Sonaakshi Raaj

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The beautiful Sonaakshi Raaj has a National Award for the best upcoming designer of the year at the age of 21 and holds a BA degree in Apparel Manufacture and Designing from SNDT, also bagging the SNDT University’s Best Collection Award. She has been included in the top 25 designers by VOGUE India and named as the Sari-Gown Specialist. You would have seen her shining at the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The sexiest celebs have walked the ramp for her. Her regular muses include Kareena Kapoor Khan, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu among many others. Her Label specializes in women’s wear and she retails her couture line from various multi designer stores across India and overseas in Europe, UK, USA, South Africa, Canada and UAE.

Presenting the vivacious Sonaakshi Raaj. She is beautiful, friendly, joyful and knows her work very well. Her taste in design and fabrics is amazing and her pieces have a sliming effect needed by most of us. The minute you meet her you are transported back to your gossipy and young youth and time just flies. Her achievements are astonishing when you see her age, but her styling is to die for and each outfit a masterpiece embodying her very personal inimitable style factor.  The Label Sticks in conversation with Sonaakshi.

1. What are the favorite stars that wear your creations? I mean your favorites, who you love, who come to you like please do something; I need something for a party.

I have a lot of regular stars. Bipasha Basu is one of them who come’s regularly. Whenever she wants something I am the first one she will think of. I really appreciate that she has also given me a good push in media in terms of exposure. As for most of her appearances she would be wearing my outfits which really pushes me into the limelight.  Malaiki Arora again, is one of my favorite stars, she’s been my show stopper, and she’s an ideal muse so I love her also. I think she looks fantastic in my outfits. Someone I really worship.

Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor were the first two to launch my Sari Gowns. I would use the word launch because they actually brought it out in the eyes of the media. Deepika had worn it for Chennai Express promotions and Sonam Kapoor had worn it for Baag Milkha Baag promotions. So both of them wore it around the same time and the kind of hype it churned and generated in the media was the biggest first initial push that my label ever received. So it came in the eyes of the people and I got immense amount of inquiries for my sari gowns. Post which, Shilpa Shetty has been wearing it and looks absolutely stunning.

2. So only sexy women are wearing your stuff (laughs)

Who’s not sexy in the industry? If you wear the right cuts and fabrics you will look sexy. All of them are sexy I have Sonakshi Sinha who wears these, she look stunning, Huma Qureshi has worn my stuff, she looks sensuous, Parineeti Chopra has worn them, all of them I would say look mind blowing.

3. How would you describe your creation? Indo-Western, traditional, modern, eclectic or World culture?

It’s contemporary Indian. It’s new age. It is classic, it’s like everlasting. My stuff is not at all funky but it is westernized Indian. That’s why I said it’s contemporary and its new age. If I give you a gown with tassels on one side which replaces the Pallu and gives a cascading style, it is a westernized version of a sari, basically it’s a gown. Then there are these jackets that can be teamed up with saris or dresses. so it’s very contemporary Indian.

4. Are you thinking of franchising?

Franchising, I’ve got some offers but let’s see if I want to, but I am looking at the possibility. My next step is having a store in Delhi as I have a home in Delhi.

5. What was that statement that really helps you when you're totally down?

You know something that I have learnt in life is never to say a ‘NO’. In terms of life, whenever work approaches me, I don’t get scared or I am not afraid of the hard work. I’m not the kind of person to give up or even get afraid of hard work. I take it as a challenge and do it. I’m not only into designing but also into styling so I do films simultaneously. I have done the costumes of Heropanti, Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon and now I am doing the next one for Tiger Shroff with Shraddha Kapoor and working simultaneous on my label.

I do not shy away or fear away from hard work, I like taking it up as a challenge. Sometimes, even when clients want something on a certain day which is difficult to achieve I don’t say ‘NO’ because I believe we can do it and even it is difficult we make sure that we do it and that’s something I’ve been advising my assistants to adapt as a  strategy and philosophy in life. That if you want to achieve something, then work towards it and don’t be afraid of it.

6. You told me that at the beginning Lakme fashion did not accept you. How did you get up? What did you tell yourself?

Of course I was dejected; I was upset I was depressed but I told myself… give it your best shot next time, don’t be a loser. I mean just go for it. So I am a “Go for it” kinda girl.

7. What styling advice would you give to an average Indian wheatish complexion and body with curves?

I play with a lot of drapes. So it styles and camouflages problem areas, we could style something with a lot of drapes which also elevates the height. So it will make the appearance leaner and make people look taller. I think more feminine colors, pink or something like lavender color palettes, whites will suit. Royal blues will suit, green, jewel tones, pastel shades, all these colors will look nice.

8. What is your favorite quote that you say to everybody to inspire people.

I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. This was when I was working as an intern with Manish Malhotra. There was this small incident I had with Rani Mukherjee where I was doing her costumes and she wanted a ring to be made silver from its gold color. The assistant told her it was not possible as the shot was to happen in the next 20 minutes. But as she is very particular with even the smallest detail, she said I am not asking you, I am telling you and I want it to be done., so he took it and got it done in 10 minutes exactly the way she wanted. That was something I learnt on that day and I was really young, I was just 20 years old. That is something to learn from.

That is an attitude, that if you want something, you need to insist on it and a way will be found. Work is what’s the most important thing. That’s what shows in front of the camera, or what shows for me on the ramp. So that is something that cannot be compromised.

9. So nothing is impossible is your mantra?

I think it’s not only about nothing is impossible to have that attitude to achieve that, to derive that is important.

10. What has been the motivational statement that keeps you going? What is that one thing you tell yourself when you get depressed or dejected?

One thing I’ve learned actually over the years while being a part of this industry, I’ve gone through a lot of hard work at a very young age. I used to work late hours. I am 27 years old. I believe age does not matter its your can do attitude that gets you there.

Celebrities that wear Sonaakshi Raaj's Designs.

Sushmita Sen

Bipasha Basu

Madhuri Dixit

Deepika Padukone

Malaika Arora Khan

Alia Bhatt

Chitrangada Singh

Sonam Kapoor

Kriti Sanon

Prachi Desai

Shweta Tripathi

Shilpa Shetty

Divya Khosla Kumar

Aamna Sharif

And many more …

Sonaakshi Raaj’s Birthday Greetings

The Label Sticks Team feels like celebrating the birthday of our favorite designer, the young and vivacious Sonaakshi Raaj. This Dubsmash is just for you. We love you. Happy Birthday!