A heart-to-heart talk with India’s ace designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee
We caught up with India’s ace designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee to share his wisdom on trends and traditions in the decor industry
What is the most challenging part while working for interiors?
For me the biggest challenge is letting your personal ego take a backseat. Ultimately we have to understand that we are not only interacting with a family, but also building or rather say creating a home for somebody where the family has to reside. While your own vision is also important, you need to respect the other person’s vision no matter how bad or good it may be. This is one of the reasons I like to be a design bully, because I like to do things my own way. That’s why I have decided never to do people’s homes until they give me absolute freedom. I am happy to do only public spaces. I am happy to do wallpapers where I can use my ideas and define the space the way I want to do it.
From designing clothes to royal suites of five star properties; and now a huge association with Asian Paints, how is the transition in terms of fashion to home?
I prefer designing homes and interiors more than fashion, because when you are doing clothing, especially the kind of clothing that we do, we interact with people through our clothing occasionally, as we are in the occasional wear business; but when we design homes, we are interacting more with human beings each day. I like building relationships. I think the best relationship that we build with the customer is by creating a beautiful space for them to live in.
What is your idea of style?
My idea of style is about being comfortable in who you are. The moment your personality shines through, you are stylish. The moment your clothes wear you, rather than you wearing your clothes
you become fashionable; and I don’t respect fashion, I only respect style.
Have you ever failed at anything?
Oh..many times. I have failed at relationships. I have failed at keeping up with friends. I have failed at good designs. I have failed at writing good copies. I think failure in very important because it makes you more human and is a stepping stone to success. Only when you accept your failures, you go to the next step. I failed all my life (laughs). The only thing at which I have never failed at is mathematics.
What is the current range all about. What was the inspiration?
The current range is all about reviving things that we see in India that we literally take for granted. Whether it’s a print or rather say printed clothes, which are made in power-looms, whether its the Indo-Dutch or the Indo-Portuguese or the Indo-British collaborations; thread textiles or hand prints from Mathura paintings, miniature paintings, icons of India like tigers and the Taj Mahal - this collection celebrates everything that’s Indian.
Maximalism is the new trend for decor. What is your take on that?
Maximalism could have been a new trend for decor, but for me its been a lifelong trend, and I like maximalism, because there is everything that you own and you are proud of, it is displayed all around you. See, its as simple as this example - when you chat with people on social media for the first time, you keep on asking for pictures all the time, the more pictures you see of the person, the more you understand who the person is. Maximalism is like that, you know you create markers in your home where a person really understands that you are not uni-dimensional, but you are multi-faceted.
What would you say are your main influences while conceiving a piece of work?
India and the world that I see around me. For any designer what you see around you is what you visualise and consider it as your inspiration.
What gets you out of the bed every morning?
Fear - Fear of failure, because I have nineteen-hundred people working under me. I have to pay them salaries every month. I thinks it’s responsibility that keeps you going.
What makes Nilaya’s latest range so special?
I think what makes Nilaya’s latest range so special is the fact that together, the company and me are taking a definitive stand of feeling very proud of our heritage. I think its going to translate very strongly to the consumer as well. We as responsible people should be ready to accept our heritage very strongly.