Indian fashion designer DHRUV KAPOOR sits down with DSCENE Editor Zarko Davinic to talk about his path to designing, trends, sustainability and getting ready for his first runway show in Milan. The brand was founded by Dhruv in 2013, and since then it has been synonymous with revolution, transformation and independence.
How has being a designer from India informed your path?
India honestly is a treasure trove. I have lived here all my life and the energy is an integral part of me and our brand. The maximal aesthetic that India has to offer is juxtaposed with the minimal aesthetic I acquired during my time in Milan, and this eclectic mix broadly defines the brand aesthetic.
What is a fashion designer’s role today, given the state of the world?
We are all here to serve, irrespective of the floating states and everchanging surroundings. For us, we chase emotion. Our aim is to target emotional well-being through clothes, to remind our audience of their superhuman nature, full of infinite possibilities. It’s more like assisting you, to be “you”- the most authentic and powerful version of “you”. The “feel good factor’’ is key! Let’s say- we are here to dress your mind and your soul, devoid of distinctions based on gender, social or political preferences and unaffected by science or fact.
How much attention do you pay to trends?
Its more about the instincts. I feel excessive repetition declares a trend, but we try not to bind ourselves to that. “Why not?” is my favorite expression when at work. My team and I are forever excited to explore new possibilities and reapproaching traditional concepts with a more contemporary approach. For example, I would start with something I hate and keep working around it, till I fall in love with it.
What are some of the things you miss about New Delhi when you are in Europe, and vice versa?
Ha ha! I carry my “New Delhi” energy with me, when in Europe and vice versa. It feels like home either way. I’ve lived in Italy for almost 3 years and that has shaped my being in a significant way. But if I have to pin point, I would say “food”- there are times when I would crave the European palette when I am back in India and vice versa.
Why is sustainability important for you?
It is a conscious way forward, an integral part of our everyday routine, and we approach the idea from all sides. Be it big or small, the main aim is to be aware of our methods and practices and mend all loopholes along the way. There are countless ways to build something and a little research and attention to our surrounds yields the best possible path. For spring summer’23, 40% of all materials are upcyled and purchased from surplus production of large textile manufacturers in India. We are introducing a heavy weight suiting made using recycled plastic bottles and our first segment of leather bags, made from 100% upcyled leather.
After presentations in Milan you are getting ready for your first MFW runway show. How important is the city of Milan as a fashion capital for you?
It’s like home. I have dreamt of this day since my very first day in Milan and it has finally come to pass. I have grown up with the fashion week buzz around Milan and made it point to live that experience at an early age. The city is the right mix for us, presenting both- the established and the new. It gives us great exposure and countless opportunities to grow at a global scale. I personally love the energy during Milan fashion week and the curious mindsets that float during that time- who are looking for new experiences and always willing to support.
Do you remain connected to your business day and night? Do you check your email first thing in the morning and at night before you go to bed?
I am forever connected and disconnected at the same time. I never check emails first thing in the morning or before going to bed. I consciously disconnect and focus on a more calming state. Meditation and an outdoor run are an ideal start to my day and before going to bed, I would either read or tune into sound frequencies inducing a theta state.
What is an important life lesson you’ve learned through creating your own fashion brand?
Authenticity. No matter what our surroundings say or what is expected, always follow your instincts. Once we tune inwards- all doors open, all possibilities are in front of us and it’s a fearless state. The answer is always within!
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