21 Aug Fashion Entrepreneur Khushboo Kaplesh Launches Fall 2016 Collection
Entrepreneurship in its truest sense means embarking on your very open adventure, starting your own business, inventing something new, a spirit of creative thinking and innovation that embraces an entire organization. We had a sit down with one such inspiring entrepreneur who not very long ago ventured into the world of fashion design with the launch of her label Khushboo Kaplesh in Dubai.
A UAE based label, Khushboo Kaplesh brings haute couture finesse to prêt-à-porter collections, for women who appreciate good quality things in life. Her designs reflected tradition, while employing avant-garde flair and finesse amassed from her frequent trips to fashion capitals around the world.
Khushboo gives us a sneak peek into her her exciting journey of how the label came about from being a dream to a reality along with some great tips on how you can get started on your very own fashion project. Also take a look at the labels all new Fall 2016 collection.
Tete-a-tete with Khushboo Kaplesh
Tell us a little about your background
I was born and brought up in U.A.E. I originally come from a hill station in India named Simla. From a young age, I always dreamt of being a designer. Watching my mother dress up, and growing up with both Middle Eastern and Indian cultures around me, always inspired me. To complete this dream I pursued my Bachelors degree in Fashion Design & Pattern Making from the elite French Fashion University ESMOD.
Was a career in fashion design something you always wanted to pursue?
Yes, I always wanted to pursue a career in fashion. It’s all that I know and nothing else excites me as much as fashion does. Fashion is something that opens up all emotions of a human being.
How did you get started in the business? Is it an expensive affair to launch your own label in a city like Dubai?
After working in the Couture line for three years and interning with the coveted Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen, I decided to start my own RTW brand. I learnt a lot from it and wanted to use and imply the techniques in my own brand then. Yes, Dubai is a very expensive city and starting your own label here, can be very expensive. You also require a lot of support from boutiques who launch upcoming designers, which is not easy to get. However you still have to keep working towards your dream and that’s what I plan on doing.
What sort of challenges did you face in getting started with your label?
Some of challenges I still face are marketing my brand. Getting out as a RTW brand is very difficult, as it’s competitive. Hiring PR & marketing services are very expensive in this side of the world. It’s impossible for upcoming designers to hire them which concludes to no PR or marketing for the brand. Secondly a lot of boutiques say they support upcoming, emerging designers. Yet when approached, not much support is received. At times it doesn’t matter what you design, your work isn’t always appreciated. What matters more is who ‘you’ are, are you famous or come from a rich background. Altogether, there will be plenty moments when you feel you are failing and are being tested, that’s when you have to be strong and keep going. I have been fortunate to have supportive family and friends, who are always standing by me.
Would you say there is discrimination of any sort in the fashion business in UAE? Did you face any?
Yes, I would say there is. Like I said above, it matters more about who you are, where you stand and who your friends are. Sometimes your talent or your work isn’t appreciated. I think all upcoming designers face some sort of challenges and they have to overcome them to succeed.
Where do you see your label heading in the next 3 years?
I hope to keep working on my brand and expanding it as it goes. I want to expand to the US market and I’m working towards that. The label is still in it’s early stages as I just launched last year and I’m hoping to expand slowly.
Do you manage all aspects of the business independently or have a team supporting you?
I manage most of the aspects by myself. I don’t have a team in particular. I have few freelance individuals I work with and I outsource my production. At the moment that’s works for my label and me financially. As I said Dubai is an expensive city to start your own label.
Can you take us through the process of how releasing a collection works? From raw sketches to the final product?
My collection starts merely with just research and what I want to achieve each season. After designing mood boards, research boards and fabric hunting I start sketching and draping samples. After I finalize how many looks I want, I create a story. After the collection is put into production and start getting ready for the photo-shoot. The final product is then worn for the photo-shoot. I like to depict a story with every collection I make. I see fashion as a form of art and that’s why I like to create wearable art.
What sort of marketing do you rely on for your brand? Digital, traditional, a mix?
I feel any marketing is good. I personally prefer a mix. A lot of consumers read their news and follow up on trends online, while some are traditional and like to buy their magazines and read through them. Thus, I rely on both methods.
What tips /advice would like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs / fashion designers?
It’s a tough and competitive world out there and it is very important not to give up on your dreams and what you love. It is vital to stay focused, positive and keep pushing yourself. Without failing you will never learn to achieve. Life is about balancing out and taking risks. You have to experience downfalls, only then will you get up and accomplish in life. So never give up, life is short and do what makes you happy. My Mantra for life : Live, Laugh, Love.
*You can shop the new collection at prominent stores across Dubai and Abu Dhabi starting next month.
Follow her journery on @KhushbooKaplesh