Setting the Scene with Karan Khatri

words by dechen

It wasn’t always about the trendiest apparels for streetwear enthusiast Karan Khatri, but he never looked back once after lacing up his first pair of Adidas NMD R1s. The pair, known as the lightweight classic to many sneaker buffs, bore Japanese prints and opened the floodgates to a then-unassuming Karan’s newfangled appreciation for the street scene.

Based in India, Karan notes that the hype culture seems to be at a burgeoning stage across the nation, with Asian brands such as Bape, Yeti Out and India-hailing Strey and Biskit taking the region by storm over the recent years. As with Karan’s introduction to the subculture fashion scene, he tells us that the sneaker community in India stands out in prominence as compared to the various other mainstays in street. “People have started understanding the value of streetwear as it really gives you a chance to play around and create your own style,” he elaborates.

Besides taking to Instagram to flaunt his fits, Karan uploads on his YouTube channel regularly, amassing over 1.5 million in total views, over flashy vlogs that showcase his upbeat personality and lifestyle, set to infectious beats, and unboxings of up-to-the-minute footwear—from which he highlights the Nike Air Yeezy 2 as the favourite of his extensive collection, found in a rare size 7. Acquired more recently through a lucky entry on a raffle, he considers his Air Dior Lows one of his golden prized possessions. “I got them on retail by winning the raffle with one single entry which made me feel really really lucky.”

As we witness India enter the depths of subculture, it is people like Karan Khatri who will be leading the charge of hype appreciation at its height. Placing his faith in the evolution and expansion of the community, Karan has his sights on local growth to ultimately generate interest from his domestic scene. “I would love to see more and more local street labels pop up and get really popular amongst the youth so they don’t have to resort to the highly limited options when it comes to daily wear. Apart from this, I would also love to see Nike up their priorities for India as the demand is only going upwards.”