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Getting candid about fashion

Having spent eight years of her life in Germany, Puja Mapxencar always wanted to come back to her roots in Goa and do something that celebrates Indian culture and tradition. At 23, Puja, alumni of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore, today has her own brand Kandida. NT BUZZ catches up with Puja who recently participated at the Bangalore Fashion Week

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Combining exciting, bold and modern prints, organic fabrics with experimental silhouettes, Puja Mapxencar endeavours to add freshness to Indian ethnics through her designs. In 2015, she founded Kandida which she describes as a braid of the three most significant people in her life; her grandmother Kanchan, father, Dinesh and grandfather, Damodar.

The bubbly and cheerful designer is content with the pace at which she has found acceptance from customers and the various opportunities coming her way. She has just returned from the Bangalore Fashion Week (Winter Festive Collection) where she showcased her ‘Escape-O-Nature’. She was elated that celebrities like Rahul Dev, Daisy Shah and other celebrities were present for her show. The show stopper for her collections was South Indian actress Shubra Aiyappa.

“There are times when you want to find yourself, and that’s when nature is the only answer. With colourful garments and animal prints in artistic manner you can get rid of mind clutter, leave the world behind you to explore inner thoughts in the lap of nature,” says Puja.

Telling us more about the collections she says that the prêt line collection consists of funky Indo-Western kurtas inspired by the colourful and playful side of nature. Here she has made use of a combination of cotton and silk to ring in a festive feel.

Extremely passionate about Indian culture and traditions, Puja always got attracted to ethnic wear and prints. Despite being in Germany for eight years, she didn’t let go of her passion. After coming back to pursue studies in Goa, and finishing her HSSC, specialising in commercial designing and marketing, she managed to get herself a seat at the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology.

Two years after gaining sufficient work experience, today her garments and accessories of her brand Kandida are available at her flagship store in Panaji, besides leading online portals. She says: “I have takers because my prints are digital and modern, thus, making casual wear garments funky yet very ethnic.” Currently specialising in kurtas she soon plans to diversify into a line for men’s clothing too.

The speciality of Kandida is the bio wash leggings which are washed in enzyme making the leggings soft and comfortable. “These are best suited for those who complain of itching and especially for plus size people,” she says.

One aspect you can’t miss at this store is the price. The prices aren’t steep and that’s Puja’s USP. The maximum for a garment is Rs2800. “Everybody has the right to wear good clothes and designer wear. I want people to wear my clothes everyday and enjoy it,” she says. Along with apparel, Puja also designs jewellery in terracotta, polymer clay, sterling and quilled paper.

Puja knows what she wants and is aiming slowly and steadily. She set up her store at the Pop Up bazaar, Taleigao; summer street festival and flea market in Margao. She candidly says that she wants to showcase her collection at the Lakme Fashion Week next year. At the same time she is open to showcasing her collection in Goa. “I am willing to take up anything good that comes my way. I will not let any good opportunity go by.”

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