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Verve Trendsetters
May 19, 2016

Designer Shweta Kapur On Her Inspirations

Text by Huzan Tata. Photograph by Ankush Maria

Gen-next designer Shweta Kapur finds dressing to be a form of communication

“Everything has a story. The interesting ones inspire me,” says the 28-year-old designer whose creations have been scorching the ramp for the past few years. Shweta Kapur, who launched her label 431-88 (the last five digits of her phone number!) in 2012, has worked with veterans Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla and New Delhi’s Nitin Bal Chauhan in the past. Life has only become better since she branched out on her own. “The last few years have been fantastic. However, my more significant works and achievements are yet to come,” she maintains.

Although it’s her way of life today, designing wasn’t always on Shweta’s mind as a child. “I wanted to be a VJ. Growing up in the ’90s in urban India made you a part of the MTV generation — it had such a huge cultural impact and changed the way we ate, dressed and spoke. This made me realise that there is so much we can communicate just by dressing a certain way. It was then that the idea of making clothes struck me and, since then, I’ve never looked back,” says the young couturier.

Shweta, who considers “having endless cups of coffee with no one judging” a perk of her job, loves burying her nose in art and design books whenever she can. And what’s been her most cherished memory? “It was when I displayed my work at the Lakmé Fashion Week AW ’14 show. That collection made everyone notice the brand,” explains the London College of Fashion graduate.

Kate Moss of the ’90s and the fictional character Dean Moriarty (based on Neal Cassady) from On the Road are her fashion idols, but it’s the creative geniuses Nicolas Ghesquière and Phillip Lim who she really admires. “Nicolas’ ability to work with materials and textures is brilliant and he’s always so in tune with what’s happening around him,” Shweta says. For now, the promising designer is looking forward to longer days and nights at work. Her advice for those looking to make a mark in her industry is simple: “Always be true to your story.”

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