Dhruv Kapoor on how his alma mater, Istituto Marangoni, shaped him as a designer

Becoming an entrepreneur can be a daunting dream. But if you have the right support and the training to back it up, then the process is much simpler. Take it from designer Dhruv Kapoor, who graduated from Istituto Marangoni Milano in 2013, and in a span of five years, has become a game changer in the Indian fashion industry. Dhruv, who just showcased his Spring Summer ’19 collection at the recently-concluded Lotus Make-Up India Fashion Week, spoke with ELLE about his alma mater and how the Milan fashion school sharpened his sartorial skills to help him create his eponymous label. Read on:

ELLE: How has Istituto Marangoni shaped your journey as a designer?

Dhruv Kapoor (DK): Istituto Marangoni is what literally shaped our brand and aesthetics today. The Milan campus and the esteemed faculty were perfect to nurture my desires. The design process taught at the school is exceptionally curated and we got to work with design teams and brands that helped us build a better understanding of our aesthetics and how to actualise a thought into a product. The sartorial sensibilities that we learned are now seamlessly instilled in all our products. The location of the school and the environment came together to make us who we are today as a brand and what we strive for in the future.

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A look from Dhruv Kapoor’s SS19 collection, New Butch

ELLE: What would you say are the advantages of studying at Istituto Marangoni?

DK: In a nutshell, it is the process. At Istituto Marangoni, each part of the design process is broken down and taught — and we still use the same process while designing each collection. From graphics to silhouettes, prints and forecasting, everything was taken care of. I was a part of womenswear Fashion Design, but the curriculum included other beneficial aspects, which today are of extreme importance to the brand and to me, personally. Consumer psychology, marketing and my favourite, fashion semiology, were an added bonus that helped us gain a better insight.

ELLE: Tell us about your SS19 collection — what is the inspiration behind it, what are some of the fabrics, styles and silhouettes that have been incorporated?

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A look from Dhruv Kapoor’s SS19 collection, New Butch

DK: Spring Summer ’19 is called the New Butch — an eclectic combination of modern masculinity mixed with nurturance, love and empathy. It’s a bold take that’s relevant for our contemporary society that celebrates individuality and is free from social and political reforms.

We have worked with a mix of print, embellishment and soft structure in custom developed fabrics along with Japanese silks, Indian cottons and technical jersey from Italy. Silhouettes show a coherent mix of 1980’s and the early 90’s which followed a DIY approach. 

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A look from Dhruv Kapoor’s SS19 collection, New Butch

ELLE: You were invited to showcase at the Milan Fashion Week — how was the experience?

DK: Going to Milan with our collection has always been a dream and we were finally invited by Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana (The Italian Fashion Council) to exhibit during Milan Fashion Week. Other than immense exposure, the sales report was significantly high. We are excited to be linked with Camera Moda and grateful for all their support.

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