Remember how as little girls we dressed up our Barbies for fun? As a pint-sized kid, Nishka too did the same. But while most of us graduated to other things, she turned her hobby into a profession, and started with a bang, designing the winning garment for ‘Barbie All Doll’d Up,’ in March. Eight months down the line, 24-year-old Nishka Lulla is now a well-known fashion designer. “Right from the time I was three, I wanted to become a designer,” says Nishka. Also, when you have ace couturier Neeta Lulla for a mother, designing as a career option only seems natural. “I used to accompany my mother to the studio, and was fascinated by the different colours and fabrics,” smiles the new kid on the block, who recently launched her prêt label Nisshk in Mumbai. The USP of the label is that it caters to teenagers and girls till the age of 30. As she puts it, ‘there’s a dearth of designers catering to this category’.

According to the young designer, the Creative Excellence Award for ‘Barbie All Doll’d Up’, a contest held to commemorate the 50th birthday of the doll, really helped her shoot into limelight. “As many as 120 leading Indian designers participated in the contest, and I had a very slim chance. Till the last moment, they hadn’t announced the winner’s name. Only when I saw Katrina Kaif on stage wearing my garment, did I know that I won,” she gushes wide-eyed. Since it was Barbie in India, Nishka used Indian fabrics and colours, and the result — a pretty outfit in hot pink with rich turquoise and golden yellow thrown in along with frills and a big bow behind. “This is what defines me,” she says.

Her love for lace, georgettes, nets, stones and sequins is apparent from her creations, which comprises young chic outfits with cascades of frills and laces. “Bling is definitely in this season,” she says. What’s also interesting is that her collection comes well accessorised. You won’t just find a T-shirt by itself, it will be paired up with a skirt and accessories.

The much-talked-about Lakme Fashion Week got a taste of Nishka’s designs this year. The first day of the week-long extravaganza witnessed the mother-daughter duo open the show. Revolving around ‘Innocence’, a trait Nishka herself seems to possess in plenty, the collection saw a combination of baby pink and white, embellished with sequins, lace, nets and georgettes to give the flowy look, and had Diya Mirza as the showstopper. “I was hoping I live up to everybody’s expectations. Mom made her name in 25 years, and as for me I have just stared,” she grins adding,” Both have very distinctive styles. Mom’s is full of grandeur, class and elegance, and mine is girly and youthful with an Indian soul.”

How about actors she’d like to dress up? “Genelia D’Souza complements my clothes well. Amisha Patel, Diya Mirza, and Sameera Reddy wear my outfits. I’d like to dress up Katrina again, and also Kareena Kapoor,” she says tossing her long shiny tresses behind. That’s not all, this Gen-Next designer has just wrapped up designing for a film for Rajshri Productions. With all these already to Nishka’s credit, is that a proud smile we see on her designer mamma’s face?