Home / Fashion / Nitin Chawla
Play Video

Nitin Chawla

Facebook Linkedin twitter Pinterest Google Plus E-mail this link to a friend.

Previously for our Fashion issue we featured designer Nitin Chawla of Theorem; creating designs with a gender-bending twist. Staying true to his sensibility and experimentation, as an artist he is unafraid of flying outside the fashion industry’s conventions and norms. Excerpts from the interview.

How has your creative process evolved, and has it changed over time?
Evolution is a natural process. With the passage of each season, I realise that a designer’s success is measured by the ability to create fashionable garments featuring new ideas, which customers want to buy. Trend-spotting, attending fashion shows and exhibitions, travelling overseas, referring to fashion journals etc., all this I guess has made my creative process evolve. Commercial viability, customer’s demand and production feasibility have slightly altered/changed my creative process, as now I firmly believe that for a design to be successful, it should ultimately sell.

Do you keep any gender in mind while designing? And what influences your art?
Yes I do keep gender in mind while designing, but with the passage of time, I ultimately started designing pieces that both genders could adopt for their wardrobes. Reason being, many of our men’s pieces were ordered by our female clients in their sizes, and few stores even started placing orders for our men’s styles for female clients at their request.
Theorem portrays that our subconscious mind has the ability to let our deeper thoughts resurface, and contemplate them in ‘Detail’. Then, ‘Storytelling & Expression’ are the two tools that give greater meaning to the products beyond their utilitarian purposes. This philosophy greatly influences our art.

Gender fluidity has been building up in fashion for a few years. Last year, non-gendered clothes progressed even further. In your opinion, what is the significance of the new trend?
I think that this trend of gender fluidity/non-gender clothing is going to stay for a good time. What we’re seeing nowadays is a profound shift in fashion, a widening acceptance of a style. Practically speaking, gender fluidity is going to prove a boon for designers. By showing men’s and women’s looks in tandem, we would be saving time and money, and honing an identity.

Lastly, describe your overall design vocabulary. When conceptualising a new piece, what is the most important aspect to you?
Whenever conceptualising anything, I start with the doodles/sketches. At the same time, I keep in mind the varied preferences of the different consumer groups that I cater to. My first task is to conduct a research on my market and to forecast the trends most likely to be successful and liked. When I say forecast the trends, I mean to narrow down upon the details/ trends, which would be something new for the customer, and at the same time sellable. I go with my intuition and take this further. The research process also involves sourcing materials and trims and most importantly, the fabric. Finally, the most important aspect to me is: when and where to stop… as at times it might lead to what we call ‘Overdone’.


Text Shruti Kapur Malhotra

MORE IN Fashion


A white oxford shirt reinterpreted with a diaphanous accordion detail; a monochrome jumpsuit with a cape for an accent; an

Karl Lagerfeld

#ThrowbackThursday with Karl Lagerfeld

'When I came, Chanel was a sleeping beauty, still a beauty but asleep. I had to wake her up.' - Karl Lagerfeld. As

Platonic Solids

Konstantin Kofta

Konstantin Kofta is an accessory designer based out of Kiev, Ukraine. His work is inspired by emotions—its beauty, elegance and

Schulen Fernandes for Wendell Rodricks

Schulen Fernandes

Fashion Designer A Mumbai girl with Goan roots, Schulen Fernandes is taking over Wendell Rodricks’ fashion house as the maestro retires

Interview of the Week: Arjun Saluja

Arjun Saluja

Rishta We talk to the mind behind Rishta, and he takes us through his creative process, design vocabulary and his singular

Atlas Lion

Hermes presents Fierce and Fragile: Big Cats in the Art of Robert Dallet

Hermès, the Parisian luxury house, and Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, have joined forces to pay homage to the

In God We Trust


Munem Wasif

The Artist  I was born in Bangladesh in 1983 and I studied at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka,

Profile of the Week: Ishrat Sahgal


Ishrat Sahgal

Mishcat Co, Design House Following a degree in interior architecture, when Ishrat Sahgal returned to Indian shores from The States, it

A still from Kaash



Ishaan Nair, Director The Filmmaker The new director in Mira Nair’s family, Ishaan has been working after his degree in direction and

A graphic story written and illustrated by Aindri Chakraborty


All That We Want - The Gaysi Zine

The fifth edition of The Gaysi Zine embarks on a journey to explore the unchartered realm of queer desires, and

Interview of the Week: Jesse Veverka


Jesse Veverka

Passfire All around the world, fireworks are synonymous with celebration. People from different parts of the world may speak different languages

Rush by Mali


Rush by Mali

When Maalavika Manoj aka Mali started strumming her own tunes she found inspiration in long-lost friendships, memories of home and