Known for giving a fusion Western touch to Indian clothing, designer Sapana Amin is quickly becoming known for her sexy and easy to wear pieces. We recently met this American born Indian designer to find out more about her inspiration, struggles and aspirations.
What is your background?
I was born and raised in the US. Moved to Bombay, India when I was 23, a year after finishing College where I majored in Fashion Design and minored in Fashion Merchandising.
I moved to India about 8 years ago to pursue my fashion career but seriously started my business which is called "Sapana Amin' about 4 years ago. Before that I would design pieces for friends, family and myself.
What inspired you to go into the fashion industry?
Well, it wasn't something I always knew I wanted to do. I was always interested in art but never saw fashion as a career growing up in Virginia with Indian parents who encouraged a career in medicine or computers. Hence I was going to be a pharmacist! But my first year in college I realized I didnt want to do that and fashion just came to me- I didnt think twice or ask anyone for advice. I just did it and there was no turning back. I had found my way.
Why did you choose to design Indian Fashion and not Western Fashion?
During my third year in fashion school I just knew I wanted to have my own business in designing Indo-Western garments. Being an Indian growing up in Virginia, I didn't see many Indians around me, but I still always felt very connected to my culture. I thought girls like me would love a mix of both their cultures in what they wear to Indian functions. Indian outfits in the States were not following the fast moving trends & styles of the Western culture, and because I saw that first hand I wanted to do something about it.
What do you find most difficult about this industry?
Finding the confidence in what you create- I'll be the first to say it is not easy to start a business from scratch in fashion or any other field. In the fashion industry there are a lot of designers out there, so a lot of competition, and to find yourself, your style- to be different, was very difficult for me. I was quite insecure about my work when I first started designing, hence it took me some time to get started on my own label. I still have a long way to go, but today I feel quite lucky to have so many people appreciate my work.
In regards to promoting your brand and products, what do you find is the most useful tool for this?
Marketing my brand. If people dont know about you, how will you get orders and do business? So I have realized how important it is to promote my brand in every way I can. Whether it's through the Internet, doing exhibitions, or word of mouth, I have been doing my best to put my name out there and slowly I am seeing a difference, a good difference.
What is your favorite part of going to work everyday?
I have two! One is seeing my vision turn into reality. When I sketch out an outfit and see the final product and it turns out just as I imagined, and sometimes even better. Two is when I receive an email from a client, or someone I don't know, telling me how much they love my work, or how much they liked their outfit and how happy they were to work with me. NOW that makes all the hard work I have put into this business all worth it. It just makes my day!
|Bohemian Rani Festive 2013 Collection|
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring designers, what would it be?
It's not easy, but if you love what you do it is so worth it. And be confident in what you do- if you don't believe in yourself, why would anyone else?
What is your ultimate aspiration for your brand?
I would love to be a brand like a Ralph Lauren or a Chanel, a household name in this industry. That's not going be easy, I know that, but it's not impossible! At the end of the day, I'd be happy and content if I'm still designing 20 years from now.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I have many! Haha... But work wise- I'd say when my embroiderers promise me they will deliver an outfit on a certain day and it doesn't happen. Then accordingly I have to tell my clients, and that's one thing I hate- disappointing my clients. But over all I feel I'm pretty lucky to have good people working with me.
Find Sapana's amazing designs on scarletbindi.com
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