Like any other 16 year-old, Masaba Gupta once wanted to be an actress or a sports star. No one could have stopped her either- she is the daughter of West Indian cricketer Sir Vivian Richards and TV actress Neena Gupta. But Masaba, now 21-yrs old, took a route less travelled and has found success on it: her saris with pockets were a hit in Delhi earlier this year and showed a promising young woman, not afraid of challenges.
An exclusive interview with Shashank Chouhan of Spicezee.com before her show at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai:
You should have been an actor or a sportsperson (you played at state level tennis) but you are a fashion designer…
I wanted to act when I was about 14 or 16 years of age. Everyone wants to act at that age but I am a very practical person when it comes to making a career choice and I knew I could act, but I would be put into the unconventional actor tag, considering my mixed looks. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that struggle to prove myself for something like Bollywood, which is so vain.
In fact at a point in time you very much wanted to be an actor. How did designing happen to you?
Designing was a fluke. I was literally dragged into it by my fate, I guess because I never worked towards it. I have Wendell Rodricks to thank for pushing me straight onto a platform like Lakme Fashion Week when I was in my 2nd year of college.
Were your parents surprised by your decision?
No, they were the happiest and supported me.
While your mother is often seen sporting your creations, has Sir Vivian Richards also tried them?
No, I haven’t done a lot of menswear so he hasn’t worn any of my work yet.
Do young and new designers have enough support in India to make it professionally?
Yes they do, but the financial aspect of starting a career in fashion is the problem, not the support. Platforms, especially like Lakme, are very encouraging for new designers. But it requires big investment.
Is there a lot of struggle involved in becoming a designer without much
You do need someone to guide you. I had Wendell Rodricks. You need someone to warn you about the way the industry works and little business issues as well. You can learn from your mistakes too, but it’s a huge price to pay.
What are you showcasing at the Lakme Fashion Week?
I am showcasing a festive line called `The Thinking Bride`. Lots of silks and georgettes will be seen on ramp along with shaded nets. It is basically to show that you can look like you are in the festive mood without looking like a chandelier!
Anarkalis, dhotis, flared trousers with cholis and shirts with lehengas are the main silhouettes I am showing.
Which style and colour would you most like to see in the winters this year? Which would you rather not?
I would like to see a lot of canary yellows and purples and not like to see maroon since it does nothing for Indian skin.
What is it that is keeping you excited about this profession?
I want to be a brand. People’s belief in my work has kept me going so far.
Who is your favourite designer?
Have many many favourites, but Manish Arora remains an all time favourite.