A name to reckon with in the world of luxury fashion jewellery, Nitya Arora has a unique talent for crafting unconventional baubles. Her one-of-a-kind pieces appeal to anyone with a sense of fashion and style. She considers her label, Valliyan, an extension of her personality, and her designs, a reflection of her whimsical self. Her exquisite creations, which exude the charm of the bygone eras, still offer a promise of the future. Nitya gets talking about her beginning, inspirations, and everything else about her life with You & I.
When did you first realise that you wanted to pursue a career in jewellery design?
I never really wanted to be a jewellery designer (laughs); I always wanted to be an architect or an interior designer. Jewellery designing just happened. One day, when I was bored, I just randomly designed a whole collection of jewellery, because I couldn’t find the kind of jewellery I wanted to wear anywhere in the market! What followed was a series of sketches and then a full-fledged career.
What inspires you?
Everything, from my grandmother to my experiences growing up, travel, art, nature, architecture, and my own likes and dislikes… I always say that creative people feed off creation!
What was the first job you landed out of college?
It was with architect Ashiesh Shah. Back then, I was just out of high school and had not even enrolled in a college. I was just 16!
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?
To go to an architecture school, no matter what!
How is working in fashion today different from when you started?
When I started out, I was one-of-a-kind in the industry. I was a pioneer in the space of luxury fashion jewellery. Now, there are a hundred and one knock-offs in the market, and people are conveniently plagiarising and labelling themselves as designer brands. And since fashion is so fleeting, the field has become a lot more challenging these days.
What role does social media play in fashion and jewellery today?
Although social media has changed the game altogether, it has its pros and cons. While it helps you reach out to a larger audience and stay connected with your fan base and clientele, it can also lead to plagiarism, as the designs are easily accessible.
What was your biggest fear when you started your own line?
I was only 21 when I started designing, and I had no fear whatsoever. I still don’t. I’m very confident of my designing skills, and that’s something no one can ever take away from me.
How do you want women to feel while wearing your jewellery?
I want them to feel powerful, confident, happy, and liberated, as though they can do anything they want and have anything they desire.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
The fact that I get to create beauty every day. When a woman wears a piece of Valliyan jewellery, it isn’t just exciting for her to wear it, but also for the viewer to see it. It stimulates and creates an energy that’s magnetic. When people appreciate and love the pieces they buy and wear for years, you know you did a good job. This is the part that’s most gratifying.
Which of your creations do you consider your masterpiece?
I’m very critical of myself. So I don’t know if I’ve created anything yet that can be called a masterpiece. But yes, I do have some memorable collections and pieces! – as told to Sumana