JJ Valaya was one of the first people on desi high fashion spectrum – a true proponent, he has seen desi couture being birthed and when the couture experience is at its most vulnerable, the industry of course, looks to pioneers like Valaya to help us understand the facelift that’s needed. The designer just held his first digital fashion show showcasing his BURSA collection for the bridal and festive season of 2020, which is a line-up that features influences from 14th-17th century Turkey and design elements from the Ottoman reign. For the latest edition of Indulge Time Pass, Valaya joins journalist and author Kaveree Bamzai and editor Edison Thomas to talk about the way forward for desi couture.
I started out in 1989 from NIFT, I spent 31 years in the business. Back then we only had a handful of designers trying to make a mark. Rohit Khosla was taking the first steps, we had no internet, no writing about fashion. We were a new breed who told people, ‘you know what, you need to wear clothes with our names on it!’ The journey has been so brilliant, having no benchmarks to follow, all the mistakes we made, it made our evolutions so interesting.