The House of Neeta Lulla has been an established name in Indian couture for nearly three decades. The veteran designer deftly combines handloom techniques with craftsmanship from the Edwardian era to give you the finest of both worlds. Here, she talks to us about her career, and future ambitions.
ELLE: Who has inspired you creatively in your design journey?
Neeta Lulla (NL): In the ‘80s, as a fashion student, I drew inspiration from trends, international magazines, and pop culture. As students, we experimented with materials like foils, plastic, and lycra, and juxtaposed Indian fabric with western silhouettes. Inspiration comes from everyday life, as life is the best teacher. Growth starts with personal perspectiv es and converting challenges into opportunities. Frida Kahlo served as a role model. She challenged her creativity from time to time with a positive attitude in all situations and pursued her passion against all odds, embracing her own skin.
ELLE: How do you strike a balance between being distinctive and marketable?
NL: For me, the balance between distinctiveness and marketability is an iterative process. I am open to feedback, continuously learn from the market, and adapt my approach accordingly. I am aware of the needs of my target audience, market trends, the experience as they come into our store and my design philosophy. True couture works on being distinctive and comfortable, not so much marketable.
ELLE: How would you say your customers have evolved over the years?
NL: Customers desire unique, personalised experiences in couture and bridal wear, reflecting their individual style, cultural influences, and personal narratives. The fashion platform is becoming more diverse with sustainability, reuse of hand-me-downs and garments on hire or exchanges. I see fashion becoming specific, where consumers know who or which brand to buy from for their specific needs.
ELLE: What makes your brand globally relevant? And having completed a three-decade-long journey in the industry, what can we expect from the House of Neeta Lulla over the coming years?
NL: The House of Neeta Lulla has always sought to democratise couture and celebrate inclusivity and body positivity. I have always believed that every person should feel comfortable in their skin. We have managed to carve a unique niche of loyalists who swear by the label’s unique design point of view. As a designer, I’ve personally mentored and consulted with brides, suggesting styles that suit their body types, aiming to enhance their personality without just being about a brand name or logo.
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