinch-me moment! Her initiative to support independent designers is very thoughtful. Kudos to her and her team!

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I’ve had an incredible opportunity to meet so many models, photographers, teachers, and other designers in the industry! (All the pictures you see are works of these incredible artists, you will find them tagged in my Instagram account.) They truly changed my perspective on competition. For me, now, it is all about supporting each other and uplifting each other as a community because I truly understand what it takes. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet some of these creatives; they are all very interesting with unique personalities and backgrounds.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the fashion industry. This can be about the industry or about yourself.

#1. Quality>>>Quantity and #2. I don’t have to be a genius protege with an exuberant personality to convince people to like what I make. Just take some challenges, don’t downplay accomplishments, get hands-on experience, and invest in skill and practice. Who would have thought? Not me!

Is your family supportive of you being a fashion designer?

I am very grateful that my family and friends are always there for me and encourage me to follow my dreams. They’ve been very supportive of my new venture.

If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?

Cliche, but I can’t say I’d do anything differently because I would definitely have valued the opportunity to learn from my mistakes more. If I could go back, I’d take some financial, sewing, and confidence tips and a few self-help books with me.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Do your best, and watch your best get better.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I am excited about my future plans! Right now, my plan is to continue working with my current company for the foreseeable future. I’m working on launching my brand ‘Aeris’ late this year or early next year, where I take custom orders and also launch mini collections twice a year which are also customisable and made-to-order. Follow me on my Instagram @kavyaprakhyati to order, see my pieces in action, or just follow along my journey. I am also very keen on learning 3D software (like clo3d and browzwear). I’m curious, could this be the answer to all my sustainable custom fashion business problems?

Photo credits: Lena Nugent, Sasha Iman, Anna Istomina, and Siobhan Beasley.