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Nagaland

Stephen Lotha: Sewing up a storm with seamless designs

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By EMN Updated: Jan 22, 2019 12:16 am
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Stephen Lotha

Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Jan. 21: Upcoming designer Stephen Lotha from  Dimapur has his eyes set on big things and offers a different perspective about current fashion trends. Ever since launching his eponymous label in May 2018, Lotha’s line has steadily garnered a following.

One would describe his line as classy, timeless and chic while the designer explains that his designs are a figment of his imagination.
“I have created an imaginary woman in my head who is conservative yet sexy, a little fun a little prudish; she is powerful mentally yet relaxed,” Lotha explained. He loves sheer, and romances it with hints of softness and ‘danger.’

With a Bachelor’s degree in literature, the designer returned to Nagaland in 2014 after working as a stylist in Delhi. In Dimapur, Lotha dabbled in designing for the Connect Studio where he was the brand’s creative director.
“Fashion is an expression of what you feel and it is only beautiful if it is authentic,” Stephen says. He joined the fashion industry in 2007 and realised that it was not only fun and games. “Behind the glam, ours is a lot of hard work, physically and mentally; I learnt that you need to consistently keep your vision alive while working as hard.”

While the fashion industry is changing constantly, ideas and visions are also continuously being altered. When asked what he thought about the ever-changing trends, he says that he has never believed in following trends, although admitting that he enjoys looking at them. “Hence there is never a pressure in that context, except for the usual pressure of keeping your vision alive.”
With regard to Nagaland and the market for eponymous labels, Stephen believes that the market here is developing but one that will take some time for buyers to trust and put faith in their labels. “We just have to keep on working hard towards creating something special,” Lotha explained.

Describing his personal style, Stephen likes to keep his options open to change and emotions. “Sometimes my style is borderline exhibitionist and mostly non gender specific.”
When asked if he could go back and tell himself one thing before starting his label, Lotha said he would have told himself to be prepared for every setback and opportunity, while also treating both with respect and passion. Like anyone starting a new business, many would get the jitters. It was no different for Stephen. “My biggest fear when I started Lotha.Stephen was (about) running out of passion and inspiration.”

On the plus side, the designer also knew that he would be getting involved with “people and their stories, their insecurities and fantasies,” which he deemed one of the greatest gifts he would get by opening his own clothing line.
Inspired by designers like Alber Elbaz, John Galliano, Sonia Rykiel, he says his clothes are also all about enjoying one’s own “individuality while also feeling sexy.” That is exactly what he wants to achieve with his label.

Future plans? Stephen wants to have a bigger unit and employ more people while also moving towards more conscious clothing and incorporate ethnic ideas in addition to translating them for a bigger audience.
Stephen can be  contacted through his label’s Instagram page Lotha.Stephen.

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By EMN Updated: Jan 22, 2019 12:16:59 am