On September 11, Indian designer Bibhu Mohapatra will showcase his Spring 2014 collection in New York City. When he first started his atelier, five years ago, two people were working with him but he now employs seven people full time.
Mohapatra has always had a strong interest in fashion. As a child, he would use an old sewing machine and get advice from his mother to create outfits for his first muse - his sister. A few years later, he graduated in Economics in Utah and then moved to New York City where he attended the Fashion Institute of Technology. After working for eight years as a design director at J. Mendel, the Indian designer started his own business.
This season, Mohapatra took his inspiration from his close friend Wendy Whelan – who used to be a dancer with the New York City Ballet. "I’m at a stage where I want to experiment with fabrics and materials and mix everything," he said. "My field of research is kind of boundary-less and I draw inspiration from everything and everywhere."
Mohapatra says it takes him a lot of time – sometimes a couple of weeks - to get a sketch that is clearly appropriate to him. The designer has not forgetten his home country: “I do miss India,” he said. "I miss the people. I miss the food… It’s very inspiring, going to villages and seeing a whole other world of artistry that has been alive for generations. It just really makes you humble."