Gucci’s centennial is an iconic moment that brings together nostalgic appreciation for the rich heritage and the joy of a new beginning. It’s only fitting then that this celebratory moment be catalysed by the spirit of inspiration from a unique mix of women role models—all high achievers in their own right. They own their identity; fashion is purely a progression of that expression, which explains why Gucci is their go-to. Path breaking, passionate, bold—and that’s just where the overlap begins. Following our conversations with Roohi Jaikishan and Rana Ayyub, we now have Samyukta Nair.
A true multi-hyphenate, Samyukta’s entrepreneurial journey thus far has been a continuum of enviable milestones, including two incredibly successful restaurants in London and a much-loved sleepwear label. Samyukta who divides her time between Mumbai and London, takes pride in the fact that her businesses tap into different facets of her personality—Bombay Bustle and Jamavar draw from her intimate knowledge of the hospitality industry gained through years of experience at The Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts, while Dandelion brings out her affinity for design. Samyukta tells us more about what keeps her on her toes:
ELLE: Describe your personal style
Samyukta Nair (SN): I would define it as classic with a dash of whimsy. In my wardrobe, you will find a mix of muted and bold colours, solids and prints, almost always paired with something dramatic. One of my most prized possessions is a vintage aqua green Gucci crocodile skin bag that my grandfather bought for my grandmother as a present. It was passed down to me when I turned thirteen and I still have it.
ELLE: You’re at the helm of businesses that occupy diverse spaces. How did that come to be?
SN: All my ventures flow from the same creative juices, they simply take on different avatars over time. When I was younger, I had the opportunity to live between Mumbai and New York. The experience taught me that boundaries are as fluid as you want them to be, especially when it comes to work. I grew up with wonderful influences including both my parents with whom I’ve had the privilege of working closely. Dandelion happened because I wanted to create something to call my own. You cannot simply stand as tall as your father’s shadow and this was a great turning point. The restaurants in London followed and I would never trade that trajectory because I draw from those strengths every single day.
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ELLE: According to you, what is the key to being a successful businesswoman?
SN: My grandfather once told me, “If you don’t stand for something, you’re going to fall for everything.” Setting these non-negotiables is really key because they define everything. Entrepreneurship is heartbreak on a daily basis. You will keep having to go back to the drawing board and if you remember why you started, it will keep you grounded.
Styling: Zoha Castellino, Photograph: Rowben Lantion, Hair & Makeup: Luke And Lisa, Assisted By: Siddhi Dolas and Deepakshi Singh (For Styling)
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