Wearing creativity on his sleeve, NIFT graduate and New Delhi based designer Nikhil Sharma is in full throttle with his sassy menswear collection under the label ‘Lacquer Embassy’. Through extensive travels for inspiration, visiting factories and experimentation, his vision has created a popularity spike of his luxe designs. The shirts and pocket squares for the dandy and youth combines modern and classic aesthetics resulting in an ardent mash up of bold prints and colors. Elegant details and minimalist silhouettes reflect today’s modern jet-setting gentleman’s polished lifestyle, brought upon by a simple perspective, keeping in mind the ability to be relaxed and effortless.
We decided it was about time to have a little chat with the dapper gentleman himself and pick his brains to find out a little more. Here goes!
– Text by Kriti Sethi
What brought about the brand ‘Lacquer Embassy’?
The whole idea emerged while I was working in London as a senior menswear designer with NEXT. I used to travel extensively to many European and American cities for inspiration, during the course of my work. I had been a part of the corporate world for about nine years then and realized it was time to head back and start something of my own.
How did the name and logo come about?
The logo has different dimensions and it symbolizes my future expansion of the brand into different areas. Lacquer literally means a glossy surface coating provided by a craftsman as a final finishing touch and the fact that it originates from a Sanskrit word for the Lac insect is quite intriguing to me. The word ‘embassy’ denotes a space that contains what I love the most: a menagerie of my creations, accoutrements and thoughts, all brought together in a single institution. This space is here to make you a part of my ‘universe’.
How do you define your particular style or approach to design?
I have a very organized approach to my design process as I believe in developing my designs and styles in particular steps and stages. I’m quite meticulous about my styles and make sure all my designs are very streamlined.
What inspires you the most?
I’m quite Internet savvy. Blogs, men’s websites and music inspire me. I listen to varied genres from acid pop to electro lounge.
What would you say is your specialty that distinguishes you from the rest?
I ensure I provide my customers with good craftsmanship and great fits. My specialty lies in the different proportions of collars I create my designs around along with the graphic elements and elegant details created with finesse.
What are you most proud of in your work?
Out of my shirt collections named after cocktails, the ‘White Knight’ is the one of my favorites. Its one of my most sought after pieces around the world. From the scarves named after houses, the ‘Georgian Square’ is one of my finest works.
What can be expected from your current and upcoming projects?
I’m in the process of opening up my own e-shop as of now. The collections have also recently been made available at a couple of online stores like Not Just A Label, Secret Dor, Fabulloso and Gnossem. Besides that, I branched out to work as a stylist for men’s editorials and a trend forecast consultant in London and wish to continue doing that alongside.
And beyond this year? Do you make five-year plans?
Well, I may not have fully planned for so many years ahead in future but I’m ferociously ambitious and see myself expanding “Lacquer Embassy” as a brand and probably delve into home décor and such.
Name some other designers, artists or creative you admire.
I absolutely adore Martin Margiela. Some brands I admire are Acne, Wings + Horns, Rag & Bone and Saturdays NYC.
If you had to describe your work in one word, what would it be?
What makes the interiors of your store in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi different from other stores?
I think the interiors are a mix of urban and classic. The monochrome (white & black) with gold gives a luxury feel to the store. I sourced lamps from Chandni Chowk and everything else from the rods, tables, mirrors to the shelves etc. are custom made.
( You can follow Lacquer Embassy on Facebook here or tweet to Nikhil @lacquerembassy)
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