Pursuit of Innovation: Nachiket Barve
Amaira Chhabria 13 Nov 2015 DESIGNERS 

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It’s the success story that every brand dreams of. Commercial yet delicate and intricate with a strong story to tell behind it, Nachiket Barve's apparels can be worn straight off the runway. Making quite an impact through his contemporary yet global line, Nachiket has also won several accolades. For instance the ‘Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the year’ in the year 2010 and very recently a nomination for the prestigious –International Woolmark Prize.

With eyes on the skies and a “positive” approach towards life, Nachiket is a Mumbai based zealous entrepreneur who has become a major player in the fashion stakes. Having achieved so much, this creator of his eponymous label answers a few quick questions:

 1. Whilst growing up, what sparked your interest in fashion?

Being a Commerce graduate, I was keenly interested in how fashion transformed individuals. And nature, wildlife, textiles, colors & patterns to name a few have always intrigued me. These two areas; aesthetics and function led me to forging a career in this industry.

 2. Post education, what inspired you to set up your own label?

With my individualistic & opinionated point of view on fashion I wanted to express myself through my profession. Setting up my own label meant freedom to do just that! I also felt there was a gap in the market for the kind of garments I wanted to create.

 3. How do you feel your heritage influences your design sensibilities? 

My heritage of being Indian is a large part of my work as I love reinterpreting Indian fabrics, techniques and elements of design. It feels like perfume in air which I can sense but not directly see.

4. What kind of woman buys your label?

It is difficult to narrow it down to a certain kind of women as our product offering is quite diverse. There is a well travelled, evolved woman who loves textiles as well as stories, who shops our shibori pieces and textured line. Then, there is another woman who loves non-fussy, glamorous pieces that are apt for a party or a beach wedding. And, another who appreciates lightweight, chic Indianwear and buys our Indian line! But these all overlap and could be the same woman buying for various occasions! My youngest customer is 2 years old and the oldest is 77 years old and make clothes from a XXS to a 6XL size. It would be safe to say as a brand we are a progressive, versatile and inclusive.

5. Describe your techniques and moodboard for the current season?

The Autumn/Winter 15/16 Collection is called “CHIAROSCURO”. Inspired by the use of light and shadow in art, photography and painting, the surfaces and motifs have been influenced by Gothic Architecture, Medieval armour, Black Roses and Hitchcockian birds. Here, my techniques have a mix of cutwork, applique, zardosi and pleating which are re-imagined for the global consumer.

6. You have a playful attitude to shapes in your line. Is this becoming a signature look for your label?

Well, I don’t overthink anything. My functional and timeless clothes should make women feel good. I look at the surfaces as canvases for expression but my shapes are streamlined and wearable. It is more like demi-couture; wherein the surfaces and finish is Couture however my collection can be bought off the rack!

7. Your thoughts on future of Indian fashion…

All I have to say is that it is an exciting time to be an Indian Designer. Simultaneously the current scenario is reminiscent of a churning whirlpool that will take a while to settle!

 8. Where to from here?

Having faith in the process, I am taking one day at a time and enjoying the journey.

 9. Tell us about your support for emerging designers and your role at Lakme Fashion Week?

I commenced with the Gen Next show at LFW which was a marvelous platform to showcase my work. And believe that thought provoking ideas must be encouraged. It is essential for young labels to receive mentorship and nurturing. I sincerely advice budding designers to focus on designing collections that define them, pay attention to product quality and lastly look into the smallest of details.

 10. Here are a couple of quick questions

            -'Me' time… is carved out painstakingly and involves photography, wildlife safaris, walking on the beach with my dog, cooking, reading and movies!

            - Lines to live by… Keep walking… This too shall pass!

            - To me family bonding is… Involves a trip or just sitting around together in the living room or maybe an intense discussion… they are my backbone!

            - My getaway… the beach and forests! I am the happiest surrounded by nature and find it therapeutic.

            - I dream… intensely!