ELLE Closet Confidential: An Insightful Chat With Nitya Arora On Her Style Proclivity

nitya arora

Nitya Arora, founder of Valliyan, embarked on her bespoke jewellery journey at the age of 21. Her curiosity, restlessness, and creative surge had her delving into various design internships since the age of 15, which led her to start her business when she recognised a gap in the market for experimental jewellery pieces.

“I saw a big gap in the market. I had all these creative juices flowing, and I didn’t know where to channel my creativity.”

Valliyan for the Soul

Rooted in her Punjabi heritage, the brand, named Valliyan, boldly celebrates her cultural identity. She emphasises, “My Punjabi roots have to be at the forefront. I was very loud and proud about who I was and where I came from.” The designs, deeply steeped in tradition, speak a modern, global language, ensuring they resonate universally. 

Accessories, according to the designer, breathe life into an outfit, transforming it from 2D to a multidimensional experience. She highlighted, “It makes it very special and unique. It makes you unique.” The versatility of her designs at Valliyan makes her pieces easy to pair with both Indian and Western attire, giving them an enduring charm.

Championing Individuality

The designer’s fashion philosophy revolves around embracing individuality and authenticity. She emphasises the importance of being true to oneself, discouraging constant validation-seeking from others. “You are an individual, a human being. Why don’t you just do what you would do as an individual instead of constantly asking for validation?”


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Kaftans and oversized shirts take centre stage in her offerings, with comfort and flexibility being at the core. “At least I feel like with bags and shoes, you can have staples. With clothes, it’s hard to have a staple, but in silhouette, like co-ord sets or, like, flared bottoms, stretch bottoms.” 

Preserving Heritage

She treasures hand-me-downs, heirlooms, and vintage pieces, finding value in items that stand the test of time. Confessing “I’m a big fan of just hoarding and keeping things, styles and trends keep rotating.” Regarding her creations, she sees creativity as a potent energy, a channel for dealing with emotions and life force.

“I also remember my dad’s best friend, she gave me so many hand-me-downs. Can you imagine my dad’s friend’s mom’s outfits she would give me to wear? So I was dressing like an old Parsi auntie when I was young. It’s so wild.” 

nitya arora
Photo credits: Gaurab Ganguly

The jewellery designer found her fashion muse in the everyday elegance of her surroundings. “ I remember going to a bar night on the weekend. I would do it to see all these women dressed up, walking in with their perfumes lingering, and they were all very beautifully dressed and  I would just sit there and watch them walk in one by one.”

Arora’s affinity for vintage charm is affirmed by her jackets and garments, acknowledging, “It doesn’t fit me anymore, but I can’t part with it.” The collection extends to vintage sunglasses, scarves, and ties, each item echoing a tale from the past. Trunks filled with sarees from her grandmother and jewellery from her family’s cherished pieces enhance her style and make it stand out. 

Experimenting across dimensions

Nitya embraces an eclectic style marked by a profusion of prints, whether it’s the harmonious blend of patterns or the purity of white cotton. Along with her love for white, she enjoys experimenting with Anokhi printed co-ord sets and Jaipuri cotton kurtas. “I collect textiles so I’ll buy fabric and then I’ll just get a shirt made or I’ll get a dress stitched.”

In her wardrobe is a fusion of materials – leather handbags, silk shoes, and intricate embroidery. “When you look at someone in all white, it’s peaceful. All black is mysterious,” she notes. It’s about evoking feelings.

“Wearing a mix of colour and print wakes you up, I do it to feel something and see what feeling evolves,” she says. Arora puts forth a Dhruv Kapoor tote as her go-to bag and a classic black and white Prada bag for events post-dusk. 


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The designer, while open to new styles, adopts a straightforward approach: if she likes it, she’ll embrace it; if not, she won’t. While she admires Gen Z’s fearless fashion choices, particularly the prevalent cutout trend, she acknowledges her comfort’s boundaries. 

Arora’s creative take on living life reflects on her wardrobe very evidently, she emphasises maintaining a certain level of fashion decorum. “I think it’s also important to dress appropriately. You can’t show up to coffee wearing a gown. I mean, not even the queen did that, right? Unless you’re dressed in drag.” Her perspective reflects a balance between appreciating others’ boldness while staying true to her comfort and sensibilities. 

ELLE Closet Confidential is ELLE’s series where we delve into the wardrobes of admired personalities, discovering the stories behind their favourite fashion pieces, style philosophies, and artistic expression.

Also read, 10 Jewellery Brands We Have Our Eyes On For The Summer

- Jr. Fashion Writer


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