Kanishka is one of Tashkent’s popular pioneering clothing brands. Since 2001, these locally-sourced and made accessories and garments have been catering to the self-expressions needs of fashionable youth, creatives, and those who want to support local production. Dedicated to natural and local materials such as cotton fabrics, leather, and pelts (typically sheep), their entire production cycle from raw material to finished item is completely in-house. The company employs more than 100 people in the production process, and no two items are identical. The cuts are updated once in a while, but the materials and prints change constantly – meaning you can often see the same item with two or three different looks!
One of my favorite bags from Kanishka is an eggplant-colored, paisley-stamped, leather tote with a miniature printed on leather applique. The brand has many more bags of all sizes and shapes. Their clothing line features comfy oversize dresses, men’s underwear, Uzbekistan-made jeans, rows upon rows of fun t-shirts, pelt winter coats, and a lot of smaller accessories.
One of the features that made Kanishka successful is the marriage of Uzbek and Central Asian ethnic motifs with utilitarian product forms. They also dip into rock’n’roll, popular culture, aesthetic movements like steampunk, art, and history. The nostalgia evoked by these designs is favored by both local Tashkenters and foreign guests. I always enjoy the tongue-in-cheek t-shirts sold by this brand, and the soft, light cotton is a big bonus for the local weather.
Kanishka has two large stores, inspired by Socialist Modernist architecture.