Born to West Indies cricketer Sir Viv Richards and Indian actress Neena Gupta, Masaba Gupta grew up in Mumbai. She wanted to become a professional tennis player but walked away from the profession at 16. Later, she wanted to join the dance academy of famous Bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar, but her mother advised against it. She subsequently took up a course in music and dance in London but dropped out because she felt lonely and homesick. Masaba was raised by her mother who subsequently moved the family from New Delhi to Mumbai. When she turned 20 she reconnected with her father and the two now share a strong bond.
· Education & Career
Masaba later joined Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic of Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University (SNDT) where she completed a diploma in Apparel Manufacture and Design.
Fashion became an obvious choice after she won a few awards in college and decided to showcase her collection at Lakme Fashion Week. Over time, she realized the importance of balancing creativity, functionality, and commercial viability to create a collection and run a brand. Masaba wanted to fill a gap in the market for easy, comfortable garments that are neither luxury nor pret. With the merger of handloom with quirky – outlandish prints or with a refreshing palette of vibrant pink, yellow, green, and blue against tribal motifs, the designer ensures her heritage and cultural identities are a part of her clothes. The influences are strong and dynamic.
· New face Of The Indian Fashion Industry
Designer Masaba Gupta knows how to make heads turn with her vibrant, eye-catching design sensibility. Masaba changed the fate of the Indian fashion industry with unconventional prints, feminine drapes and silhouettes. Masaba Gupta was never shy to experiment. She has redefined the shape of Indian fashion with her flamboyant quirky prints and designs appealing to classes as well as masses.
She presented her collection at the age of 19 at Lakme Fashion Week 2008. She was just 20 when her entrepreneurial journey started with the launch of her eponymous brand. Masaba is the youngest designer introduced by Wills fashion week. An instant success abided her to launch her label ‘Masaba.’ She is considered among the most influential and dynamic youth fashion designers in India.
She showcased her line of clothing in the college’s graduation show. Designer Wendell Rodricks was her mentor who inspired her to take the next step and encouraged her to apply for the Lakme Fashion Week Spring/ Summer 2010 in Mumbai. The name of her collection was ‘Kattran’ which means scraps of fabrics. She collected all the scraps of different fabrics to cover the cost of unused fabrics as she wanted to make her line cheaper. Her collection was a fresh breeze of change.
Masaba Gupta was the youngest fashion creative director when she joined Satya Paul in 2012. Her work revealed the creativity to create a confluence of Indian bridal wear with contemporary ready to wear fashion. The floral prints created a gleaming palette of free – spirited Indian bridal designs ever seen.
Bohemian traits can be frequently seen all over her designs. Her signature style flaunts neat and quirky silhouettes, use of dupattas such as drapes in gowns and skirt ensembles. Masaba Gupta’s clothing line is popular for bold retro – styled prints, which are welcomed change from prevalent embroidery and zardozi work. She has introduced a new contemporary theme to the Indian ramps with her audacious designs, truly accentuating the free spirit of the new generation of Indian women.
Masaba showcased her collection ‘Wanderess’ at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2014. Masaba’s side cut gown with dupatta drapes became the talk of the town. The collection featured free spirited retro designs in Goan prints. This collection had unique designs of thigh – length jackets, chic crop tops, fringe bordered skirts, bell – bottoms and printed saree paired with full sleeve pullover crop blouses.
From a young graduate to becoming an entrepreneur, it was a very natural progression. She likes to do things at the right time when they work most. So she started her label at home. She didn’t have set-up then and that’s how it all started.
Masaba has come up with a clothing line that provides affordable designer clothes for masses as well as classes, fitting all budgets. She wants to design clothes that anyone can afford. Her customers range from Bollywood celebrities to teenage girls with budget pockets. Her brand ‘Masaba Lite’ is all about availing the casual designs at a low price. The majority of her buyers are teenagers and her affordable line ‘Masaba Lite’ will bring sarees in a price range of Rs 400- 4000, to fit into the pockets of young Indian girls. With Masaba lite, she has created eccentric prints. She has also started a clothing line for kids.
Her thoughts resonate in her designs. She has been outspoken about the need for inclusivity in fashion, by talking openly about photo shopped magazine shots, and body distortions. Being a victim of body shaming herself, she voiced the thoughts of many young girls when she floated the idea, ‘Different is beautiful.’ It is this grit and honesty that defines the ‘House of Masaba.’ From embracing the cultural heritage and identity, beginning a venture from home without any business set up, to grabbing a place in Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’, there is little that this fashion entrepreneur hasn’t already gotten covered.
Masaba is an inspiration to millions of youth to aim high. She believes that there is no trial and tested formula for success. Some people work so hard but they lack talent and some people who have talent but they don’t work hard. It is important to be innovative, fresh, and have a signature style. Her perpetual mantra is to grow at work and do new things that challenge her.