Masaba Gupta, the Mumbai-based designer, who is just 24 has been appointed the fashion director at 27 year-old brand Satya Paul.
“I’ve grown up watching my mother and her friends look at Satya Paul saris as an asset. People would save money and go buy a Satya Paul sari. So when the opportunity was offered to me by Sanjay Kapoor (managing director, Genesis Colors, the company that owns the label), I immediately said yes,” explains Gupta, her trademark curly hair pinned back, waiting to dive into a plate of sukha bhel at her store in Juhu at the end of a day full of meetings.
Masaba feels a strong aesthetic connect with the label that has become synonymous with the sari and its fearless use of vibrant colours and innovative graphics—all cornerstones of Masaba’s inimitable brand identity. “The sensibility for both brands springs from the same place. I feel as though Satya Paul and Masaba are the elder sister and younger sister. The younger one is someone quirky and fun and the elder sister is also fun, yet mature and sophisticated,” says Gupta, who, in her capacity as fashion director, will look after the prêt-a-porter and Satya Paul signature lines, as well as the scarves and accessories ranges, giving design inputs for seasonal and fashion week collections and handling photo shoots, marketing activities and press relations.
David Abraham of Abraham & Thakore thinks it’s definitely a good idea for a brand to have a creative director at the helm, to give it a new focus and direction. “For such an arrangement between a designer and a brand to work, it’s important that both have clear identities and market positioning. The most successful partnerships have been where the designers have maintained the sensibility of their own label and enhanced the brands that they have worked for,” says Abraham.
All eyes will now be on her debut Spring-Summer 2013 line for Satya Paul. It will also be interesting to see how the forthright designer takes on her new corporate role. “I always call a spade a spade. But henceforth I will be more conscious about what I say because there’s a lot of people’s reputations at stake.”