Ruche & Hues designer Nitya Mittal opens up about what inspires her and whose her role model....

Every designer has an inspiration, a person or a role model to look up to in the industry from whom they derive their energies. Mine is Elie Saab!

He inspires me. I have been following him, and his career path since I discovered I love to design.

His Journey in the design industry gives me kick overtime i read about him, and wonder, hope and work towards one day Ruche & Hues will have a similar story to tell. How, Elie Saab at the age of 8 years started his fashion charisma by cutting laces out of his mother’s wardrobe and modeling them on his sisters. He started designing for his sisters and slowly his neighborhood. At the age of 17 he moved to Paris for a year to study fashion and came back to Beirut at the age of 18 to launch his own clothing line with only 15 employees working for him.

At first, his atelier was specialized in bridal couture, making wedding dresses and gowns using rich fabrics, lace, detailed embroidery, pearls, crystals and silk threads. He used noble materials such as taffeta, organza, and satin paired with more fluid and light fabrics giving his clothing range a unique fusion of western as well as eastern culture.

Elie Saab became the first non-Italian designer member of the Italian Camera Nazionale della Moda. After showing his first collection outside Lebanon in Rome, he started (his) pret collection in Milan and held a fashion show in Monaco.

Thereafter, there was no stop to his couture recognition.

Today, he is one of the most renowned couture designers in the world. His silhouettes, drapes, embellishments are put together in his designs magically. That inspires and amazes me.

I’m awestruck with what he creates with these raw materials available to everyone. His pieces are never under-or-over embellished and look delicate and precious at all times.

I take the liberty of comparing myself and my journey with his. I can’t help but notice the uncanny resemblance and link my ongoing struggle with his initial days. Even I’m a self-taught designer who began designing her own garments at the age of 15.

"I hope to be where he is 10 years from now".

There was a time I wore clothes designed by me for special occasions. Gradually, I started designing for my elder sister and friends and participated in numerous domestic POP fashion events. These events always left me fulfilled with my collection completely selling out during the course and garnering lot of praises and attention.

Soon after, I pursued my formal education from a boarding school in India. That taught me so many things from being independent, disciplines, productive and positive. We didn’t have the luxury of time or second options. We had to do it the first time and right so making something out of every situation became a way of life and I’m proud of that learning.

I finished my education and came back to the city life to a big question staring at me. What next? It had to be something in design (OR) based – fashion design or interior design. After a bad attempt at the fashion exams for one of the prestigious fashion colleges, I moved to studying interior designing. Studied the art of making spaces for 4 years and worked in the industry serving interior clients for 3 more years. But fashion never left me.

I started working with my boyfriend back then, now husband and his mother in their fashion buying house which was a family business. Worked there for 6 years and finally got the courage to start my own accessory line toward the end of 2014. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the fashion world, and that was my calling. I wanted to create something unique, something unusual yet very wearable. I started working on patterns, designs, color combinations, and contrasts.

In 2015 December I launched my first SS’16 to the international market with my partner in crime- Isha Gupta and touch wood it has been a great journey since and the designs have been accepted well by the global market.

Using beads, sequins, stones, lace, metal and creating a unique design is passion for me. I love what I do. Colors, pattern, fabric, transcened into my designs and complete me.

There is abundance of couture designers out there. The materials I use are not unique or different to what hundred and thousands of people use out there. What's different is how I use them and what I create out of them.

What I learnt from Elie Saab is you don’t need a formal training to really follow your passion. It’s the need for understanding your aesthetics, tools, raw material, trends, target market more important. The designs and what you can do with them could be naturally in you and can be enhanced by education and experience.

That’s why I am here today, giving a dimension to my passion, my designs.

Elie Saab was from Beirut but he travelled cities to show his work around, to learn fashion, to learn trends. He believed in his product and knew his market. Of course luck plays a vital role and success is not for everyone. However I do believe in my creation and confident about my target market.

Its the faith in me which will make me travel oceans for my collection and passion in me to make it what Elie Saab is today. Slow and steady wins the race.

Thank you Elle Saab for instilling faith in me and my journey. If you cross milestones for your passion, the universe conspires to make your dream a reality. With passion comes love, and with love you can transcend all. I wish to serve passionately, and make available my natural instinct to designs to the world.

Who knows I will meet you some day in my journey to conquer all and thank you for being such an inspiring role model!

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