“When I was 22, it was the ‘90s and tough for someone like me, who didn’t make Indian clothes!,” says Ashish Soni
The designer talks about starting his label at that age, not having any bank balance, being focused on fitness and hoping to get on the international arena
Where were you career-wise?
I had just launched my label. There were just a handful of us and we had to create it from scratch. Unlike the young designers today, we didn’t have readymade platforms. Design, PR, Marketing — we handled them all!
And your bank balance was?
Non-existent. The ‘90s were tough for someone like me, who didn’t make Indian clothes.
Any romance in life?
I was in a serious relationship.
What was your focus in life?
To carve out a niche for myself in the world of fashion and be recognised and appreciated for what I do.
And your frame of mind?
I was extremely ambitious and hungry for success. It’s perhaps why I am where I am in life today.
Did you live with family?
I lived with my mom and my sister, as dad was still abroad.
What was your fashion sense like?
It was completely governed by trends and what was in vogue. When I look back now, I’m like “why???”!
Any fitness regime?
I was super fit as I was obsessed with working out and playing football.
Your most prized possession at the time?
A Breitling watch! Something I’d wanted for many years.
And your biggest dream back then?
To make it to the international arena one day. Thankfully, God gave me that opportunity.
The biggest life lesson you’ve learnt?
One thing I would advise youngsters to do differently is avoid distractions. Serious relationships, random partying and excessive spending should be put on the back burner.
If you could change one thing, it would be?
Irrespective of how much clarity I had, I was naive and easily distracted. It took me 10 years to figure out my groove. I wish I had been a little more aggressive. Being focused is one thing and staying focused is another!
From HT Brunch, June 6, 2021
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