Designer Ashish N Soni looks back on his 25 years in the fashion industry.

What’s the most the important lesson you have learnt in your 25 years of experience as a part of the Indian fashion Industry?

I can credit my survival in the industry because my passion for the craft. I enjoy what I do. Things like marketing, promotion and others come much later in the brand. Passion is what drives me.

How have your designer counterparts influenced your work aesthetic over the years?

After an incredible first batch of extremely successful Indian designers in the 90s, I became a part of the second batch of breed of designers. The one thing that rubbed off on me was how all of us—no matter what are age as designers in the industry was— were working towards the same goal: incredible art. We were all moving the industry along as it evolved. We all respect our colleagues, right from the stalwarts to the new generation of designers.

What has been your most memorable collection so far?

Many collections have made me proud but the one that stands out is the Sounds of Silence SS 18 collection from New York Fashion Week in 2005.

How do you think social media is influencing design decisions today?

Social media is a new but phenomenal tool. It’s exceptionally helpful. However, there are pros and cons to everything. The positive to social media is that marketing costs have drastically minimised giving more businesses to be exposed to their respective markets. The downside is that it has considerably reduced the shelf life of good things and good people and everything is moving a lot faster than it was ten years ago.

What’s one advice you’d give men about menswear and what do you hope for Indian menswear in the future?

I think Indian menswear has evolved drastically, mostly because of influence by women and Bollywood. Women because, when you’re surrounded by them, they help you dress better and men do take their opinions into consideration. Bollywood as mass fashion has always been a key influential ingredient in developing a sense of style for Indian men. As these changes are also due to the fact that we’re evolving as a society. I sincerely hope that Indian men evolve further. They should understand costs, basics, unfollow trends, and choose comfort before style.