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The Luxury Makers: JJ Valaya on finding treasure in hidden places

Veteran designer and couturier, JJ Valaya digs into his vault of knowledge to share valuable insight into design and its close connection to luxury.

It was during a sourcing trip to Kochi that JJ Valaya stumbled upon a beautiful piece of carved wood. He bought the piece back in hope of converting it into a loveseat, only to discover an image of Guru Nanak Dev carved on it. The possibility of finding a revered Sikh symbol in South India is a rare one and this serendipitous treasure is one that he holds dear. The World Of Valaya, the veteran designers space dedicated to his couture collection, pret pieces, jewellery lines and most importantly, home decor is an amalgamation of these little nuances that truly define what luxury means to him.

The World Of Valaya

Ask him what luxury means to him, and the designer shares his two bits, “Luxury is being able to do what I’ve wanted to do all my life. In simple words, if I’ve spent my entire life working exactly on what I love working on and therefore, realising that I’m not working at all and enjoying every single moment of it, that to me is sheer luxury.”

Luxury in the more recent years has also expanded into living spaces and way of life for Valaya. “The pandemic has realigned some thought processes, so a lot of people are now realising that luxury is spending time with your loved ones, being able to live in a home which is beautiful, savour it which nobody did before. Everybody had a home to sleep in, but otherwise they are out all the time and suddenly you’re now stuck at home and you’re enjoying it. It also means that you’re establishing a close circle of friends and cherishing them more,” he shares as he takes us through the beautiful interiors at The World Of Valaya, sharing the stories and design influences behind each. For him, doing up spaces isn’t about adding a singular statement piece but creating a home that tells a story.

While talking about luxury in the new world, Valaya also highlights the change in mindsets in terms of celebrations. “The spirit of celebration has become even more buoyant as everybody has released how fragile life is and wants to celebrate even more.” His collections capture this vivacious spirit and we experience a closer look at his collection of cufflinks, talk about incorporating sneakers into his daily look and hear stories of travel and all that it brings with it.

Header and Featured Image: Courtesy JJ Valaya. 

The Luxury Makers: JJ Valaya on finding treasure in hidden places

Akshita Nahar Jain

Sr Associate Editor

Akshita Nahar Jain has worked with various publications, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar Bride, and Time Out Delhi, and written extensively on fashion and lifestyle. A sucker for alliteration and stylish sitcoms, she enjoys scrolling the web for less travelled destinations.

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