Fashionistas ahoy! Check out Masaba Gupta's new store in Hyderabad
The year 2018 has started on a busy note for designer Masaba Gupta. What makes news is her newly unveiled 4,000 sq. ft store in Hyderabad, one in Delhi and Pune, in addition to her existing branches in Mumbai. There’s no stopping the Queen of bold prints who has also ventured to open her new café in Hyderabad, a collaboration with House of Masaba and jewellery franchise, Aquamarine. Speaking about her runway collection and journey in Bollywood, Masaba Gupta shares her international plans with us, “We have a lot of international pop-ups planned, starting with Hong Kong in April; then Nairobi and maybe London,” says the designer, adding that Abu Dhabi and in Dubai are on the list too.
Wake up call
The designer, who started even before she hit her 20s, is still reigning strong. However, the journey was not smooth. She candidly confesses that at one point she did lose her plot but, it was only a matter of time till she was back on her feet. “Somewhere between 2014-2015, my work became rather worse. The shows were good but I didn’t feel too inspired. I didn’t think about the commercial value either. My wake up call was when the Chilli Collection did badly. That’s when I learnt I need to pull up my socks if I want to run the two stores I had then,” says the designer, who wanted to stick to her strengths rather than the ‘shock your patrons’ tactics. Clearly, it has worked – with a focus on the business side of couture, Masaba understands the need for wearable ensembles. In fact, her runway collections are no different from the ones at her stores. “At the end of the day, most of my clients are 30-year-old women who prefer buying kurtas or a dress,” says the Indo-Caribbean fashionista.
Know your patrons
The designer is a favourite among Bollywood’s leading ladies. When we ask her who she loves dressing the most, she says, “Sonam Kapoor, Alia (Bhatt) and Shilpa (Shetty).” However, she says she is following Sara Ali Khan lately. “I haven’t dressed her yet but I will.” She shares interesting details about the dressing habits of her muses. “Alia is a creature of comfort. Sonam is so comfortable in couture that she can even watch a movie in a sari gown. And Shilpa is traditional and proud of her Indian culture India,’’ she says.
Being body positive
The mistress of monochrome believes that fashion is one of the most important tools to help women feel comfortable in their own skin. The designer who has also donned the role of a cover girl for an international magazine a few months ago, isn’t a fan of Photoshop, except maybe to fix a strand or two that falls on the face. “The day we start showing famous people with their scars, things will start changing. These people need to come out and show they are not perfect. I’ve had acne scars for years now. I don’t do anything about it and I am happy in my skin, but it has taken me a while to get there”, says the confident 20-something, who battled quite a bit of prejudice while in school with kids from traditional families who were not “comfortable with a difference”.
And the store review.....
Masaba’s new store in Hyderabad is where Concu used to be. Talking about her foray in Hyderabad, she says, “This city is a conscious buying market. They are very particular about what they buy, they know their fabrics,” says the designer adding that when her partners Akhila (Lingam Reddy) and Pragnya (Kancherla Madireddy) came up with the idea of the store, she knew the time was right for her to venture into the city. ”Apart from her first gourmet café, there’s a costume design franchise Aquamarine. Akhila tells us,”I think the idea was to give people a bit of everything, where they can shop, drink some coffee and listen to live music.” This franchise of Aquamarine has stocked up on costume jewellery including Polki sets as well. The store has edgy, but sophisticated décor and several personal touches of the designer. As you enter the store you see that a wall on the left has behind -the-scene photos of some of her muses and the best runway show. “There are photos of Shraddha (Kapoor) Kalki (Koechlin) and my also my mom. In fact, some of the artefacts in the store are also in my house,” she says. The store houses the best of her Autumn/Winter, last year’s Summer and Cruise collection as well. Ahoy buyers, in case you are looking to shop at her store these are her top picks. “If you have lunch to go to, the denim polka dot is my favourite or maybe a slip dress paired with jacket and a pair of hoops. If you’re going out in the night you can opt for the saris, the Desert Sage sari for instance,” says Masaba.
Rs 6,000 onwards.