Ace designer Nafisa Rachel William needs no introduction. She is someone who has completely changed traditional wear for us over the year. Her creations are a beautiful amalgam of all things vintage and contemporary.
Nafisa Rachel William made it to HerZindagi's list of women achievers recently and we had a special interaction with her over our Instagram handle. If you missed watching this live chat, you can visit our Instagram handle to watch it. Meanwhile, here we have some excerpts from our conversation.
Turning To Fashion Design
Not many know that designer and stylist Nafisa Rachel William is a literature student - turned journalist - turned couturier. Today, she has her own label but how did it all happen?
"I was always giving out fashion advices to my friends, my family. Everyone randomly came to me to ask anything about fashion, styling, and fabrics. I used to wonder why do they always come to me. Somehow I always knew something or the other." "When I resigned from my job, the last day people asked me if I was interested in fashion and whether I would become a fashion designer. Somehow that thing got into my head and I thought of giving it a shot."
"I took INR 20,000 from my parents, I found some karigars, it all happened. I started with 4 sarees. I shot them in my backyard, back in 2012, my sister shot it with her digicam. It was sold out within 1 day and my father couldn't believe it. I re-invested that money, made 8 sarees, sold them and the rest is history. Now I am making clothes everyday."
Initially, there is a lot of investment that goes in and it can get difficult to manage it all. However, none could stop Nafisa Rachel William from doing what she passionately wanted to. She said, "Obstacles are bound to come, it's always been that. I have never allowed any big or small obstacles to make me have self-doubt. I always knew what I wanted and I am very passionate about how to get it. I am very focussed and don't allow obstacles or negative thoughts to get to me."
Taking Inspiration From The Roots
If you follow Nafisa Rachel William's creations, you know they are somewhere inspired by her roots, Jammu. For those who don't know, Jammu is Nafisa's hometown and has impacted her design aesthetic all these years.
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"Jammu is my home and I find inspiration everywhere. I have always wanted Jammu to be in focus. I feel sometimes Jammu loses its identity between Kashmir and Ladakh. Now things are changing, there is a different outlook to it. Phirans, dogri suits, gota are something I try to inculcate in my work."
On People Lifting Her Content
Plagiarism is quite common in the fashion industry. It happens all the time. Does it really affect the designers? We asked Nafisa Rachel William. She said, "I believe in originality. When they copy you, even they know they are copying you. Some of my outfits have been copies blatantly and being sold at so many different websites. There is so much I have to do that I can't keep worrying about who is doing what. It annoys you but there is too much happening in my life that I need to focus on than people who are busy lifting ideas from other people."
There is a lot of talk around sustainability, reusing clothes, turning sarees into lehengas. As a designer, Nafisa Rachel William thinks that it is a great idea. She said, "When you spend money, you should enjoy wearing it again and again. I totally believe in sustainability. I guess it is great and this thing that one should not repeat their clothes is a complete fashion faux pas."
Dressing Up Dia Mirza For Her Mehendi
Nafisa Rachel William was the mind behind Dia Mirza's gorgeous mehendi look. She wore a bright yellow kurta and sharara set that instantly went viral over social media.
Talking about her outfit, she said, "Dia Mirza is very old school in her style, she wears everything with such beauty. I got to know about it in January and started designing the outfit, keeping Bombay in mind. I got my brief from her team, I was told what she wants, the design, the cut, and the rest was left to me. The peacocks were inspired by Jammu, the phiran cut kurta was from Kashmir. Her outfit had dabka, moti, tilla. It was a lot of things put on the bodice."
Women Ditching Lehengas For D-Day
A lot of brides these days are turning to sarees and ditching the lehengas. Talking about the same, she said, "The fact that intimate weddings have now become a thing, some people are ditching lehengas because sometimes lehengas can be a little overwhelming for a small crowd. People have now become a lot more comfort-oriented."
Nafisa Rachel William has come a really long way. "Just be easy on yourself, if you want to follow your heart, follow it but don't leave any space for escape, whether it's your personal life or professional life. If you want something, go get it because I am a live example of wanting something and getting it," she said.
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