Sonya Vajifdar is an inspiration to all of India’s aspiring fashion designers not only because she has already established herself at the age of 24, but also for standing out for her fierce and fearless experiments in design. But when asked how she did it, she humbly states that believing in your own creations is all it takes to carve a niche in a competitive world.
Tell us a little bit about your career before you decided to fly solo with your label.
I am 24, based in Mumbai. I went to Italy, Milan, to study fashion and textile design for three years. After that I worked with a French company, Estelle. I came back to India and worked under an Indian designer for some time after which I launched my own brand.
When did you know that you wanted to be a designer?
I’ve always been interested in fashion; I used to look at fashion magazines since I was really young. After school I started modelling with Elite model management, and worked backstage.
Breaking into this industry is not easy but you’ve managed to carve a niche for yourself in one year. What’s your success sutra?
I believe in my designs! This is a luxury product and apart from being a necessity in the rain it keeps people looking fashion forward and stylish. The fashion industry has appreciated and promoted my idea and not only has it spread all over India but I am getting inquiries from many international stores as well. I was asked to start the pre-London fashion week with the rainwear 2010 collection and since then my rainwear collection has really taken off.
Tell us about your brand.
Sonya Vajifdar is a young, trendy luxury brand. The clothes are wearable and elegant but always have a twist to them. I believe in mixing fabrics — soft and hard to create an elegant but strong look. I love creating my own fabrics and eventually would like each collection to have fabrics designed by me. The brand is meant for people who are willing to try new things, not afraid to experiment and are confident.
What according to you does it take for a budding designer to succeed and make a mark in the fashion industry?
It takes confidence and hard work. One has to push all limits to get into the field and stay there.
Many people may ridicule your designs and ideas along the way but being strong and staying true to you really helps.
In the beginning there is no end to the work. Creating a niche, or doing something different always gets the attention of the fashion industry and if it is created well, you’re on your way.