Bibhu Mohapatra is famed for his re-incarnations of fine jewelry and luxury womenswear, including high evening dresses and florals with an Indian twist. While the designer is currently based in New York, his Odishian Indian roots continue to inspire his work every day. The cultural designer kick-started his career during the ultimate celebration of fashion, New York Fashion Week, in 2009 and has been on the rise with new collections ever since. From fall lineups to theatre costumes and ready-to-wear pieces, Mohapatra has expanded his brand across an array of platforms. In a special conversation with Vogue Arabia, the talented designer elaborates on his fashion journey, aspirations, goals, and new collections. Read on for personal insights from Mohapatra himself.
Who influenced you the most in your journey?
My journey started from my roots in Odisha, where I had the most wonderful and happy childhood. My earliest supporters were my parents. My father was a mechanical engineer by trade, who gave me my technical mind, and my mother was a very creative individual who loved to create embroidered panels and create beautiful objects out of textiles. My creative mind comes from her. I have now lost both of them at a relatively early age, but their words of encouragement and their value systems still work as crucial guard rails through my journey thus far and will continue to be there.
How do you see the world of fashion along with the newly emerging trends in technology?
We have a very strong following in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar. It’s all possible because of technology. It’s all about connection and communication in the business of fashion. Having an authentic story about a brand or a product has never been more crucial. The technology has made the entire landscape of the fashion business a more democratic field, by allowing access and reach between designers/brands and their ultimate global audience. Technology has made the world a much smaller place, where it is possible to be discovered or to discover, regardless of geography. The very process of creation to consumption of fashion is well integrated with technology and it is rapidly evolving.
Where was your most recent collection inspired?
The world often portrays women in absolute perfection; eluding the realities and complexities of their lives. Inspired by the catalytic energy of the feminine nature, Bibhu Mohapatra Resort 2023 collection propels the indomitable female power that can create beauty and be a symbol of raw strength.
Based on your experience, what is one piece of advice you’d like to share with young minds who aspire to become designers?
Be passionate about your craft. Always tell an authentic story about your relationship with your own craft, and while creating, always maintain that delicate balance of creativity and commerce. That is the ultimate determining factor of building a successful business in fashion