Karuna & Shradha Khaitan
Wild Orchid is the brainchild of Karuna Khaitan The last isolated farmhouse in the avenue serenely tucked away in a remote suburb on the outskirts of Delhi, is the warm cocoon from which the demure Karuna Khaitan operates. She exudes a certain aura: gentle yet awe-inspiring. Khaitan remembers her very first exhibition, at Park Hotel, Calcutta in 1985. Not having included any overheads, they had priced their outfits so low, that everything was sold out even before the morning was over. And they had to cope with crowds of disappointed buyers for the rest of the day. She had begun creating salwar kurtas, only the year before and because of their initial apprehension decided to do it on a small scale. Prior to this, she recalls how she would scout the nook and corners of the city for buttons, threads and whatever else to create affordable-but-one- of -their-kind sets for herself and her friends. She keeps in mind, the wearer and her lifestyle when she designs her clothes. The idea, she says stems from the fabric. "The fabric tells you what it is to be made into." This is where her enterprising daughter, Shradha, stepped in. Khaitan had packed Shradha off to the London School of Fashion Studies in 1994 and after the return of the prodigal daughter; the duo launched their western wear line.
Wild Orchid caters to women above the age of 25 in the high income group. Today Wild Orchid is present in most up-market boutiques in India. Their product kitty ranges from western wear (camisoles, pants, jackets, shirts, tops, skirts, coats, and evening gowns), ethnic wear and a fusion line (knitwear suits, etc...).