Men At Work | Architectural Digest India

“5 design entrepreneurs take you inside their workspaces”

If you follow me closely on Instagram and Pinterest, you’ve probably taken notice of my deepening love affair with the worlds of interiors and decor. Now I know this is kind of old news but definitely one I had been meaning to share in detail, so here goes.
The lovely folks at Architectural Digest India handed me a fun little opportunity last year that involved quick short visits to the rather rad office spaces of five of the coolest designers and design entrepreneurs in Delhi. And you can only imagine how that thrilled me! So I put my styling cap on and accompanied ace photographer Anshuman Sen to the work-spaces of Gautam Sinha (FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, NAPPA DORI), Nikhil Sharma (FOUNDER, LACQUER EMBASSY), Enda Noone (FOUNDER, IKKADUKKA.COM), Sanjay Garg (FOUNDER & DESIGNER, RAW MANGO) and Designer and Winner of the 2014 Woolmark Prize, Rahul Mishra.

Team AD says “we wouldn’t hate Mondays either if we had offices like these” and I couldn’t agree more!
Following are some images from the magazine feature for your viewing pleasure along with excerpts from each designer/entrepreneur’s interview with the team.
Hop over to the AD India website if you wish to check out the full story.

Gautam Sinha Nappa Dori

Left– Gautam Sinha in his Sultanpur Village workspace; Right– A curation of Sinha’s Nappa Dori products, material and personal work tools.

I’ve always been a fan of the progressive urban lifestyle brand Nappa Dori‘s austere aesthetics (as evident from my previous blog feature on the brand here) and it was an absolute delight to finally meet the very talented Gautam Sinha in person and absorb all the leather infused elements of his super-charged studio.

Do you have any pet peeves about your desktop?
I am a cleanliness freak; my biggest peeve is clutter. I like things in their place— perfectly aligned if possible.

What are your workspace essentials?

A big work desk, music, good stationery and a measuring tape. I love pencils, pens, rulers, scissors—anything to do with writing and creating.

Nikhil Sharma

Left– Nikhil Sharma at his desk; Right– A section of the Lacquer Embassy Store in Hauz Khas Village.

Lacquer Embassy‘s attention to detail and clean, minimalist, luxe-cool silhouettes caught my attention soon after the inception of the label back in 2013, after a mutual acquaintance introduced me to it’s founder, Nikhil Sharma. The kind soul that he is, Nikhil immediately agreed to let me introduce him to HeadTilt‘s audience back then and we did a fun little feature that you can check out here. Needless to say, I was more than happy to reconnect with him and style his newly acquired studio space for this story and lose myself in the brand’s seamless yet timeless aesthetic, once again.

How did you find this space?

This space used to be a bakery and cafe called Elmas, which I used to frequent. I had an instant connection to the space and when they relocated I was lucky to find this for my brand.

Define your aesthetic in a word.


Enda Noone Ikka Dukka

Left– Enda Noone in his Gurgaon office; Right– A corner in Noone’s personal office.

Way too much fun was had styling up this vibrant space where all the magic behind happens. And it was more than a pleasure to chat with the Ireland-born Founder of the eclectic online lifestyle boutique, about all things e-commerce. Remembering the good times and laughter-induced conversations had with the team as I write this.
I truly urge all you internet beings to go visit the online store for all things exquisite and cutting-edge to make both you and your home look fabulous.

What would you add to your office?

I would love to add a showroom space so that people could come and see the products that we are working on.

Cannot work without:

Music, my notepad, my computer, and the support of family and friends.

Sanjay Garg

Left– Sanjay Garg in his Chattarpur studio in New Delhi; Right– A sampling of handwoven fabrics, sketches and curios from Garg’s studio.

One of my personal favorite images from the story is the one on the above left featuring Sanjay Garg, the ‘reluctant fashion darling’ as Elle India referred to him recently. I am trying to pen down reasons for the same, but the more I think about what I am trying to describe, the more I realize that some nuances are so sublime, words seem silly to use.
It was absolutely incredible meeting Sanjay in person, understanding his thought process behind the label and talking about his belief in the beauty of imperfection, only to realize how effortlessly perfect and meticulous he is in his ways.

What is the first thing you do in office?

I look around to see if everything is in the right place. I’m 1,000 per cent particular about neatness!

What did you think of this office space when you first saw it?

It was very far from the city, but the place really connected with me. However angry or mad I am, all the pressure in my head just calms down because the only sound you can hear is birds chirping.

Rahul Mishra

Left– Tools and inspirations on Mishra’s desk; Right– Rahul Mishra in his Noida office.

Fashion designer Rahul Mishra has always intrigued and inspired with his ingenious ways of amalgamating handicraft and technology, often leading to an aesthetic that is truly global yet has its roots firmly planted in local traditions and heritage. Being the first Indian to win the 2014 International Woolmark Prize at Milan Fashion Week, he is undoubtedly the man of the moment in the Indian fashion realm. To say I was thrilled to share breathing space with the creative genius (who happens to be extremely down-to-earth by the way) and his team for almost half a day, would be an understatement. I definitely had a ball rummaging through the tremendously cool contents of his work-space, all the while soaking in his super-intelligent energy.

What are five things that you cant work without?

My sketch books, Rotring pen, iPad, colour printer and my table lamp.

What space-related advice would you give to a fledgling designer?

Go for an office that makes you feel at home. That way, you don’t hate Mondays, or working the extra hours. Have as many plants as possible around you. Don’t over-design your space.


Photos by Anshuman Sen, via Architectural Digest India

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