Images from Amit Aggarwal’s flagship store in DLF Emporio
Images from Amit Aggarwal’s flagship store in DLF Emporio

Creating spaces keeps me excited: Delhi-based couturier Amit Aggarwal

Delhi-based couturier Amit Aggarwal talks about his recently launched experiential store in the city, his vision for the brand, and more

When you quit label Morphe in 2012, you mentioned in an interview: ‘my time as a young designer is over’. Innovation has been the focus of your eponymous label, which you launched in 2012. From then to now, has there been a shift in your design ethos? 
Honestly, I won’t say that there’s been a shift in the design ethos per se. The only shift I would say is evolution. Understanding the DNA of the brand in far more detail has been a journey over the last 10-11 years now. More than that, it is also [about] imbibing all the other experiences that life brings you along with creativity. Today, a lot of what I also create kind of understands human nature… what do people react to? And I don’t mean in terms of just clothing. I think a sensitive conversation with someone in the team… those things helped me evolve the language of the brand, which makes it not just rooted in creativity of clothes, but also creativity of a larger brand ethos. And that goes from personal evolution, then giving to the brand, and then the brand evolves and evolves along with it. It kind of becomes a 360 degree journey. 

You’re one among the slew of designers who looks to challenge themselves as a creator. Is there a project that you can’t wait to create? 
As a project—which I’m currently working on but it is also, again, a very personal project—I think it’s doing something with spaces. Or the evolution of how your own personality becomes an extension into the world that you live in is a very important aspect of taking my own creativity further. So it’s not just homes, it’s primarily spaces that would really keep me excited to create. If you see the store, it is an extension of something that I believe in. We have set out to create an experiential space with the store, 
and that’s the first step towards that journey.

You moved from Mumbai to Delhi to cement your name in the fashion industry. Now after a store in Mehrauli, one in Colaba, Mumbai, and your third in DLF Emporio, what’s next on your growth trajectory from a business perspective? 
From a business perspective, I do want to take the brand to a lot more places. With the last couture show, my idea was to blend how inspirations could lead to so many different things that define couture, in a much larger language that technically goes beyond the lehenga or a sari, which is what primarily Indian couture—for the large part of the market—is defined as. I definitely feel that that evolution needs to be taken to, and that language needs to be showcased at a lot more places. That is in the vision. And in that we’ve also taken corrective measures by having three retail stores so that each gets a core nucleus of its own so that we can curate different languages based in the same DNA of the brand. We’ve also expanded our own facilities to a much larger space [in Noida], and are creating a lovely, healthy, enjoyable working experience for everyone in the office.

There is a focus on gender fluidity in both the brand’s storytelling and designs. Tell us about that as a brand and a creator. 
I don’t create clothes for bodies. I really imagine the feeling that makes the person, before I make the clothes… and in that, the sex of the person is probably the most inconsequential thing when it comes to my design interpretations for them. I think, in that, the brand’s always been fluid. Today, we’re talking about fluidity primarily in terms of understanding the different sexes that make the human race. But, if you see the inception of the brand, the fact that an alternative material—which was discarded waste—was already loved by me to create a big language of couture already means that I was open to every kind of possibilities… which means fluidity was always the DNA of the brand.

What’s next? 
Currently, the opening [it happened on Friday] is something that we’ve put all our energy into creating a beautiful, memorable evening, and a great night. The retail of the brand has expanded, and I do wish to take it to the next level in the next one or two years. We’ve moved into a lovely large studio [Noida]… So I intend to structure it, put systems in place, create systems that will lead the brand to a nicer, bigger future. I do feel the first 10 years of the brand has been a journey, but the next 10 years it has to grow bigger, with an understanding of what has worked for the brand, what could have been done better. And then, of course, put another wish list so that the next 10 years look extremely healthy, wonderful… almost like the Garden of Eden.

The New Indian Express