Nagaland has always been a hub for fashion. Whether it’s being prim-and-proper even for our everyday looks or making a statement, we’re always a step ahead in the fashion game. Today, we have Asenla Jamir, who is making waves with her fashion sense. She is a stylist, singer, has done ads and TVs and currently tried her hands in acting with an upcoming movie, Axone!
We caught up with this 25-year-old fashionista recently and spoke about her job as a stylist, her graduation fashion project and more. Read our interview with her on our blog.
- Hi Asenla, glad to have you here. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Asenla Jamir and I am 25-years-old. I am currently based in Dimapur, but I was born and raised in Jorhat, Assam. I love doing a little bit of everything to keep myself going. I am working in the fashion industry as a stylist. I also create music covers as a singer. Recently, I tried my hands on acting in the upcoming Movie, Axone, directed by Nicholas Kharghongar.
- How did you get started on this career path in fashion? What initially sparked your interest in this field?
After I hit my teenage years, I got really into fashion . I don’t remember a day when I was not thinking about it. And also cause my mom is very chic, so I would try all her vintage blouses and dresses when she wasn’t home, most probably that inclined me towards fashion. Later, music and magazines properly introduced me to fashion and gradually internet happened and the rest is history.
- How have your Naga roots or upbringing influenced your career?
I was born and raised in Assam. So, it was really difficult for me to balance both of the cultures and values. Each of them has a huge influence on me. As I am originally from Nagaland, I wanted to learn more about it thoroughly hence I chose researching on tribes in Nagaland as my Graduation Project in NIFT. And that was the turning point in my life where I got very headstrong about representing Nagaland and my roots.
- What projects have you worked on recently?
Well, I have been doing ads and TV commercials for a living but I recently worked on a few test shoots with one of my photographer friends, Amit Verma. It got published in an international fashion magazine called Ellements Magazine in their July Issue.
Tell us more about your graduation project in NIFT. Walk us through your work process, how you went about designing, sourcing, etc.
Well, it started off as an idea and later took few days to execute it. Did a whole
lot of internet research before taking off. And as soon as I landed in Dimapur, I
started contacting people and planning visits to their villages. I was working on two tribes, Konyak and Chakesang. I travelled to Mon, Wakching, Longwa, Phek, Chizami and I tried covering almost all the main villages of these two tribes. Focusing on their history, lifestyle
and costumes. And later for the shoot, I sourced costumes and accessories from the people I
know who belong to the respective tribes and sourced few cloth items from thrift markets and used few of my own and created looks. And the research that I collected, I worked it into a coffee table book.
Share some interesting insights (on Nagaland, Naga fashion, textiles, culture, etc.) you came upon while working on this project!
Well, I think this space is not enough for me to write about all the things I came across, that can be a whole separate article!
I would just like to tell my fellow Nagas and the upcoming youngsters that we have a vibrant history and culture, starting from the food we eat to the costumes we wear and the stories we have. We should be extremely proud of where we came from and embrace it, represent it. Following western fashion and lifestyle is not the issue but forgetting our roots is.
What response did you get from this project?
Well as it is just a graduation project it was mostly under walls but all my faculty members and people from the fashion industry who have seen my work absolutely loved it. And wanted more work like this to be made.
- Tell us about any upcoming projects.
I am excited about my movie Axone, eagerly waiting for people’s feedback after it releases. And also I have a secret project coming up and I am really excited about it. Hopefully, I will be able to share more about it in the future.
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