Dec 5 2012
I think this is a mistake. I understand the commercial reasons for it, but she is not a good fit.
She is too brash in her designs. Her designs are notable only because they are different, not because they are beautiful – and I hate that.
May be being at a huge place will melllow her down but then she will find that constraining.
Now 24 years old, Masaba Gupta was barely a toddler when the Satya Paul label launched in 1985. On December 13 she will step into her position as the brand’s new fashion director, a position that involves moving from Mumbai to New Delhi for two years, far from her fledgling eponymous label and the celebrity friends who endorse it.
But Masaba isn’t wary. “I said yes immediately,” she recalls, mentioning that the interview process took a month before Sanjay Kapoor, managing director of parent company Genesis Colours decided she was right for the job. “And if I was scared, I wouldn’t have taken it up. I’ve already suffered every bad review possible with my own label, so I know that there are enough critics waiting for me to mess this up.”
From running her own brand alone, Masaba will now be heading a team of designers who’ve worked with Satya Paul for years, and be answerable to a board of directors for the first time in her life.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I was 30,” she says with a grin, “I’d be too used to working on my own. But it’s good to have a boss.”
The first big change is purely logistical. “This is like my internship,” she explains. “I’m learning about investments, planning, bulk buys. With my namesake label, if I think of a new design, I just call my printer and say, ‘let’s try this on 10 metres of net.’ With Satya Paul, your minimum order is 500 metres!”
With her season debut scheduled for Spring/Summer 2013, Masaba’s aim is to bring back the delicate balance between art and commercialism that earned the label its street cred. Its founding designer, Satya Paul, is credited with being the first to brand the sari, making printed versions as desirable as their more elaborate counterparts.
Masaba wants to create a shiny new appeal, lure a younger audience into seeing the sari as more than just a chance to play dress-up during sangeet season.
“Even the young girls who buy my saris only wear it to look different at a wedding, not because they’re planning to wear it to work or dinner,” she says. “I want them to realize there’s nothing sexier than the classic sari.”
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