“If there is a feeling you have in your heart about your career or the things you want to do in life, one should not wait for the second life. Whatever needs to be achieved, has to be achieved in this life only,” — Nikhil MehraFashion designing is one of the most productive, engaging, and exciting career options in today’s world. Fashion comes with great talent and creativity. If you have a penchant for creativity, style and innovation, then this is the right path for your career.India Today Education has brought an exclusive interview with Nikhil Mehra, the owner of the renowned fashion brand Shantanu&Nikhil, for clothing and accessories. A successful designer who has worked hard and achieved his goals with sheer dedication and determination, Nikhil shares his experience with us:Why have you chosen Fashion as a career option? You know there are some career options you don’t choose, they choose you. I always wanted to be in the creative business. It was the best way to hide away from the subjects of Mathematics and Political Science and I felt I had a sense of design aesthetic that I could explore. Since class 9, I went ahead and explored this journey. Within this career, I have seen a lot of change in the past 16 years. In our initial days, the acceptance for the fashion industry in India was nil. But now, the idealation in this business is huge turn around because people probably realise that the creative business is a very important aspect of people’s lives. If creative people are not flourishing, then people around them won’t look good in every sphere, from architecture to interior designs, to seeing images on billboards, in computers or in their mobile phones. So, people in India have finally started to realise the value of design.advertisementWhere did you get the inspiration from?No one inspired me. The inspiration came out of need. My brother always took the cleaner uniforms to school and I was left with dirty uniforms. So, I had to figure out my own ways to make them look good. (laughs)How has your journey been?The journey has been incredible because we are the most unique brand in India. My brother runs the business and I purely create for the business. So in its totality, it’s a realistic environment to learn. The journey has been amazing because the society has opened up to some extent, allowing people to make their own decisions. So, that is very encouraging for us because there is no confusion.Is it difficult to be a Fashion Designer?If you know what you want to do or what you are doing, then I think it’s the most magnificent journey. I think of it like I’m going to Disneyland everyday to have fun; for me, the work is like that. Because I’m so much in love with my work, I make sure I create such an environment around my employees, that they also feel that they are in Disneyland. Sometimes you have to tell them to leave early so that they can go back to their families and enjoy their life.How one should decide that it’s the right career for them? In our time, we only had Fashion Designing, Mechandising and Marketing, but now you have plenty of courses for the future. You have digital, online space, sports management etc. In the past six years, when we started designing for Mumbai Indians and the other IPL teams, we have seen that there has been such an incredible burst of sports management. Every cricketer or every sportsperson today is managed by someone. Now, it’s an organised industry; so this cause will help to fill in the gaps because all the managers are eventually going to retire, and the younger lot will need younger blood to keep coming. So, where is that going to come from? So you need a course for the future that actually thinks for you and helps you to come into a class and recognise your talent. When you have availability of resources, courses, counsellors, educators who are thinking ahead, you should go and meet with them. Come back to your centre line and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this, because I feel I fit into this’. In 1994, no one told us that this may not be for you, but today the environment is very different.How to go about the entire process? Right after you realise you want to be a fashion designer, the first thing I would suggest you to do is, go and visit colleges. Go to the different colleges teaching fashion designing, see the faculty & courses and understand the curriculum. Speak to the teachers and understand if their mindset works with your mindset. This is the first priority and then, everything will start falling into place. Don’t run away from India and go abroad for studies. I think that mindset has to change a little bit. That was 20 years ago when we didn’t feel that we had adequate education here, but now it’s awesome.advertisementDoes fashion designing have a scope in India? I think that question has a very clear answer because India and America are the two countries where you have such a strong influences of the fashion industry. We have got Bollywood , a very strong influence where clothes are sold in millions because of a certain actress wearing a particular design. The same is the case with Hollywood, and then you have the sports environment, where again cricket stars inspire people to look good.This is similar in America as well– people would follow Tiger Woods and other golfers, tennis players, baseball players, and other superstars. So, India and America have a very similar pattern.One piece of advice that you would like to give to people who are passionate about this field? I would say, “If there is a feeling you have in your heart about your career or the things you want to do, don’t wait for the another lifetime to come for it to happen. It should happen in this lifetime, so you should follow your heart because your heart will never lie to you but your head will. So listen to your heart and just follow it. I think, when that happens, a lot of Steve Jobs’ and Bill Gates’ will be produced in the world. So listen to your heart.”
KEIRON Cunningham said he was disappointed with the way Saints acquitted themselves in their Karalius Cup clash with Widnes Vikings.He saw his charges lose 30-16 at Langtree Park.“I’ve always said trial games aren’t about the result but about you do out there on the field,” he said. “So I am really disappointed tonight. I’m not upset with the result but the way we went about it and did things. I thought we went about things a little soft at times.“We started well and played with a little bit of freedom. But after seeing that we seemed to decide we were on the training field and we started playing touch footy. You cannot play rugby league like that as it goes against what the sport is about. It is a tough, simple game and is about winning the energy battle – and we didn’t do that.“Widnes looked a game ahead of us, which they were, and we decided to chase the game in the wrong manner. That is what trial games are for I suppose and we have a lot of learning to do.”He continued: “We tried some different combinations because I haven’t decided on the final side. Before the game I said to the boys make it difficult for me to pick my side for round one… well a few of the boys have made it quite easy for me.“I thought Morgan Knowles went well and when we had to change the halves around Jordan Turner did a good job at 6. I was happy with my halves but I thought my junior middle men were poor though. We tried to play football when we didn’t earn it and we put the ball down.”Cunningham said that Travis Burns came off with a little bit of concussion whilst Luke Walsh rolled his ankle a little. Both will be monitored over the next few days.