The Canada-based Neelam Ahooja is recognized for her utmost professionalism, numerous distinct perspectives, and her inviting demeanor. With over 185,000 connoisseurs following her advice and style. We are delighted to share our conversation about her proficiency in quality materials, artistic presentation, and the principles of minimalism.
Tell us about your professional journey and how you discovered your career path.
NA: I’m a Chartered Accountant by trade but fashion was always in my heart. During the pandemic, I found myself with a little extra time so I dabbled in social media and now I’m a full-time digital creator. My style has always been innate and while it has evolved it’s always been a balance of masculine and feminine.
Neelam in the INDRA Coat
"My style has always been innate and while it has evolved it’s always been a balance of masculine and feminine."
Your artistic expression is genuinely distinct. What has had the most significant influence on your individual style?
NA: Growing up in a small town with no outlet for artistic expression, I usually entertained myself by flipping through magazines and dressing up in front of my bedroom mirror. The images always inspired me. Losing myself in those pages was a necessary escape.
Neelam in the APOLLO dress.
Being a specialist in the realm of quality, how do you ascertain and recognize authenticity in alignment with your personal vision?
NA: My mom’s closet was full of ornate pieces from India. Sarees dripping with sequins, embroidery, and color.I think it definitely impacted me because as much as I always find myself preferring black, I love a colorful accent piece - especially in the way of a scarf. Over the years, I’ve toned down and pared back my style to suit my life. I don’t feel the need to stand out or make a statement. I’m more comfortable within myself and I want my clothes to feel effortless but still luxurious.
"My mom’s closet was full of ornate pieces from India. Sarees dripping with sequins, embroidery, and color. I love a colorful accent piece - especially in the way of a scarf."
You have a noteworthy presence in any room you enter. What attribute do you hold most dear in others, and when do you find yourself the most at ease?
NA: Oh my goodness, that’s so sweet - I hope it’s a positive presence! Warmth, kindness, compassion, and authenticity. I’m an introvert and an empath so in my circle, these qualities are not just what I prefer but what I require to thrive. I hope I offer the same.
What captured your interest in La Collection, and in what ways do the pieces and the brand itself mirror your identity?
NA: La Collection is a minimalist’s dream. Florence has put so much of her love into the line and you can see it clearly. When she wears her designs, she always looks gorgeous and she is often the inspiration for me to purchase! The coats are floor sweeping, the fabrics are rich, the clothes are well-tailored and the styles are timeless. La Collection makes me feel elegant and somehow...taller!!
My favourite pieces are my cashmere INDRA coat, my ORNELLA coat and my DALIA boots. Sometimes I go into my closet just to visit my La Collection pieces. They’re magnificent. Indra is a stunningly beautiful floor-length coat with silk lining and it feels like a giant hug. I wore it to fashion week and received too many compliments to count! I highly recommend it. The Josanne blouse is silky and soft, in a very feminine wrap style. The contrast cream accents are so sharp and when I stained the lapel of it one day, I went into full panic mode. Florence will tell you, she received a late-night frantic message from me. Thankfully, it came out. Never been more relieved!
Neelam in the black ORNELLA coat.
The perfect day in Toronto with Neelam
For shopping: Bloor/Yorkville for shopping - especially 119 Corbo
For food: Specialty restaurants. Planta (vegan) and Avani (Indian) are at the top of my list.
For inspiration: Museums such as the ROM and AGO. And the ROM happens to be steps away from Yorkville and excellent dining so if a visit is followed by shopping and food, then it’s just the perfect day!