Ashiesh Shah© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Ashiesh Shah

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Jeena J Billimoria

Why he matters: His list of clients, jaw-dropping projects based on the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi and numerous awards and accolades are testament to his interior decorating prowess. Few others in the country come close to Ashiesh Shah’s creative talent. We decode how he soars higher and higher with each turn of the sun…

Who imagines stepping into a profession borne out of curiosity and a yearning to explore the field, and ends up in a stratospheric zone several years later? Unmatched. Undefeated. Unparalleled… Ashiesh Shah does.

The art collector, innovator and founder of his eponymous brand has revolutionised India’s architectural and interior landscape in many ways. And to think he never would have made a name for himself in this space! But Shah was destined to create. And create spaces of beauty and wonder he does… Abiding by the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, impermanence and imperfection, he’s almost trademarked his modus operandi and left onlookers wondering how he did it.

The Early Tale

Shah began his career in the early 2000s in New York, before returning to India to make a name for himself. Armed with a degree in interior architecture from the famed Parsons School of Design, he began to carve out a niche for himself and finally opened his atelier in 2017.

Since then, he’s worked on a vast array of residential projects for the bigwigs of the country who can afford his brilliance (including the celebrity homes of Hrithik Roshan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Masaba Gupta); commercial spaces such as South Bomby’s chic haunt, Neuma, and leafy Bandra’s Joshi House; collaborations with the likes of Jaipur Rugs and Ritu Kumar Home; as well as participating in international projects and design fairs.

Blurring Boundaries & Championing Indianness

Shah’s atelier, a brand of his architectural studio that’s home to lighting, furniture and a robust number of objects, functions in collaboration with master craftsmen from across India. Using a diverse palette of materials (think woven grass, spun copper, cast bronze, etc), his attempt was to blur the boundaries between art and design with contemporaneity and also empower the karigars, whose expertise in creating such beautiful objects could not be discounted.

ashiesh shah©HelloIndia

Today, he is the first Indian designer to debut his design objects—which truly are functional sculptures—on the international luxury e-commerce platform, the Invisible Collection, making Shah the first Indian designer to debut his functional sculptures on the luxury e-commerce platform. As one of the top 50 interior designers in the country at present—a title bestowed to him by Architectural Digest that he’s proudly held for three years—Shah is quite literally a household name and creates everyday beauty in each space he touches.

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!