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 Home > City Resources > Fashion & Beauty > Nahid Merchant
 

 

"I haven't really tried doing clothes just for ramp appeal for I can't afford it", Nahid Merchant

Nahid Merchant " I hadn't really decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer " says Nahid Merchant a fashion designer in her own right in this highly competitive and cut throat fashion industry of Mumbai. With no formal training, surviving in this industry is a mean task where hype and marketing is the key to success. Unlike people who leave no stones unturned in trying to promote themselves, Nahid is one of the few low profile designers consistently doing quality work. She will not feed you with any of the usual fashion fundas which most of her brethren love indulge in. A mother first and then a career woman, she begins work at ten in the morning and calls it a day by five in the evening

Dresses for any occassion After completing graduation in fine arts from the J J School of Arts together with a friend, Nahid decided to do clothes which she honestly admits "always fascinated me". Their first exhibition at Alankar was a complete soldout. "Even though my friend took off to the US after getting married, I decided to give designing a shot. And the initiative did not prove to be futile for very soon I was exporting garments to many a countries. After a series of exhibitions, orders started flowing in from places such as USA, South Africa and Kuwait." But then doing the same thing could be quiet boring for she started doing high fashion clothes. "Even though I lacked the necessary background in fashion when I embarked on this career, I Clothes looking into the futurerealized that I had to learn it myself. So gradually I started watching shows and designed clothes accordingly." And life was never the same when Sangita Kathiawada, owner of Melange saw her clothes which was an abstract collection on sheer fabrics which took her fancy and decided to retail it at the prestigious Melange Boutique. "They sold instantly" said Nahid with pride in her eyes. And over the years the bond has got stronger.

Nahid's clothes cannot be described as haute couture. She is not part of the big league for her collections are very much practical and come of standard sizes which fortunately do very well as there is a major market for it. Very honestly she states "I haven't really tried doing clothes just for ramp appeal for I can't afford it. It is not possible for me to come out with two collections simultaneously." Working from her studio at Kemps Corner, she has no plans of opening a designer store for "it is too much of a headache."

Utterly feminine attire Her collections are quiet extensive and one cannot really slot her into a particular category for she designs clothes keeping every section of people in mind. Her fusion wear is meant for the urban working Indian women who are willing to experiment but not daring to be bold. The Indo - western range is mostly semiformal. She tends to move away from the traditional embroidery towards the more contemporary look for "there seems to be have been an overdose of embroidery in the market." Use of wooden beads and crystals is quiet extensive in her collection. "The use of colors is mostly according to the season even though I prefer using soft colors, if you see my summer collection there is only soft and earth colors. But dark colors are not totally a no - no for I had come out with a line in deep red, deep purple, and burgundy." Some of her works are inspired by the paintings of Paul Klee and Mark Rethko.

Garments for everyoneDescribing her clothes as "stylish and contemporary", she feels that not having shows have not really affected her sales as "my garments are good, well priced and wearable. When people keep coming back to you you feel good about it and that is where my satisfaction lies." Speaking on the the industry she feels that excessive aping of the west has resulted in its present stagnation. "People are blindly copying what is happening in the west which is no way relevant for our country. India is an emerging market and is in its nascent stage so there is no point talking big rightaway" adds Nahid. Hopefully some designers will wake up to the realities and work accordingly and thereby proceed in their path of establishing India as a major fashion stop.

Her clothes are available at Melange, Ensemble and Mystique in Mumbai, Sosas in Goa, Ensemble in Delhi, Clake in Hyderabad, Allure in Ahmedabad and Zenon in Calcutta. Her garments are priced between Rs 3,000 to 20,000.

Address:

Nahid Merchant,
Room No.8 Jadhav Bhavan,
# 62/B, August Kranti Marg,
Ground Floor, Gowalia Tank,
Mumbai 400 036.
Phone: (Studio) - 384 0745 / 307 4456
(Res) - 307 4456
Mobile: 98200 51840

By: Sharmistha Chatterjee

 

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