From Numbers To NoughtOne: The Manifold Voyage Of Abhishek Paatni
An ardent believer in the concept of individuality, with no creative background as such, Paatni came upon the subject of fashion through styling. He mentions researching about menswear as a category during his MBA, followed by a yearlong job at a fashion brand which helped him understand the entire pipeline - right from the process of making clothes, to marketing and eventually selling them.
Initially, set out to categorically deal with simple yet tasteful menswear apparel, with increasing exposure to international fashion and interaction with the fashion fraternity, Paatni gained a broader perspective in terms of design, further laying the foundation for the creation of NoughtOne.
On the inception of the brand's name, the designer states that during his MBA, students were taught to derive a brand name elementary enough to derive a logo from, and hence the simple connotation of '01' aka 'NoughtOne'.
Having applied to the Gen Next category of Lakme Fashion Week 2016, the designer set out to create and present his first collection to the world, called 'Warfare X Streetwear'. The collection brought with it an impeccable mix of hip street and luxury aesthetics, redefining the set standards for menswear, while putting out a conceptual take on modern warfare.
The show was a huge success that made Paatni gain widespread recognition from the acclaimed institution which further fuelled the brand towards bigger take offs.
After Lakme, came GQ, which was then followed by a show at FDCI. The Fashion Design Council of India aka FDCI, is a government body that recognises and gives a platform to budding designers from India. From presenting at FDCI to being a member of the institution, Paatni's rise with NoughtOne so far has been a truly commendable feat.
Commonly conceived as an 'innovative streetwear' label, the designer clarifies that NoughtOne has gone beyond that notion. While streetwear remains integral to the brand’s product line, what the brand has to offer fits into a broader spectrum.
With countless explorations and innovations in terms of technicalities, silhouettes and creative processes, the designer likes to address NoughtOne’s offerings as Hybrids, which amalgamate two varied concepts and aesthetics, giving new meaning to the word. The hybrid aesthetic also talks about the brand’s ideology of not settling for just one division, instead, straying away from normal and conventional representation.
We asked Paatni about his creative process, and what followed was a stark reality check. Paatni references how legendary designer, Yohji Yamamoto, in one of his interview talks about the younger generation’s dependence on the computer. With concepts like multiple-choice questions, references and the endless number of options available online these days, one doesn’t care about problem solving from the core.
Reflecting this ideology in the brands own creative process, the label doesn’t succumb to traditional sources of inspiration. Every idea leads to a conversation, which could stem from anything, be it engineering books or Sci-Fi movies, and comes down to conceptualising sketches and taking the design process forward.
Describing the creative process in further detail, Paatni talks about the NoughtOne 'Colonist of Mars' collection, which was inspired by the ideas of the first Mars mission and the eventual colonisation of the red planet. The collection revolved around the thought of people actually living on Mars, and the kind of clothes they’d wear that would be made available on Earth as well.
Adding on the concept of ideas, Paatni explains how inventions always get a patent, but in fashion, because things are always fast paced, one cannot possibly make such claims. The brand keeps their design process as authentic as possible, hence resulting in original creations.
When asked about his favourite creation up until now, without the slightest hint of hesitation, Paatni mentions his first design ever - the Gilet jacket, inspired by the bulletproof jacket in the game Counterstrike. The silhouette of this jacket has been one of the designer’s most reiterated pieces as well with NoughtOne’s signature scoop out detail on jackets that involves scooped-out bottoms with a poly mesh drawstring.
Apart from being a distinctive fashion designer, Paatni is a keen believer in the concept of collaborations. NoughtOne runs a sub-division called “Co-Create” where young talent is provided with a platform, basic amenities and guidance to promote themselves. The platform acts as a medium to collate creative people belonging to different areas of expertise so they can learn from and grow with each other.
The designer has collaborated with prolific brands such as Vans, Adidas Originals and very recently, with Absolut for a capsule collection that celebrates the true spirit of music. The campaign runs around the narrative of various 'isms' that seem to create social, physical and emotional barriers in the society.
When asked about the upcoming collection and new drops, Paatni mentions working around the zeitgeist. The pandemic has taken away the purpose of going out, hence rendering the purpose of new designs obsolete. Reflecting on that, the designer mentions how clothes are an item of utility, meant for wearing outside while aiding us when there’s movement.
Culture as a concept means different things to everyone, and Paatni’s outlook stands for the spirit rather than the clout.
He further expands,
Having made a mark on the fashion landscape right from the early days, NoughtOne's aesthetic and Paatni's design ethos are an invaluable source of learning in multiple aspects. Head over to NoughtOne's website for a detailed look at the latest collections!