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Dhruv Kapoor

Founder
Label - Dhruv Kapoor

We focus on human emotions, where ‘feel-good’ factor is the key

Since its inception in 2013, the Dhruv Kapoor brand has been synonymous with fearless self-expression, twisted modernity, and transformation. Dhruv Kapoor's signature designs blend juxtaposition, precision, and innovation, fuelled by a generational ideology of confidence and empowerment. Speaking to Fibre2Fashion, he discusses his journey, the craftsmanship of Dhruv Kapoor products, and what sets Dhruv Kapoor apart from other brands.

Fibre2Fashion: Can you share about your journey from studying at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to working with Vogue India and eventually founding your label?

Dhruv Kapoor:

In high school, I dreamt of a fashion brand, delving into designer interviews and researching the industry's internal workings. Clothing, to me, is a telepathic medium, expressing choices, interests, and perceptions. These experiences shaped my understanding of fashion as a powerful means of communication. NIFT provided technical knowledge, and Marangoni in Milan allowed conceptualisation of the brand's aesthetic. Vogue offered insights, enabling interaction with industry professionals and understanding diverse psyches.

 

F2F: Your brand is described as a combination of fearless self-expression, twisted modernity, and a strong emotional current. How did you come up with this unique identity for Dhruv Kapoor?

DK:

When we drop societal restraints and predefined notions, what remains is a fearless mindset. Through our seasonal offerings, we strive to connect with the mind and emotions, posing the question ‘How do you wish to feel?’ With each piece, extensive research is dedicated to discovering innovative approaches to evoke human emotion. Achieving a harmonious blend of ancient heritage and futuristic concepts within the contemporary fashion landscape, where fashion transcends mere aesthetics, requires balance.

F2F: The brand has evolved since its inception in 2013. How do you ensure each collection reinterprets aesthetic codes and challenges norms while maintaining a cohesive brand identity?

DK:

I rely mainly on my instincts, whether it's choosing colours, combining different materials, or styling a look. If it aligns with my mindset, it's a go. The process feels effortless, and I find joy in exploring new possibilities each season. While I appreciate the work of other designers, I don't consciously strive to maintain a specific brand ethos—it simply exists and naturally blends seemingly opposing concepts. Even if I admire another designer's work, our approach to a similar concept would inherently be unique to us.

F2F: The brand aims to break archaic rules of gender. How do you incorporate empowerment into the fabric of your label, challenging traditional notions of masculine and feminine energy?

DK:

We do not adhere to archaic standards. Our seasonal projections are devoid of social and political restraints, and they are free from hypothetical gender-roles. Instead, we focus on human emotions, where ‘feel-good’ factor is the key. Dual energies are present in each one of us and this debate over gender is completely unnecessary. Our aim, through the brand is to balance those energies where one’s gender, origin and belief systems are secondary.

F2F: How has societal conditioning influenced your approach to redefine feminine energy as powerful and commanding?

DK:

I have grown up surrounded by powerful women. I feel they balance empathy and power seamlessly. The opinion of outsiders on this matter has never really bothered me. My firsthand experiences, witnessing multiple events around the world, have enabled me to focus on uplifting, healing and empowering through our creations.

F2F: Your collections reflect a play of past, present, and future. Can you share insights into your creative process and how you weave together diverse cultural influences in your designs?

DK:

Our aim is to draw inspiration from our ancient history and twist it around to make it relevant for today. A lot of literature that I read explores ancient technology and systems that were in place and would be of much value in the present day. My team and I enjoy exploring these aspects and turning them around through eclectic placements and combinations and make them more understandable and exciting for our audience today. I love playing colour theory, exploring how subtle adjustments can be made to influence our customers' subconscious without them being consciously aware of it.

F2F: Your brand is known for its eclectic use of materials and custom-developed fabrics. Could you shed light on your choice of materials and the process of developing custom fabrics for your collections?

DK:

Our goal is to utilise 40 per cent upcycled textiles from Indian and global suppliers. Personally, I enjoy building a combination of technology with natural fabrics. It is an exciting part of our design process to try different approaches to basic fabrics with the aim of value addition. There would always be a balance between recycled nylons, upholstery fabrics, denims and some others that our skilled artisans create.

F2F: How do you ensure that your brand transcends generations while staying true to its ideology?

DK:

For us, age is merely a number. Emotion is our primary focus, other factors like age, gender, or origin are insignificant in our design process. Our clientele spans a wide age range, from 15 to 75 years.

F2F: How does innovation play a role in your creative expression, and how do you stay ahead in the tireless search for new perspectives?

DK:

Everything already exists. In our designing philosophy, it is all about learning from our surroundings. Our process involves reinterpreting prevailing mindsets, and presenting a unique perspective through our lens. Attention to detail is the key, and sometimes a small belt loop or a small logo placement does the work. Exploring diverse approaches to ordinary products is integral to our everlasting design journey, a process which gives us immense satisfaction.

F2F: The brand has also received several awards, including the Vogue India Fashion Fund and GQ India’s young designer award. How have these recognitions impacted your creative process and the brand’s trajectory?

DK:

All the recognitions the brand has received over time have helped us expand globally faster. They also inspire us to be more creative by encouraging us to push our limits. While we don't actively seek approval from the industry, receiving recognition feels good and motivates our team to work harder each season. It shows that our efforts are paying off and encourages us to keep innovating and doing our best.

F2F: As a successful designer, what advice do you have for emerging designers looking to make their mark in the fashion industry?

DK:

Authenticity is the key. Stay true to yourself and do not get too caught up in comparing with others. Follow your instincts, stay focused on your goals, and be clear about where you want to go. Personally, I believe in having big dreams and never giving up—everything else falls into place.

F2F: What can we expect from Dhruv Kapoor in the future? Are there any upcoming projects, collaborations, or expansions you can share with us?

DK:

At present, we are working on multiple projects while also restructuring the entire brand. We're adopting a comprehensive approach, exploring new areas, introducing lifestyle products, and putting a significant focus on accessories. There are exciting projects lined up, and we have some surprises set for release in January during our showcase in Milan. I'll keep the details under wraps until then.

F2F: What can we expect from Dhruv Kapoor in the future? Are there any upcoming projects, collaborations, or expansions you can share with us?

DK:

At present, we are working on multiple projects while also restructuring the entire brand. We're adopting a comprehensive approach, exploring new areas, introducing lifestyle products, and putting a significant focus on accessories. There are exciting projects lined up, and we have some surprises set for release in January during our showcase in Milan. I'll keep the details under wraps until then.

F2F: Looking forward, what legacy do you hope to leave through your designs? How would you like your work to be remembered in the fashion industry?

DK:

The most important thing is that it made them feel good. In the end, that's all that really matters.

Looking forward, what legacy do you hope to leave through your designs? How would you like your work to be remembered in the fashion industry?

Interviewer: Kiran Sahija
Published on: 08/01/2024
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