interviewed by Calum Donoghue, 5 April 2015
Having worked with the some of best designer brands in the world including LVMH, Jean Paul Gaultier, Tom Ford and Salvatore Ferragamo, Nik Thakkar is a creative force to be reckoned with. QH talks to the London and New York based tastemaker...
You seem to be the poster boy for the multitasking generation (creative, model, strategist, blogger...) how do you keep your work life balanced?
I think work-life balance comes from a more philosophical place. As human beings we are forced to multi-task by default, it is only when someone chooses to segregate this multi-tasking between work and life that this question even arises. We all have 24 hours in a day. If it means anything, I am pretty terrible at doing my own laundry though...
Menswear designer is just one of the impressive roles you have added to your repertoire, Ada + Nik took LC:M by storm in January, how was the experience and what is next for the label?
That's really kind of you to say, thank you. Our AW15 collection 'Noir Desir' was received really well and we're currently working on expanding the Ada + Nik offering- that's all that I can say right now. With regards to SS16 though, we'll be showing again at London Collections: Men in June and exhibiting in Paris. We're also looking to do something in NYC, but nothing is confirmed yet.
A/W15 was entirely noir, and featured heavy leathers, what was your inspiration behind the collection?
Let's just say that black as a colour is our consistent heavy hitter. Noir Desir is rooted in the themes of redemption and forgiveness which allowed us to build products such as the Narrative Jacket with inbuilt camera to document the every day without losing the physical experience, and also paved way for our partnership with the inmates at Holloway Prison.
You have worked internationally, where has been your favourite place to work?
I like LA more and more. I used to say New York, but I think I need the consistent weather. Also dressing in black in LA is so much more rebellious.
You consult for some of the worlds biggest names, any exciting projects you are working on?
I just partnered with Ferragamo on their latest campaign which was an awesome honour. I've been developing an incredibly talented dark electro r&b artist Alo Lee - which is a new challenge and incredibly fulfilling. You should check her music out, it is early days but there's some big stuff in the pipeline.
You are based in London and New York, in both cities, where must QH readers visit?
Right...here goes. My favourite place in NYC is The Smile on Bond. In London, the closest equivalent is Damson on Brewer Street in Soho and in LA I like Birds and the Chateau. I am really chilled and low key suits me.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like functional and timeless but with a layer of futurism. I understand trends but don't follow them.
What was the last item of clothing you bought and where was it from?
I bought a plaid shirt from D GNAK in NYC and a pair of skate boots from ODD on Ludlow where Ada + Nik is stocked. I like contemporary designers fused with heritage luxury brands like Vuitton - that's part of my style.
Who has been your favourite designer to work with and why?
I can't name a favourite, but Jean Paul Gaultier is such an incredible visionary - his values on gender and rebellion are similar to mine and what really stayed with me.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt so far in your career?
Just keep taking risks.