Interview with Haus of K2
Haus of K2 brings Indian Flair to San Diego Style
Photos by Rikke Photography
Lovely lace meets Indian flair with Haus of K2's signature fashion style. Founded by designer Kunal K Ghose, Haus of K2 offers a myriad of different fashion options, including stunning lace dresses for the modern woman, casual skirts and handmade jewelry, and even eye-popping patterned saris. It's this fusion of east-meets-west styles that Haus of K2 sported on our 5th annual Spring Xposure runway last month, and we at FINE magazine got the opportunity to speak with owner and designer Kunal K Ghose about his fashions, his inspiration, and what Haus of K2 has planned for the future.
Tell me about Haus of K2. When and how did it begin?
Haus of K2 is my childhood passion, and [my] dreams are finally becoming a reality. Growing up in India, I was highly intrigued by my rich culture which simulated a creative passion for me, but as an avid science geek, I was always torn between my passion for fashion and my passion for technology. Fast-forward to 2015, as a system engineer in San Diego, I finally have the ability to pursue both of my passions. I decided to take the plunge and started Haus of K2. I created Haus of K2 to bring in something unique to the fashion industry here in the states. In the past, I met many fashion-forward women, bloggers, and vendors that told me that they are bored with the same redundant dresses and accessories that have become a part of "Fast Fashion," where a different (but almost the same) line [is] produced every month. I created Haus of K2 to bring in an organic fashion line. My goal was to do "east-meets-west," where I bring in designs/constructions from my Indian/Asian heritage and integrate it to western style. My unique dresses and accessories are anything but redundant, and they are bound to turn heads at parties!
How would you describe Haus of K2’s style?
Haus of K2's tagline is "Getting you ready for that special night." As the name suggests, my fashion line is for confident women to get them ready for whatever event they have planned. Whether it's a girls night out on the town, a hot date, a wedding, or even to rock the red carpet at any elegant gala. Haus of K2 style aesthetics is feminine, classic yet modern, [and has] a blend of Asian heritage. My engineering acumen also plays a lot into my fashion design; I bring in unique shapes, forms, and constructions to my styling for my clothes and accessories.
What inspires your designs?
I grew up in foothills of Himalaya with a unique blend of Indian and Tibetan culture. My designs are inspired by both Indian and Tibetan culture which are seamlessly integrated into a western design construct. For example, elephants and peacock are a big part of southeast Asian culture, and you will see interesting use of these motifs in my clothes and accessories.
Living in San Diego for almost a decade has elevated my design awareness too. I am inspired by the ocean and the rich culture that San Diego has to offer.
What materials do you use in your garments? Do you have any favorite fabrics or colors?
I use different variations of fabric ranging from common fabrics like cotton, spandex, and chiffon to exotic fabrics like Indian-Chinese silk, cotton lace, silk-embellished lace, satin, etc.
It is very hard to pick my favorite, but if I had to pick I am a huge fan of lace with satin. You can do amazing design and constructions with these two. My favorite colors are turquoise, teal, and actually almost all shades of blue. I also like red and black - you can never go wrong with red and black! My first complete 2016 spring-summer collection is aptly named "Sirens of Lace," [which] encompasses all of my favorite fabrics and colors in one fashion line.
Do you have any one favorite pieces that you’ve designed?
I like all my designs, and it is hard to choose one favorite piece, but I narrowed it down to two favorite dresses and accessories. My favorite dresses are the turquoise lace long gown and the teal satin lace gown with a blue embellished lace top (both pictured above). The teal satin gown is my unique design; it is a long gown with a long slit, and inside I have a satin short inside. It is a perfect west coast summer wedding dress.
My two favorite accessories are the turquoise beaded bracelet with flower mesh sterling silver and the turquoise pebble necklace with 14K gold-plated starfish with Austrian crystals. The starfish motif pebble necklace is very "San Diego Style!"
What can you tell me about some of the jewelry you offer?
Living in San Diego has given me appreciation for the ocean around us. The ocean is my primary inspiration for my jewelry. I create unique pieces from turquoise and pearl. Most of my jewelry is genuine turquoise and pearl set in 92.5 high quality sterling silver. Jewelry design is all about construction and precise engineering, and this seems to come naturally to me. I am currently working on a new lava rock line; keep an eye at our Haus of K2 website! Also, check out the sale section for fun every day pieces.
You recently showed Haus of K2 at our Spring Xposure fashion show. How did you pick your looks for the show?
First of all, wow! The Spring Xposure was an amazing event, and I want to congratulate FINE magazine for putting on a great show. I was very humbled to be part of the show.
For the fashion show, I selected six looks from my 2016 Sirens of Lace collections. The fashion show is inspired from the amazing transition that happens in the Himalayan Mountains from spring to summer. In spring, the white snow-capped Himalayas melts into a cascading pristine and turquoise river which flows through the barren valley. This beautiful blue river gives life to the valley, and come summer it culminates into a valley filled with beautiful pink flowers. This collection tells the amazing story of transition from barren to life [filled].
What can we expect from Haus of K2 in the future?
I am back to the drawing board and experimenting with different concepts. Right now, I am working on coming up with the new jewelry line with lava rock, along with crystals, pearls, etc. For clothes, the only thing I can say is that I have something big coming up for fall, and it will heavily use silk as the main fabric.
Where do you sell your products?
I primarily sell my clothes and jewlery online at Haus of K2. Currently, I am taking custom orders for all of the dresses in my Sirens of Lace collection. We also are happy to do private home showings and fittings. You [can] invite some friends, and we will bring our products and some wine! We often partner with local charities for their events as well and donate a portion of our proceeds.
I really want to thank FINE magazine, especially Heather, for the grand opportunity to be part of the Spring Xposure 2016, and to everyone else at FINE magazine for welcoming Haus of K2 into FINE magazine's family!