Interview: Puja Mapxencar - Fashion Designer & Founder of the label 'Kandida'


Puja Mapxencar is Fashion Designer and Founder of the label Kandida. Her passion and love for innovation has been instrumental in ensuring that Kandida becomes a name to reckon with across the country. This 23 year old is driven, always on the go & is ready to explore new avenues.

Puja the young entrepreneur has always had an eye for detail. She has been able to understand the lifestyle of her target audience and thus come up with Kandida. A dreamer, a believer Puja's inclination to create and reinvent, has pushed her to become a successful designer. Versatile, independent and an ethnic lover are some words that describe Puja.

Puja Maxpencar

Puja was always been passionate about Indian Ethnic wear but felt that there is a need for something fresh & aesthetic. Puja began her journey playing with fabrics sourced from organic roots paired with handmade digital funky prints. Puja wanted to create experiences, rather than just outfits.

Puja recently participated and showcased her creative creation in Bangalore Fashion Week 2016.

Puja Mapxencar in an interview with Suman Prasad spoke in length about her experience as a designer at Bangalore Fashion Week, the details and concept behind her label 'Kandida', on BFW as a platform for young designers, the concept and inspiration behind the collection theme 'Escape-O-Nature' and other interesting details.

Excerpts from the interview:

On Bangalore Fashion Week Experience

Bangalore fashion week is one of the best and oldest shows in India and being selected for this season was a great honour and of course a huge opportunity for my career. After registering with online forms the selection begun with sketches along with details of the collection and it took approx. a month to hear this good news from the dream merchants. As we had to present our products for the first time pan we had tough pressure to create the best to prove my brands talent. As days went by things became easier and we finally achieved making 22 garments for our collection “Escape-O-Nature”.

I remember the first day of fittings, I was completely blank on what exactly happens but due to the organisers and choreographer things became very simple and easy. The priceless moment is when I saw my VIP pass and my ID card as Puja Mapxencar “Designer” and not any assistant designer that we used to do in college days.

On Day 2 we displayed our latest collection for sale at the BFW Store at a very competitive prices then the other designers. As the dates went on a speedy note, the day finally came. 6th august 2016 is a day which will be be special than my birthday because this is the first fashion show that made me feel more special than any other day. It felt like a new designer in me was born.    

Taking up Fashion Designing as a Career

I wasn’t good in studies but I was getting inclined towards art and creativity during my school days and watching fashion shows on FTV which looked so glamorous  was totally a catcher for me. After my schooling I decided to join Carmel higher secondary school for my higher secondary education in  vocational stream for Commercial Garment designing and Marketing. Further, I cleared my NIFT entrance exam and got admission at NIFT Bengaluru for my bachelor degree. NIFT totally transformed me into more professional, practical and confident. As days went by my passion for graphics and indo-western was discovered so I took up this challenge of opening my own label which was my ultimate goal of life.

Details and Concept behind the label 'Kandida'

Kan-Di-Da is a beautiful braid of the three most significant people in my life. My grandmother Kanchan, father Dinesh and grandfather Damodar. Our family lived in Germany for more than three decades and were referred to as “IndischArtzFamille”(The Indian Doctor Family) with respect.

Despite all the German influences, INDIA was the only inspiration for this brand and their lives, the name Kandida was created using the first syllable of their names. Kan(chan) + Di(nesh) + Da(modar) = Kan-Di-Da.

 KANDIDA 'Escape-O-Nature' collection by Puja Maxpencar

Kandida has set out to provide multidimensional cultural and ethnic couture that radiates elegance, fabulousness and funkiness. The designers at Kandida keep in mind the needs of every woman; the student, the working girl, the professional as well as the mother to create pieces for all palates.
Our apparel combine exciting, bold prints, highlighted by embroidery on organic fabrics with experimental silhouettes are designed especially for the contemporary woman. The blend of these elements and the fusion of western & traditional inspirations is what makes our brand one of its kind.

Our collections are brilliant examples of the vibrancy of Indian traditions with spark of modern uniqueness. We Specialize in:

Print: We make prints that are quirky yet desi. We belive in handmade work that radiance the modern style of graphics. Our prints are henceforth digitally handmade that makes us special and diffent from  others.

Embroidery: We use embroidery to give it that extra sprinkle of life to push our art out of its two dimensions to three.

Experimental Silhouettes: When we say our clothes set you free, we’re not only referring to our prints and fabric but our styles and fits too. Our cuts guarantee comfort without compromising on style.

Bangalore Fashion Week as a platform for young designers

Every Designer dreams to have a fashion show of their own label. The feeling of being a part of BFW is not just an opportunity for any budding designer but it’s a priceless moment for a young creative professional professionally and emotionally too . The platform gives us to showcase creativity to fashion, media, public and film industry which allows the designer to get connected with a bigger audience and the confidence to show your unique talent.

Complete details and Inspiration behind the theme ‘Escape-O-Nature’
The theme “Escape-O-Nature,” consists of funky Indo-western kurtas inspired by the colorful and playful side of Nature. Peppy vibrant birds and animal prints with a quirky, experimental ready-to-wear sensibility describes the look of her collection.

 Models showcasing 'Escape-O-Nature' collection by Puja Maxpencar

Adopting the #MakeInIndia philosophy, KANDIDA makes use of a combination of cotton and silk to ring in a festive feel, while keeping the focus on comfortable, vibrant fabrics for this season.

The theme Escape-O-Nature is inspired by a thought of leaving behind your world to explore oneself and your inner thoughts of life in the lap of Nature. The different animals, birds, sea animals, insects who enjoy freedom in Nature have their own colors of life. This is the whole essence of learning and attaining `nirvana', finding peace and serenity only through God’s best gift to human kind, Mother Nature.

 'Escape-O-Nature' collection by Puja Maxpencar

On fellow designers at the Bangalore Fashion Week

I was amazed to see so much talent and very unique creative ideas in every designer’s eyes. While watching few shows of BFW's designers I could not stop appreciating everyone’s efforts  taken to make each show a memorable one.

On choosing Shubra Ayyapa as the Show Stopper for Kandida
I believe that she is one of the finest actresses in the industry with full of talent and having her as the face of KANDIDA for Bangalore Fashion Week is just a perfect decision for our label.

 Designer Puja Maxpencar with Show Stopper Shubra Ayyapa

Favourite and inspiring designers

Masaba, Manish Arora & Wendell Rodrigues.

Her dream show

I would prefer in having a international fashion show in order to show the #MakeInIndia Movement and showcase not just my talent but India's talent through my clothing line. 

One celebrity Puja would like to dress

Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhat are my current favourites as fashionistas and If given a chance I would like to work for them.

USP of the brand

I believe that our USP of having handmade digital Indian prints are something very unique which has a new theme every season. Being experimental at very competitive prices will be one of a kind and that’s what makes KANDIDA a perfect retail Designer wear

Message for budding and inspiring fashion designers

Innovation, practicality and sophistication with a perfect price makes a design 100% full proof. All we need to do is to be confident and have the guts to face obstacles in finding innovative ideas.

Future projects

We are planning to participate in more fashion shows across the globe and open franchise of KANDIDA.

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