People | Shades Of Sophistication

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Shades Of Sophistication
Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena and Photographs by Idis.In / Meher Kamath
Published: Volume 21, Issue 11, November, 2013

Her vibrant personality and inner sensibilities are reflected in her plush lifestyle choices. Neha Nagar, director, Terra Sans Home Couture, shares her passion for the finer things of life with Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena

She inhabits a world of luxury – both personally and professionally – and it is one that has not only shaped her inner sensibilities but is also a natural extension of her personality. Early last year, Neha Nagar launched Terra Sans Home Couture, a store that boasts of high-end brands like Fendi Casa with the avowed aim of bringing style and glamour to the Indian home decor market by introducing the best of international furniture brands in India.

On a trip to the capital a short while ago, I spend some time with the young entrepreneur, first in her store and then in her family abode. A short drive from the luxurious store finds us in the expansive bungalow that is home to the 26-year-old director of Terra Sans Home Couture. Walking gently across the paved pathway that criss-crosses the huge verdant compound, we step into her home’s warm interiors. A flight of stairs leads up to the inner rooms and I can spot her nephew playing on the landing. Nagar and I settle down in the hall that is filled with a sense of quietness, even though the silent-footed staff is bustling around attending to our every need.

Being a keen sportsperson and an avid traveller, Nagar played basketball and was an intrepid runner – her tall lithe frame is ample evidence of her interest in keeping fit. She also has a passion for the finer things in life including fashion, food and lifestyle which is reflected in her work.

Growing up in a joint family, young Nagar imbibed a lot from the influence of her elders – her father, Rajendra Nagar, is someone she learnt the most from. Her formative years were first spent in New Delhi and then in Montreux, Switzerland where she graduated from reputed institutes.Nagar’s professional career was born when she opened her retail outlet for Esprit in South Extension, New Delhi. Of her debut venture, she states, “Running my first retail outlet taught me that business is not financial science; it’s all about trading.”

Nagar made sure that she learnt all the ropes when her first opportunity came to open a luxury store in New Delhi. “I went abroad to understand how the brand works. I wanted to see how the entire exercise would help not just us, but the clients as well.” When she felt she was ready to take the quantum leap, in early 2012 she launched Terra Sans Home Couture.

Having just spent time in its well-appointed space at Paras Twin Towers, it is obvious how Nagar has addressed the demands within the home décor and fine-dining arenas. She has successfully filled the lacuna that several Indian connoisseurs faced, providing them with what they craved for from the international luxury markets. And, as she emphasises repeatedly, “For me, my company is not just something that deals in international interior luxury furniture or home decor accessories; it is a platform through which I can implement my thoughts and ideas.”

Referring to her aesthetic sensibilities that get reflected in what she does, Nagar states, “I was always into fashion and the way my spaces looked. I helped my mother at home whenever she wanted to redo our interiors. I would add colours and always thought about where things should go. This helped me when I decided to bring in Fendi Casa as that is all about homes and what you put there.”

At work, she looks the part always. As far as her own wardrobe sensibilities go, Nagar says, “My style sense is completely defined by my personality. If I have a formal meeting, I wear a dress – normally it is a straight-cut, knee-length one. I do wear suits but that is mostly my attire in winters. For casual wear and on weekends, I am normally found in my trousers or a pair of jeans with a shirt. I accessorise my looks a little, so even if I wear a plain dress, I have to wear something with it. I like chunky jewellery, but I also wear my solitaires or my cocktail rings. The jewellery depends entirely on my clothes and the occasion. If I am wearing a formal gown, then I will add a formal piece of jewellery to it.”

Nagar, who is a self-confessed avid traveller, admits to being excited by exploring new trends and cultures. She points out, “I love shopping in London. Ever since I was growing up, I would go there to do all my shopping. The city is all about high-street fashion. I think that London is the only place in the world where every person – especially the young – is always dressed up stylishly.”

Rather philosophically, she believes that if one cannot achieve great things in life then one should do small things in a great way – which seems to be her mantra for success. She has learnt how to navigate the maze that the world of business brings with it. Nagar states, “To do this, I’ve had a lot of help – without my parents I would not have been able to do so much. Running a business involves a lot of technical, back-end stuff which I have had to pick up from scratch. I am still learning and have a long way to go. And, honestly, our work is different from most interior designers. What we are trying to do is sell specific brands. We are not actually creating new things ourselves.”

Nagar emphasises, “I am not a designer myself but I am an eclectic buyer. And I don’t always ike to wear designer clothes from top to bottom. That is not really me. And, as far as my personal space goes, right now, I am doing up my new home. So that is a challenging task. And I am designing the show flat for a new project. For that I need to understand what the clients need from us. For even in our Fendi Casa store, different clients take to different things. Trying to understand all that is enough to keep my creative juices flowing!”

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