Designer Geethika Kanumilli. (DC File Image)
Her artistic vision is not impeded by her impaired vision in one eye. This impairment, induced by antiphospholipid syndrome, has only served to feed her incredible strength. Geethika Kanumilli, a 29-year-old fashion designer with no
business or fashion background and no degree, has successfully founded her own label.
DREAMS COME TRUE
Geethika had dreams like every other child. "Since my early years, I had a deep fascination with clothing and an innate desire to pursue a career that involved it," says the designer, who was diagnosed with Anti-phospholipid Syndrome before she could take the entrance exam for one of the country’s most
prestigious fashion Institutes.
As a result, one of her eyes became blind. But this did not deter Geethika from pursuing her aspirations. "I am my biggest cheerleader and this quality of mine gives strength to my parents and that makes me happy!," Geethika says with a smile.
THE UNWAVERING RESOLVE
Her resolve to become a fashion designer was unwavering. "I took the entrance
exam after a year off and was accepted into the Fashion Design college in
Hyderabad. During my second year of college, however, the same health
problem reappeared and began to damage my remaining working eye,
particularly during stitching sessions.
I felt helpless, and dropping out of college in the middle of my second year was a major setback. I faced comments and criticism, but I chose not to tell most of my relatives and friends about my health problems. I was certain that explanations were unnecessary because people would comprehend when the time came."
After taking a year off, she decided to launch her own fashion company as a
designer in 2015. The mother-daughter team scoured fabric stores, designer stores, and boutiques in search of artists and locations to open a business. And that was only the beginning of her difficulties. "What other option did I have? I simply had to go for it. Some people feel it comes from getting a degree, reading books, or working. Learning meant taking action for me. I adopted the mindset of doing something and being willing to make minor mistakes, allowing the situation to teach me," says the designer, whose designs have been admired by Kiara Advani, Madhuri Dixit, Lavanya Tripathi, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Trisha Krishnan, Keerthy Suresh, PV Sindhu, and Allu Arjun.
VISION FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Geethika’s customer base grew to 12 nations and 45 cities after three years of
persistent hard work. "When I begin designing a dress for a client, I approach it with the intense thought, ‘This person must look their best wherever they go’. This approach motivates me to produce the most original work possible," says the Hyderabad-based couturier, who specialises in fabric waste management.
Her collections capture timeless sentiments with organic shapes, flowing fabrics, and unique designs, creating an ambiance that communicates volumes via touch and texture. "I’m all about making our label eco-friendly, going zero waste — we’ve come up with some interesting techniques to ditch those synthetic fabrics. I aim to incorporate natural fabrics into occasion wear and educate people about it,’’ says Geethika.
Lots and lots of fabric waste is deposited, resulting in massive landfills, and the majority of this garbage is nonbiodegradable. Geethika began looking for sustainable ways to craft her sculptures in order to contribute to this cause.
She discovered Bemberg fabric to be an excellent substitute for non-biodegradable textiles. "Our latest collection, Wilderness, embraces a wide range of emotions, paying tribute to the vibrant essence of Mother Earth and its profound connection to human feelings. It captures timeless sentiments through organic shapes, flowing fabrics, and unconventional designs, creating an atmosphere that speaks volumes through touch and texture."