Get Inspired

Nida Mahmood: Name to know

JAN 25, 2016 | By Aditi Gaitonde
Endearingly called the Queen of Indian Kitsch, Nida dabbles in everything from fashion and graphics to interior design and decor products. Last year, she was selected as one of the winners of Godrej Design Lab 2015, a product design contest in association with ELLE DECOR India for designers of all ages. She won a chance to develop her concept of decorative wall plates that were showcased at India Design ID 2015 in New Delhi.
Although she was studying to be a doctor, Nida with her natural creative sensibilities soon realised that she was “more attracted to colour and form as opposed to an insipid white lab coat and stethoscope”. After her 12th grade, she skipped the medical entrance exam and took the test to enter NIFT. “And the rest, as they say, is history,” she quips.
A trained designer, she doesn’t restrict herself to one creative segment as there has never been a demarcation in her mind. “For me, everything emerges from my design philosophy which is art translated. I love to experiment with anything creative, so I’ve been exploring art and product design for a while,” she explains. More recently, she expanded her horizons to interior design with an eclectic boutique studio-in-bar Junglee Billee in New Delhi. The muses for this new eatery include her fluffy cat Mr Toffee Tinkerbell and the bold women of Delhi. She envisioned a space where delicate Art Nouveau meets rugged Industrial Revolution in cahoots with the drama of Bollywood Bloom.
For Nida, inspiration comes from India – her streets, nooks, crannies, crowds and cows. “I’m inspired by what moves us as Indians. I believe in bringing a piece of the country into my work each time. But I like to be cool and not preachy about it,” she elaborates. Further detailing her design philosophy, Nida illustrates that for her everything is art. She points out that designing a space or creating garments, all require a deep understanding of art and how it can be modified into the end product. “My ideology enables me to objectively understand the relevance of blurring lines between fashion, product and interior design,” reveals the NIFT alumnus.
Talking about Good Luck Irani Cafe line of wall plates, her winning Godrej Design Lab product, she discloses, “They were inspired by the Irani cafes of Bombay. I wanted to create the imagery of a mad hatter’s tea party in a cafe in a very ‘Nida Mahmood’ flavour. The wall plates were an extension of my Spring Summer 2015 fashion line.” She had a great time collaborating with the team at Godrej Design Lab to develop the product further and showcased the final product at India Design ID 2015.
For more details about Godrej Design Lab, visit