A single glance can’t do justice to Amit Aggarwal’s designs. His couture creations might leave a big impact at first sight but it’s in the brand’s use of handwoven, hand-molded, and handpainted metallic polymer that the true beauty lies.
The complexities of his couture garments are in complete contrast to the designer’s personal style. With all energies focuses on his work, it’s ironic yet understandable that Amit Aggarwal would choose to keep his own wardrobe – basic and functional. This is not to say, that when the mood strikes the designer would shy away from wearing his own creations. With the debut of his men’s collection, Amit Aggarwal is now catering to the nattily dressed men (and grooms) who looking for sharp cuts, streamlined silhouettes, and a certain zing of style.
Taking a moment away from the bustle of Mumbai where he recently launched his flagship store, we caught up with the avant-garde designer on his minimalistic style, extensive beauty regime, and constant evolution of sustainable material and practices.
An exclusive interview with fashion designer, Amit Aggarwal
How would you describe your approach to fashion and style?
My style is very personal, it’s never really about wearing the most expensive or luxurious clothes but how it fits with your personality. How do you present your own identity through clothes, is what defines the style for me. When it comes to fashion, I feel it is the inherent flair of enjoying things and I think fashion is what you rewrite into certain things and that is what my understanding of fashion and style is.
How has this idea evolved?
In terms of design though, I feel the DNA of the brand remains very very close to its core. But at the same time, I feel that the journey of the individual, probably me in this scenario and the different stages of my life, keeps affecting the way I create or the final output. Fashion, for me, is a personal journey of creation, of creativity, and probably putting my voice on a larger platform. For example, over the last two years, I do feel that there has been a dramatic shift in the way I approach clothing and how I think I would like to narrate what we create and that’s the reason behind I recreate what we create. So I do feel that time and again the personal journey of my own life becomes an important aspect of how I actually create and what finds me next.
What sort of aesthetic do you bend towards for your personal style?
Strangely I’m only dressed in white, which is diametrically opposite to what I create. I’m a working man, so a lot, actually most of my clothes are workwear. They have to be, I mean I have to get up and work with my hands a lot during my day so I think my clothing needs to be comfortable, it needs to be easy and pressed down. I don’t go for a lot of patterns or colour, it’s primarily a lot of black and neutral colours that probably with a whiff of colour, once in a month. I can detach myself from the consumer that comes to buy an Amit Aggarwal versus what I am as a person And I think that also helps me have that high-end streak and some kind of an interesting interplay of my personal life along with the lives of the people that there are buying my brand.
You’ve recently launched a menswear collection, according to you what are the building blocks of a menswear wardrobe?
In the past few years, a lot of men have also started dressing up equally. For the longest time, there was a lot more attention on what the bride needs to look like but I think today grooms can too probably stand at par with their choices of what they’ve worn on their most important day. Keeping that in mind, when they come to us they are looking for that one signature piece that would set them apart from the rest of the clothes that they would have for the functions or celebrations. It’s that hero piece or outfit that will shine yet it doesn’t overbear the wearer’s personality. I think for the menswear, of course, there is a brief inclination towards the idea of the strength, that’s where the entire idea of structure or of materials that are unique, will give you strength and you know are fluid. Those are the key elements because we play a lot with unique textiles which kind of structure and move it to your body enhance the shape of the wearer, these are I think the core DNA of the menswear.
Your advice to brides and grooms looking to wear a standout piece from Amit Aggarwal.
I don’t think the prime focus of the brand is ever about standing out. I think if you are a standout person you’d make a mark in a pair of leggings. I do feel that’s why a bride or groom stands out is primarily the nature of the inherent personality. I always tell the customer that it has less to do with the clothing but more about you. So whichever customer grooms or brides that I do personally, I constantly make them believe that choose outfits that would bring the attention to your personality, to your face and not towards the outfit. I think similarly for the men, it’s not about that you need to look different or you need to look like another species from the rest of the group, people and attendees at your wedding but more so about whether you feel about yourself in the outfit. That is the core focus, of course, the material and the craftsmanship that we bring to our clothes visually for an onlooker the clothes do look different but I think that is just a matter of perception.
Sustainability is a big topic of conversation these days and you’ve been a supporter in your use of materials over the ages. What is your approach going forward?
I grew up in a family of engineers and I think that my story is rooted quite you know from my childhood days. For me, it was more about the materials and not about what was in trend. So that became my core DNA and talking point for the brand. Even the collections launched in 2007, 2008… everything spoke of materials that are either a byproduct or something that the world probably doesn’t feel is of any use to them. I think that bringing those into clothing or creating a new language of textiles and clothing has always been in my DNA. I feel that I am that kind of person inherently that feels more responsible for the world around me. It’s not just the world in terms of nature but the world I live in, be it people, be it the relationships that I garner and I think that is something that transcends into what we make at the brand. It has to resonate closely with what you are as a person and that’s what the brand does.
What other stores and e-commerce sites where you shop from?
Currently, I shop a lot on Nykaa, not clothing but my beauty and skincare essentials.
So then tell us about your skincare regime?
My skincare regime is nothing to talk about. I’m not blessed with skin like Kareena (Kapoor Khan) or have great genes so it’s important to take care of it. In course of the years, the one regime that I religiously follow is my Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Oil. I apply it at night before sleeping. Apart from that, I do my moisturizing and my Vitamin C serum every morning which is important for me.
In the last two years has your approach to fashion or life changed?
I think a lot of lines are blurred. There is a lot of fluidity, the demarcation between menswear and womenswear clothing is also blurring. There is a stronger connection with clothes where I think that people do feel that clothes make up their personality the choice that they make which is not something that I think that the thinking doesn’t go. So I think that there’s a lot more choice which makes it closer for people to choose something that inherently suits their personality and becomes a bigger role in their living.
What is your idea of a good life?
Over the last two years, I’ve realised that a heart-to-heart exchange of conversation is what I most enjoy about life. I also love making clothes so that’s another part of life I enjoy a lot.
Header and Featured Image: Courtesy Amit Aggarwal.