Photography / Editorial / Print

Sonya Vajifdar Interview by Nardip Singh

Catwalk images provided by Colin Chau of Top Model UK 2011

From being a model with Elite Model Management, Mumbai, India and going on to study fashion and textile design at Istituto Europeo de Design in Milan, Italy, how important were your experiences in solidifying your career choice,has fashion always been your main interest?

Fashion has always been the main focus in my life. To take it one step further, I thought long and hard about my destination - considered London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and finally decided on Milan. Once I had settled in as a student, in the fashion capital of the world, I really learned a lot and was very sure that fashion designing was what I was meant to do. Whether it was in the classroom or on the streets or in the clubs, Milan oozed style and fashion. It was definitely more satisfying and challenging, still is. I am happy to have found a career that really gives me a charge.

What was the experience of working at Estrele like and did it influence how you approach your work and ultimately set up your own label?

Estrele is a French fashion house in Milan, where I worked for sometime. Their primary focus was making bespoke high-end woman’s pieces which taught me a lot about perfection; how to complete a collection; how to quality check a piece and how to deal with vip clientele. Any job experience is a learning process and I try to pick up all the good points from what I learn and utilise them. Most importantly, I think I picked up some professionalism from my time there.

Could you describe your most recent collection?

My latest collection of evening wear is a collection of shaded nets, with clever draping. The colours and shapes have all been inspired by waterfalls.

Of recent visits and catwalk shows abroad, what has been a stand-out experience or memory you will always cherish?

Last year I took part in the IIJW - Indian International Jewellery week, where I collaborated with two jewellery designers to do the clothes for the runway shows. One of these was a complete couture collection which was put together in just 5 days. But it turned out really well!

The rain wear collection has gathered a lot of interest internationally, what was the thinking behind making an often overlooked item of clothing into something more bold, daring and fashionable?

Rain wear has never been portrayed in a way where it could look fashionable, to an extent of being “the outfit” itself. The shapes and moulding that can be done with waterproof materials are very interesting and instead of only making the look funky this year, I have given it a glamorous touch.

What do you have in your handbag right now?

My wallet, phone, Clinique foundation, gloss, mascara and my visiting cards.

Looking at your collections, we can see how important innovation is in your work, was it a conscious decision to focus on elegant, yet strong design; using minimal embroidery and embellishments, which we often see heavily used in Indian fabrics?

My work definitely moves away from heavy Indian fabric and embellishments, as I tend to focus more on the silhouette of the pieces. I believe the classic and elegant look goes a long way and is used all over the world.

What one item of clothing in your own wardrobe can you not live without?

Right now that would be my leggings - they are so comfortable and make an outfit go from casual to chic.

Moving forward, how do you see your designs evolving, in terms of fabrics, materials and look?

I see my creations becoming more glam. I will still have simple cuts but maybe go sexier and bolder with the fits.

What does 2011 and 2012 have in store for you, what can we expect to see from your label?

You can expect to see heavily draped shaded evening wear pieces as well as rain wear with a lot more glitz and glamour.

As featured in Unfolded Magazine Issue 03 -


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