For, of, and by the North-east

Success Stories

Amid gloom

Manipur designer’s success story will lift spirits

Easternlight Zimik, a budding Mumbai-based fashion designer from Ukhrul district, is proving that one can find solace and satisfaction in life by following dreams

Imphal: During these times of doom, gloom and despair amid the global coronavirus crisis, here is a story of a youngster from Manipur who has made it big in the world of fashion. His story could rekindle our faith in life and hard work one more time.

Easternlight Zimik, a budding Mumbai-based fashion designer from Manipur’s Ukhrul district, is one such example who has proven that one can find solace and satisfaction in life by following one’s dreams with hard work, passion and creativity in the world of fashion industry.

The second youngest among eight siblings, Easternlight, who is a Tangkhul Naga, loves to experiment with bright and loud shades in his designs inspired from his tribal community’s rich and colourful costumes and textiles, which in fact are making heads turn.

“I feel and understand design as lifestyle and inspiration is everywhere usually my experience and my roots plus music touch me to the core,” the young designer said.

His work is also inspired by poetry and a holistic Japanese fashion.

Currently, working under Fatma Shaikh, a well-known fashion designer among the Bollywood fashion circuit as the creative lead, Easternlight under her fashion label has dressed up some of the star celebs, including Sonam Kapoor, Kalki Keochlin and Kriti Sanon, among others.

However, to reach the stage as he is today was not a smooth journey for this 26-year-young fashion designer who hails from Kachouphung village, the last Tangkhul village along the eastern corridor of the India-Myanmar border.

In 2016, Easternlight graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi, a prestigious institute of fashion education in the country.

“The journey is hard and rough but that makes me alive and understand the in-depth nature of how this (fashion) industry works. And my understanding tells me that design is all about journey and process,” said a beaming Easternlight.

The moment your journey ends, that’s where your design career ends, he added.

Apart from his modern design, Easternlight, who himself is also an illustrator, aims to develop and uplift the native textiles through his illustrated textile talk series.

To start a native textiles with modern taste, understanding more about sustainable fashion and love to teach what design is in any opportunity is what keeps the young fashion designer from Manipur in the creative realm and pursue his dreams.

Along with his eye-catching sketches, Easternlight was recently featured at Harper’s Bazaar India’s 11th anniversary issue as one of the contributors.

The indigenous weaves and textiles especially of the North-east region, as Easternlight said, need to be safeguarded and preserved well to avoid misuse of traditional textiles by creative people or fashion curators.

“As a creative person, we ought to seek permission of the particular tribe or community to use their arts and textiles. Without it, it would caused unnecessary complications which are totally uncalled for and discourage creative person to work in this field which will lead to loss of potential it possesses,” he said.