The Lacquer Embassy brand is the brainchild of Nikhil Sharma, a designer-come-stylist-come-consultant and a previous MWS contributing writer, producing exquisite silk pocket squares and shirts.
I caught up with Nikhil to discuss the Lacquer Embassy, his experiences in fashion and the rather unique pocket square shoots!
What made you want to start Lacquer Embassy?
“I guess I managed to pack it all up as fashion in today’s world is so interdisciplinary. I worked as a menswear designer for the British high street for quite a number of years after my Masters in Fashion. I started working as a stylist alongside as I not only loved to put looks together for menswear editorials, but also to create the concept, the mood and the set. Putting creative energies with likeminded photographers and having a vision was so different from designing clothes. Gradually the work got appreciated and I managed to create some good menswear visuals with some amazing teams. I also started working as a freelance menswear consultant for a trend forecasting agency in London. An amalgamation of having worked in the corporate world in London and India for more than eight years made me reach a point where I was ready to set up a small niche brand of my own. My label, Lacquer Embassy, was born out of a desire to realise the aesthetics I have cultivated throughout my travels, life experiences, and my own experiments in style. I have started from scratch with just a few tools of attitude, vision and honesty which are supported by a design centric approach in every aspect of the brand.”
What inspired you to go into this area of the industry?
“I initially wanted to study architecture. Having also applied to a fashion school, my portfolio was appreciated and I was given an offer to join. I decided to give it a shot even though this wasn’t the original plan. Since I started I had an inclination towards menswear. I was not interested in women’s clothes at all; I think it came with an ease for me to design what I would wear.”
What sets Lacquer Embassy apart from the rest?
“Lacquer Embassy combines classic influences with modern culture focusing heavily on attention to detail and minimalist silhouettes. The label aims to encompass the fusion of relaxed elegance of youth and luxury with a definite sense of modern aesthetics. The designs are brought about from an uncomplicated perspective. I have always had a strong graphic sensibility since I started studying fashion which comes through in my brand now. There is an emphasis on prints and patterns, while still maintaining fairly simple tailored silhouettes so they are very wearable. The aesthetics of the brand fits in with our contemporary lifestyles, where laid back and unfussy outfits are a necessity, even during the most semi-formal occasions. I think these days, formal and casual have become interchangeable in the modern world.”
How did you come up with the unique lookbook concept?
“This is where working and exploring different disciplines of the creative part of fashion has helped me. I designed the pocket squares and then styled the entire shoot. Design and good aesthetics play a key role for me in every aspect of my brand and lifestyle. Every little detail from the packaging to the product to the styling are all equally important. Also, since I don’t have major investments in the brand it helps to do it all, though I am lucky to have found a photographer who shares the same vision as me.”
What does the future hold for Lacquer Embassy?
“Our stuff has been ordered and worn by guys in Australia, Singapore, London, New York, Hong Kong and India. It makes me happy that the label is worn by metropolitan gents all around the world and not bound to a certain region. The vision is to have more men wear the label all across the world – anyone (regardless of age) who appreciates good design and strives for a better quality of life. The brand embodies the sartorial style of the modern jet setting gentleman and I would like to continue working on it. I would also like to offer more categories and services gradually. I think that menswear is very exciting nowadays, as the realm is getting so creative. It has entered a very dynamic phase and hopefully my brand can contribute to it in its own small way.”