Style … they say is something that is within you. You can’t adopt it or fake it! What started in Ahmadabad as a hobby twelve years ago has become a passion for Nikita…and hardly did she know this passion would get so fascinating!In an exclusive interview with Nagpur Today, Nikita Mhaisalkar spoke of her tryst with fashion designing.
She calls the cloth she is working on as her canvas, on which she brings out the artist in her and creates fine pieces of art. Be it a couture-piece or the prêt-line, one session with Nikita and you will go home satisfied with just the right attire that is just made for you with all the love and compassion!
All she will require in the session is to know you and your requirementand exactly on the promised date you can take the best she can that especially made for you. These are customized attire, not the regular stuff that one can pick up at any mall or store.
While following the latest trends, she herself is deep rooted in Indian Culture, supports and uses Hand crafted material. She has been doing her material procurement from various cities of India as well as Gondia-that’s famous for the Tussar Silk. However, she has picked up this novel, soft, beautiful material that breaths (most appropriate for Nagpur weather) round the year…as one of her favorite texture to work with. The rich texture of this material in wonderful flamboyant array of colours gives the attire a regal feel…and according to Nikita it’sa luxurious fabric to work with!
Nikita got to know about the beauty of this material through one of the many charity works of Varsha Patel,Nikita’s aunt and wife of RajyaSabha Member Praful Patel. Nikita has since joined the club and makes her material procurement from these Handlooms instead of the material from Power-looms.The use of this rich heritage fabric, with a touch of glamour that Nikita infuses in makes this fabric truly desirable and sensuous.
However, Nikita dabbles in all kinds of material, be it chiffon, georgette, satin, silk,you name it and she has used it and used it really well.
She gets all the material used in her creations from various places, but the final product is processed and made only at her factory…no outsourcing of ready to use materials for this designer! Be it the use of original certified Swaroski,Pure copper sequins, golden threads, pure zari, intricately carved stones etc. all is done under the guidance of the designer.
Huge number of fresh fashion graduates doing internships with Nikita Mhaisalkar are proud to have work experience with her…and Nikita loves to train them and get the best out of these young budding fashionistas!
“I love it when they call me Fashion Guru! Takes me to the top of this world!”…laughs Nikita.
Nikita’s benevolent side
On a lighter vein, she said that she came to this lovely house-hold from her maternal home with 15 highly skilled artisans as a talent treasure all the way from Ahmedabad!They have now settled well here in the city. What makes one get drawn to Nikita is her benevolent nature that comes from within her heart naturally and cannot be copied or faked. She said that the number of artisans have since grown in number…and shall keep growing…Amen!
Usually when a person is settled well in the profession.he or she often forgets those people who supported them when they were starting. Once they flourish, they abandon them! Typical Gujarati at heart that she is, benevolence comes naturally to her. She has plans to make household where all her trained and old artisans can live comfortably together. She wants to take care of them, share their problems and support them as her team as far as possible. Rare indeed in today’s world!!
These highly skilled and trained artisans work on the Khats (wooden block where the material is stretched and tightly attached) for months together to bring out that perfect wedding attire!She sketches the designs, does a group discussion with the kaarigars,takes their inputs…and then the final construction of the garment starts…Nikita weaves the dream of a bride with a passion and a desire to bring the best out of the bride on her special day!
Nikita’s forte is Indian couture and bridal wear…she has loyalists form Hyderabad,Mumbai,Pune, Raipur and,Bangalore who trust her blindly when it comes to their special occasions and when its time for them to look their best! Brides go by Nikita’s word deciding on their trousseau and styling…Nikita is not only helping out the girls with their clothes…she is also providing designer, luxurious solution for footwear!
Its just under one roof that one can have the best designer footwear brands of the country like Trishuli, Rinaldi, Crimzon and Coral! So it’s a one stop luxury shopping for all you fashionistas! Nikita hand picks the footwear and costume jewelry for her store and her taste is Numero-Uno! So the client gets the best of fashion at her swish designer studio…that oozes warmth and compassion towards her clientele.
Not to miss at her studio is the green tea and coffee…that Nikita loves to serve to her glamorous guests!! The soothing music at her studio…relaxes and mind and gets the beautiful,creative side of the guests in action!!
Though most of her work is unique and customized, some of her creations have been a part of the esteem stores across the country.
To name a few stores who have host attire designed by her:
- 85 Lansdowne in Kolkata
- Anahita & Ilahi in Hyderabad
- Casamiya in Raipur
- Aparajita in Ahmedabad &
- Avakasa in Ahmedabad.
- AZA in Mumbai
Her clientele is limited, chosen and the elite of the city.She designs exclusively for these clients and tries not to repeat or duplicate the designs as Nagpur is comparatively a small society. Though sometimes she feels there comes a point of saturation in the style of a designer…and finally all her creations shall have a touch of her style! She puts her heart, mind and soul in creating what is best suited and liked by the client. These clients prefer Nikita Mhaisalkar over several other designers because they have tested her style and passion for excellence and she has proved in more than one way and in more than one occasion that she can be trusted to deliver what they want and exactly when they want.
While elaborating on the change in trend among the citizens of Nagpur, she said that the style quotient has evolved in the city! The people of Nagpur have not only been very open to her styles, but they have also accepted her as a designer, for which she thanks the city wholeheartedly. She says without them she wouldn’t have been where she is today.
Nikita is the sole authorized retailer for Fitflops (UK based brand) in Central India.
She has worked hard to set up this brand in the city. Fitflops is the only Luxury comfort brand for footwear in the world. The Company has open handedly extended all the support and help to this young entrepreneur to set the brand. Nikita holds a pride to have this International brand as a part of her store.
While elaborating about this foot-wear, she said that this is one foot-wear which any woman of any age would love because of its sheer comfort that it offers. A special air-suction system that is provided under the heel ensures that the wearer will never slip in any watery or slippery surface.
Nikita has handpicked some exclusive lifestyle products like Hand Painted Steel Canisters, Jugs,Mugs exclusive Hand-made Candles, and Home Linen. All these products are from her close friends in various lines of designing. These products offer great options for gifting on special occasions. They also add style and élanto your own house!
Her advice to the fashion conscious youngsters of the city
Nikita says, “Don’t be a slave to fashion! Fashion is meant to bring excitement and fun into your life, so enjoy it and don’t stress over it!! Never ever give up your own style to mere ape the celebrities!! So don’t follow the Fashion…let it flow in your persona as if it’s your own style”.
Family: The support system of this girl’s life
Nikita vehemently said that it is only because of her Mother-In-Law Dr. Rekha Mhaisalkar, that she is able to sit with us and chat at ease!
She has no worry about her two sons since she knows that Yuvraj and Indraneil (her sons) are being taken care of by their grandma back home!
Nikita has been among those fortunate girls, who has enjoys a strong support system at home that lets her live her professional dreams as well. “I can’t thank my Mom and Papa in so many words for all that they have been doing for me, for being there for me and supporting me in all my endeavors. It is because of them that I am what I am today professionally”!
While speaking of her husband Dushyant, She said that he is the love of her life and is her soul mate in true sense. “He is also my best pal!” adds Nikita
He is the one who motivated her to start this venture and had all the faith in her creativity. In spite of his busy schedule with extensive travelling this young man who is into Investments and Advisory Services, He supports and helps Nikita in whatever way he can. He believes in her and feels sky is the limit for Nikita.Nikita’s life revolves around the 3 men in her life! Her small little family means the world to her! This is how Nikita sums up the talk with us- “My life is complete, God has been kind, He has given me dreams to follow and I shall follow them, enjoy them and live them with in style!”What else can Nikita ask for!
Highly educated designer who is an excellent chef too!
Nikita is not just a Designer;she holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management with specialization in Entrepreneurship from EDI- Ahmadabad. She has acquired many short term and extensive diplomas and degrees in fashion designing, Garment technology and Human resources too.She feels her managerial skills acquired from EDI have always worked as a strong tool for the smooth operations of her venture.Her father back in Gujarat is into Cultivation,Processing and exports of Chicory. She intends to contribute her creative skills to her young brother in his new business ventures.So coming from a business background this girl always knew what she wanted and how to have it!
One aspect of the multi-faceted Nikita which many do not know is her delicious mouth-watering food that she can conjure. She cooks some delicacies with finesse. Anyone tasting food made by her will definitely come back for more!! Friends often want to be treated with her Saojee chicken and Moongdaal Halva!
Cooking being her ultimate passion, Nikita aspires to have her own restaurant some day! But that shall be her way! Serving with her inherited creativity and Style…!
As told to Samuel Gunasekharan