Having taken a leap towards the interior sector, we talk to Indian designer JJ Valaya about his new venture, The Home of the Traveler
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: May 28, 2014
What do Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Versace, Paul Smith and JJ Valaya have in common? Apart from being fashion designers, they all have a piece in the pie of home décor. More than just that, you only need to look at Hotel Armanis and Hotel Moschinos to know that the interior design sector is incredibly tempting for fashion designers.
In India, while the designer duo Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla have been revamping celebrity homes for years now, designer Suneet Varma recently adorned the Dusit Devarana hotel in New Delhi.
Taking the next step forward in India is JJ Valaya and his brother TJ Singh. With a lovingly created The Home of the Traveler, Mr Valaya stands proud with their curation of home décor products, collected from all over the world over the years. With each artifact having a unique story of its own, you will surely find things that will fit your perfect home. Ornate mirrors, minimalist sofas, brass stands, exquisitely carved furniture – everything is larger than life in his store.
Ask Mr Valaya about the thought behind the venture, and he says, “We have approached this segment in a two pronged strategy. The first, The Home of the Traveler, is a culturally inspired experience where everything is curated by me and put together as a cohesive story which supports our core belief that the old and the new must coexist in any modern home. The second, Valaya Home, will be an uber luxury brand where everything is designed by us, be it the furniture, the floors, the walls, the soft furnishings besides, of course, our signature wall tapestries for which we are already well-known.”
The furniture and décor items in The Home of the Traveler have been divided into six definitive moods - Art Deco, Vintage, Organic, Glamour, India and World. A creative and intelligent way to do it, Mr Valaya has immense passion for design and the way it is presented and interpreted. After all, he started his label in 1992!
You can see the same passion in the way he has done up Home of the Traveler. It speaks sophistication, classiness, and most importantly, roots to one’s culture, the way his clothes do. “There is one thing I strongly believe in that Art in any form needs to be statement making and that’s one consistency you will notice across all our ventures. I like to believe in "a life less ordinary". Be it curation for The Home of the Traveler or the unique experimentation in cutting edge Couture at JJ Valaya or the handling of spaces in the uber luxury Valaya Home (which is soon to be launched),” says Mr Valaya.
Valaya Home is their next step forward in the world of interiors. Forward from curation, Mr Valaya is venturing into designing spaces and signature furniture and accessories, and accomplishing projects of varied scale.
If you have seen his apparel collections, you wouldn’t really be worried about his interior products. Luckily, some of his cushions adorn my sofa, and they assure me that his interior projects are going to be as fascinating!
Summarising his design philosophy, Mr Valaya says, “The element of drama is very important in design, but in an elegant way, whether it is for clothes or interiors. I believe in scale and detail, therefore life needs to be replete with "awe" moments, be it clothing or interiors. This philosophy forms the very basis of my designs, hence for me, there is a distinct commonality in the way I approach both. We also have a distinct signature anchored in the Nomadic Royal look, one which defines what we are all about.”
With grandiose plans for his interior projects, just like his designs, Mr Valaya aims to have two large format The Home of the Traveler flagship stores, one in Delhi and one in Mumbai, whereas with ‘THT Living’, they hope to reach 20-30 stores in the next five years, most of which will be franchised. Thereafter, they are keen to look at taking this model international.
Creating a seamless blend between fashion and interiors, Mr Valaya knows how to keep his customers satisfied. Indeed, The Home of the Traveller has been acknowledged quite well by all his fans!
Coordinates: Flagship store: K # 368 & 369, Sultanpur MG (turn into lane opposite Metro pillar # 16 B), New Delhi, India
THT Living: Unit # 100, Mehar Chand Market, New Delhi, India