Label On The Rise: No Grey Area

by | July 15, 2022, 18:26 IST


Arnav Malhotra’s design is a disruptive mix of classic Indian craftsmanship and cool contemporary streetwear. And the new generation is digging it.

I believe our generation cares more about comfort and feeling like we’re in our skin than it does about formality,” says 25-year-old Arnav Malhotra, founder and creative director of No Grey Area, the buzzy athleisure label merging street style aesthetics with luxury. Its just-released third capsule collection or ‘drop’ Agniapaas features streetwear’s signature styles but rejigs them with a slant of Indianness that extends beyond just its name. There are trench coats inspired by the quintessential sherwani, jackets that borrow Mandarin collars made famous in Nehru jackets, and joggers that draw from the draping that is often a mainstay in men’s dhotis. Even T-shirts and shirts feature artwork depicting motifs inspired by Indian mythology – namely the agni (fire) and apaas (water) elements that inspired the collection – made using kantha and zardozi embroidery. This intersection of extreme perspectives is what makes the label special to and much loved by the new-age Indians who are embracing oversized silhouettes and comfortable clothing.


No Grey Area defines itself as an exploration of a multicultural young Indian generation with gender-fluid sartorial identities


Arnav credits the rise of athleisure to the transition of sneaker culture from a niche subculture to a mainstream phenomenon. “This culture is rampant today,” he states. “Combine it with the trickle-down effect that international and Indian hip hop artistes who dress in sportswear have on their audience, and people are inspired to explore streetwear styles.” But there’s more to athleisure’s ubiquity than just an uptick in the number of artistes endorsing the style. At its core, athleisure is inclusive, promoting styles that are supportive of not just the bodies of the wearers but also their personalities. No Grey Area, too, defines itself as an exploration of a multicultural young Indian generation with gender-fluid sartorial identities. “I believe athleisure is representative of the cultural shift in this generation and its philosophy of dressing and self-expression,” says Arnav. “It’s rebellious and fiercely independent, and that’s what’s attractive about it.” We cannot help but agree.



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