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Parminder Pal Singh - Loco DesignBy Andrew Chyne
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Parminder Pal Singh, the founder of Loco Design is a man of rich experience who is open to new ideas and takes guidance from specialists whenever required. He designs and develop products for brands, like Ralph Lauren, Armani Casa, Fendi and other luxury brands.
He started his design studio by opening up a sampling unit in which he felt the need to try his new design and eventually with its success opened a full-fledged production unit.
Below is the excerpt from the chat with him at the India Design ID 2015, Delhi.
Can you tell us something about your brand?
It started in 1997, as a design studio. I graduated from NIFT as a Jewelery designer and eventually got involved in photography, exhibition design and a whole lot of things that we would work for various clients. Over a period of time, we found it difficult in getting samples to try our design, so we set up a sampling unit and a production unit. Gradually, it became an end to end solution, from concept development, design development, to sampling and production.
You've got a rich experience. You started off from jewelery design to furniture design and home design. How did you manage?
It is one of those things; when you learn the basic design language, the fundamentals are the same. It all boils down to how you start. If you start with an open mind, without being scared of the material and technology, it is always possible to learn and discover new things. The willingness to take the help of the specialist also plays an important role. We are also doing a lot of packaging for our clients.
Your products here show a combination of wood and leather design. Can you elaborate on this?
One of our lines of work is to design and develop products for high end customers from across the world, like Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Armani Casa, Luxury living and other brands. When you work for such clients, you are constantly challenged to come up with new products, new design, new ideas, new technique and new product lines. They are not happy with just one product design because they also need to evolve and showcase constantly, and that is what they are known for. Their requirement was a challenge for us to evolve from one material to another, and from one product to another. Currently, we are also customizing our design to houses, bars and restaurants. I guess, the inspiration to create such design comes from a need to evolve and not to stagnate.
How has your journey been so far?
It was quite a journey. We work really hard on everything be it in product development, or the business side of it for nearly 20 years. Currently, we are experimenting it with carbon fibre. Carbon fiber is the strongest woven material known to man. It is a derivative of pure carbon. It is being used in high end cars, like F1 cars.
What are your expansion plans? Are you planning to expand outside India as well?
We work with people across the globe. The designing and manufacturing side of the brand is global. We have learned a lot during the past five to ten years. The idea now is to use this understanding of design, logistics, merchandising and brand development which is absolutely unique and made in India. In all the designs that you see, our effort is to make sure that the imprint of “Made in India” can never be removed. In terms of expansion, we've got collaborations from across the globe. We work with people in London, Kenya, Miami, New York, and Dubai. The idea is to showcase the work of our own labels internationally and hopefully we will be able to open up agencies in Europe and US.
India is rich in Architecture & Design. May I have your comment on this?
Seriously, we have got an amazing heritage. We are one of the few countries that has an international rich heritage. Culturally, we are evolving and shouldn't be afraid of sharing our culture because it is a part of globalization. We should use our heritage as our strength.
What are your suggestions to students who are passionate about design and those who are from the school of design?
It's really sad to see kids from the design school whose aspirations of product design are bent towards European and Scandinavian design. Most of them end up copying whatever they see on the net. You can get inspired but don't need to copy someone else's design. We need to understand that virtual reference is available to everybody today. And everyone wants to become rich overnight, which is a short lived approach. We need just these three simple mantras; that is, time, will and patience.
Be focused, be original and don't be scared. Everything is possible and it is just a matter of time.
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