In a man's world

In a man's world

Simplicity, flawless lines, immaculate cuts and a perfect finish — these are some of the features that best distinguish the designs of Ashish N Soni, one of the pioneers of the contemporary Indian fashion industry. Having launched his label in 1991, Ashish is known for his sharply refined and deceptively simple sense for aesthetics.

His men’s wear signature lines are stunningly simple, yet dramatic. He uses fabrics and textures with a masterly eye and combines them with different weights and weaves to make a single ensemble.

Ashish says, “As a child, I would visit the neighbourhood tailor to get special clothes made from him, which no other kid had.”

 This initial flirtation with fabric and desire to look stylish made him take up modelling, and later join NIFT.

Now a renowned designer with a 22-year-old label, his designs have evolved tremendously in their edginess. He adds, “The design philosophy has been a constant wherein immaculate design fit and finish have been integral to the brand’s ethos.”

He calls his profession a “unique job” and says, “I knew I had reached the right place when I joined NIFT and there has been no looking back ever since. The last two decades have been a lot of fun and that makes the challenges I faced look small.” A design philosopher who pays attention to details, he crafts the best of outfits for men, which are flamboyant in style and colours. According to him, “The current trends for men revolve around colour blocks, prints and patterns. Denims, rolled up pants, bomber jackets and deep cut shirts are all the rage. The 70s trend is back with flared corduroy trousers, wide-collared shirts and a kaleidoscope of floral and psychedelic prints.”

He comments on how Indian fashion is mostly women-centric and says, “In fashion, men’s wear is generally more restricted than women’s wear, in terms of fabric, shape, structure and form. What we see in men’s wear is mostly shirts, cardigans, jackets, suits etc. But recently, many designers are trying to push the boundaries for their men’s wear line. I continue to break conventions and change perceptions about Indian men’s wear, whilst continuing to produce high-quality and tailored clothing.”

His designs are blooming with innovation and it is the early exposure to multiple cultures that has remained his inspiration.

“All the travel in my younger days has shaped me and my aesthetics tremendously. The exposure to various cultures and nationalities has expanded my mind multi-dimensionally. I will always be grateful for my early years spent away in countries like Zambia and Oman.”

An internationally known designer who has taken Indian fashion to another level, he was the very first Indian designer to showcase his designs at the ‘Olympus Fashion Week’.

Looking back at his experience in the global fashion industry, he says, “The journey has been interesting wherein we have continued to develop buyers and store presence in America and Europe.” He adds that his export division forms a very important part of the business.

 A perfectionist, he has some style tips for the fashionable men.

“One should always be comfortable and carry themselves with ease. A good men’s wardrobe for the summer should have a crisp white buttoned-down shirt, slim navy chinos, light denim, seersucker jacket with a stylish belt and a classic double
monk shoes,” he says.

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