1. Who is Vaishali Vig?
I am an entrepreneur, wife, mother, daughter, and daughter-in-law. Being an army kid, I started out traveling through India with my family when I was young, developing my curiosity and appreciation for art, weaves, and fabrics. Given the vast landscape of craftsmanship and culturally enriched techniques, my travels across India sparked my interest in artisanal fashion. Unwrapping the multilayered and rich culture of India became my passion.
When I moved to NYC in 1999, I observed how fashion is not just restricted to the runway or ready to wear, it is a form of personal identity. Livalya was a result of these experiences and insights. From the place of those experiences and personal identities I work to empower others through my curation and design of beautiful pieces made of woven and hand embroidered textiles.2. How do you define fashion and or style?
I define fashion and style as different from each other. I feel that fashion is typically what others determine for us, incorporating the trends of the time. However, for me, style is more personal and my unique identity. I would define my personal style as effortless chic because comfort and confidence is very important to me. Being a mother and a businesswoman my personal style is dynamic and carries inspiration from my life in India. I love to mix Indian traditional with contemporary to create my own personal style.3. What influences your style? ie travel, work, movies, magazines, social media trends, celebrities, color, etc.
Like I said, my personal style is an amalgamation of Indian and contemporary.I have used my own style story for my brand. For Livalya, style is inspired by the textiles, weaves, and embroideries that I’ve curated from artisans across the world. When I first started the business, the all-over kani weaves from Kashmir led me to create the signature long jackets that you can see in our store. These long jackets showcase the beautiful paisley designs that once accentuated the robes worn by Mugal emperors. However, each piece aims to be elegant, sophisticated, and timeless. Some of our products in the collection are made with such immense care and artisan skill that they can even be passed down for generations.4. How has your style evolved?
When I started Livalya in 2014, I envisioned each piece to be unique and reflect my personal style favorites. I believe in preserving legacy for future generation. This is why my brand reflects the environmentally conscious efforts in my work, meaning each piece should be more accessible to people of any age or culture. I now work to share my designs with a broader audience consisting of people from every generation who appreciate and embrace the artistry and sustainability behind the textiles and designs. Personally, having high quality items that match my personal style and last me a lifetime is much more important than the quantity of items I have in my closet.5. What does your dream wardrobe consist of?
When I walk into my closet, I want every piece to not only be effortlessly beautiful and easy to style, but also extremely comfortable. My dream wardrobe consists of items which I don’t have to put too much thought into. Every piece will feel great on the inside and look stunning on the outside.6. If you were to give fashion advice to your younger self what would it be?
When I was younger, I feel that I was focused on fashion and less focused on developing my own personal style. I would typically buy what was trending and what was easily available. However, once I was able to determine my own personal style, I found that I not only felt better about myself, but also was able to lower my impact on clothing waste. With that in mind, I would say to my younger self, “Don’t get overwhelmed by the ever changing trends - keep your personal style a top priority”.
7. How important is it to be body positive and to appreciate the skin that you're in?
I can’t stress enough how important body positivity is. As someone who has never had the so-called ‘perfect body', according to certain standards, I knew that the easiest way to carry off any outfit was to be confident and comfortable in what I chose to wear. I also know that it’s important to choose clothes which accentuate the parts of your body that make you most proud. Whether it’s a trend or not, when you feel confident in what you are wearing, you look great.8. What do you love about jewelry? What is your absolute favorite is it earrings, necklaces, etc.
I love jewelry! Just like a beautiful scarf, jewelry is a great way to accentuate any outfit. You can be bold or understated with each piece you choose. My favorite jewelry is definitely earrings because they brighten up the face. My second favorite would be rings because they give me confidence when I’m talking with my hands. I feel stylish and elevated whenever I wear them. Personally, I’m simple with my outfits, but I love to be bold with my jewelry.9. How do you incorporate accessories and jewelry into your daily looks?
I choose to incorporate accessories and jewelry based on where I’m going, how I want to feel, and what I want to communicate to others. If I'm going out for a social occasion, I love to choose bold pieces that can serve as a conversation starter or an icebreaker. When people meet me for the first time, I like my jewelry to show something about my personality and give them a strong impression.10. What are your non-negotiables... What must you have / wear / do? and what are your, “I’m never ever doing or wearing that”?
As someone who works very hard to empower artisans, the people who work for her, and the people who wear her clothes, I have high expectations for products and pieces I use. I make a commitment to wear high quality items which are made ethically and I avoid wearing any items which use synthetic materials. As for style, I believe that for every occasion, there is a way to look sophisticated while also being sexy, formal, or casual.11. Tell us why you choose fashion and style. So what we mean by that is, we don’t have to dress up, we don’t have to adorn ourselves with jewels and embellish with accessories, but we do, we choose to… why do you?
I choose to dress up to express my identity. My mood often shapes the outfits I choose more than the occasion. Though I do often want to communicate something about myself with my outfits, the way I feel about myself is just as important. For example, if I am going into an important business meeting, I will choose brighter colors, strong cuts, and bold designs. Not only do I look great, but I also empower myself to express my confidence and go after what I want.
12. What’s your favorite fashion/style quote or mantra?
“Dress for yourself, not others”. I love this mantra because ultimately the internal happiness comes from how you feel about yourself and how you look, not based on how others see you. If you are happy, your environment will be happy too.13. How and where can people connect with you?
Whatsapp - 212-987-0273
Instagram - @livalya
Facebook - @livalya
Website - https://www.livalya.com/
We love to be bold with our jewelry as well, Vaishali. Thank you so much for sharing your story!