For someone who has dressed the First Lady of the US Michelle Obama, made Priyanka Chopra look like a dream on Vogue cover and has orked his way up in the world of fashion, Bibhu Mohapatra is a brand in himself. Humility personified, the son of the soil shared his plans to revive Odishan textiles, his current projects and future plans. He was recently in the city on a visit to the National Institute of Fashion Technology
The Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week and your Odishan collection. Can you shed some light on that and yes how has been the response?
I have been working on an Odisha textile revival project for a year under which I have designed a good amount of textiles and the very first round of the initial design production was on display at the Wills Fashion Week in Delhi. This is only a teaser of the things to come in the future.
How do you plan to promote Odishan fabric in your own collection?
Once I locate a very efficient source to procure the materials I will be able to use them in my own collection and expose them to other international designers.
You met Naveen Patnaik recently.
Yes, he has been extremely enthusiastic and supportive in his efforts and in promotion and preservation of arts and crafts of Odisha. The meeting was very productive.
You have always maintained that a lot needs to be done for the weavers of the State.
I plan to work with the weavers directly to understand their basic needs so that their living conditions get better. Only after this is achieved, I will work on the craft they have been keeping alive.
How is NIFT faring in the state?
Great! The potential and the prospects are too good, it gives me hope that the graduates of the college will lend me a hand on the Odisha textile project.
After Priyanka, who else would you like to design for?
Katrina Kaif. I really admire her work.
Any plans to design for movies in future?
Well, I have not done film costumes yet but I just did the costumes for AIDA, the classical Opera by Verdi this summer. If an interesting project comes my way for films, I will definitely give it a thought.
What was your first reaction when you saw Michelle Obama sporting your collection at the Jay Leno show?
Gratifying and humbling! She is an amazing person and extremely kind.
Tell us about the handbag collection.
I have always loved accessories and this was a small collection of handbags as a beginning. We plan to have a bigger collection of bags next time.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now, particularly in terms of involvement with the State?
I see the brand growing with many retail outlets all over the globe and multiple collections. I hope to have a retail location here in Odisha with special collections for the State and hav traditional influence.