Anu Raina’s SS14 collection, Hugs & Kisses, is reminiscent of childish delights. Printed on the Toronto based designer’s collection, including her signature silk scarves, are images of colorful shoes, donuts, and other sweet treats. Mother of two, Raina was inspired by her children, Zuv and Shirin, and wanted to capture the innocent and lively nature of childhood. “Watching my daughter parade around the house in my shoes pretending to be Mommy’s next model, my son’s love for donuts, and the little random things that we enjoy doing together inspired this collection,” Raina said. “When I surprised them with the first hard copy of my lookbook, the smiles on their faces was priceless. I got many more ‘Hugs & Kisses.’”
“I generally don’t follow trends,” Raina said, “but I did love the return of 90’s grunge look.” The vibe was evident in the Hugs and Kisses collection with the silhouettes exuding a 90’s air. Filled with babydoll dresses and loose fits, Raina gives a nod to the decade that was filled with playful experimentation.
Launching her eponymous line in 2010, Raina knew from a young age fashion was a passion of hers. “I knew it as a kid in my heart,” she said. “Playing with colors and making outfits for my dolls gave me immense happiness, but being born in a laid back place like Kashmir, I didn’t know this could actually could be a career.”
Raina’s Indian heritage is evident in her pieces with splashes of color blending together. The designer said, “India is a country of mythologies and color. I guess that’s where the storytelling and playing with color parts comes from. Someday I would love to make a collection inspired by the Indian festival of colors called Holi.”
Raina juggles motherhood and a career, and with Toronto Fashion Week on the horizon, her schedule proves busier than ever. “Right now I’m in the process of negotiating a show date with IMG and fingers crossed if everything works out, I will be showing at Toronto Fashion Week in March 2014. My schedules are always insane especially being a designer, mother, and wife, but I couldn’t live without being either.”
Anu Raina and her designs have been featured in The Globe and Mail, CTV, National Post, and many other publications. Celebrated for her creative work, the future holds many opportunities for Anu Raina. A personal goal for Raina in the future is to have her own store. “I hope to have my own flagship store in next five years,” Raina said.