With people within the region becoming more open to buying and wearing outfits made by local designers, more fashion labels have come up all across the Northeast. A few years back, designers were forced to move out of the region to pursue a career in fashion, but, nowadays, they can choose to pursue their dreams without leaving home. It is true that there are quite a few challenges like: availability of quality and affordable material, lack of exposure as compared to metro cities but a couple of talented designers from the region have managed to put themselves on the map through sheer passion and grit, setting an example for the rest. One such up-and-coming designer who is making waves in the region is Odirenla Walling, the woman behind the label ‘Odiren’, based out of Nagaland.
Odirenla was always interested in fashion, right from when she was in high school. Over time, her fondness grew deepened into a passion. ‘There is a saying, “What you allow, is what will continue”. And, thus my passion grew with each passing day. Actually, I had always been toying with the idea of having my own brand/label.’
The label named Odiren was started in 2016. Like most designers based out of the region, Odirenla had to go through her share of ups and downs to get the label off the ground but she feels that all of it has helped her grow as a designer and as a person. ‘In life, we all have our share of struggles. It takes both good days and bad days to define a personality and a brand. There have been an end number of challenges and trials. But through all these experiences, I have learned to focus and channel all my energy on the good vibes and positivity.’
Her latest collection has a ‘Fairytale’ theme. The designs are clean and simple and yet they have an elegant fantasy feel keeping in line with the theme of the collection. The colour palette is subtle but the minimalist detailing makes the outfits stand out.
Odirenla likes to work with all kinds of fabrics and her current favourite is silk. ‘Regardless of the type of material I use in my designs, my ultimate goal is to make people feel comfortable and beautiful.’ As for inspiration, she feels that nature inspires her most of all. ‘My inspiration comes from the ultimate designer, God. The best example being nature; how every creation blends to bring out the perfect picture. That is what I wish to bring out in my work as well.’
As of now, people can look though her collection and purchase outfits by Odirenla via the ODIREN Facebook page. Interested buyers and fashionistas can also contact her through the label’s account on Instagram.
Talking about the future of the label, Odirenla feels that she has a long way to go. ‘I will continue to learn and grow. Knowledge is timeless, it is a continuous process. Innovation or creativity doesn’t stop at a particular age and time. I would want to keep my mind and eyes open to people and things around me. Find inspiration in the oddest of places and create something that is timeless.’
By Meeta Borah
This article was first published in Eclectic Northeast (January 2017) issue