In Conversation With Dhruv Kapoor On His Menswear Debut At Milan Fashion Week

Dhruv Kapoor

Over the years, Dhruv Kapoor has carved a niche for himself. And it got him noticed not just at home,  but also across international waters. He presented his menswear collection, a first for an Indian, at the recently concluded Men’s Milan Fashion Week and our industry has been undoubtedly revelling in this feat. Staying true to his design ethos, the lineup included impeccably tailored blazers, a healthy intermingling of neutral and candy colours, sizeable embroidery sightings and sequin patchwork, all in a balanced platter to serve what’s best. Mini bags had a moment, slung from the shoulders, the elbows and also in a hand-held fashion, coupled with experimental hemlines.

Read up on our chat with Dhruv Kapoor on all things fashion, future plans and of course, his much-celebrated debut at fashion’s favourite city- Milan.


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ELLE: You’re the first Indian designer to showcase at the Milan Men’s Fashion Week. What does it mean for you and how did you make it happen?

Dhruv Kapoor (DK): Mostly lots of dreaming and lots of hard work. I enjoy focusing my attention on all my desires and somehow, like magic, they unfold beautifully. The first part visualization is my favourite and the experience was mind-blowing. It is a great honour to put Indian craftsmanship on a global stage like Milan and my team and I are proud to be able to do that and are completely committed to it.

ELLE: You’ve regularly been showcasing at Milan Fashion Week, how different was this experience?

DK: We have mostly been hosting presentations where the scale is much smaller. In January this year, I was sure of moving to a runway space. It felt like the right time to step up and narrate our ideologies through a 360-degree experience- from sound, space and of course a larger display of the collection. It’s a lot of work- working in a foreign city, understanding their laws and being our first one- hit and trial, rectifying small glitches, working with multiple teams from light and sound to seating, but overall it was a great experience. We are now excited to work on the next one for September.


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ELLE: What was the inspiration behind this collection and how did it come about?

DK: We all have this internal quest of understanding who we are, why are we here or simply how things work. Through spring’23 called “the seeker”, the idea was to cater to these questions. It is an internal expedition into a space of limitless possibilities where we identify our true potential and our capabilities and how thought alone is the answer. The answers are all within us, all we need to do is dive deep within and simply focus. I personally enjoy reading about ancient science and the spiritual world and through our seasonal collections, we aim to project some of those ideas with a contemporary twist to make them more relatable.

ELLE: 40 per cent of your line was upcycled. How easy or difficult was it to incorporate old textiles into your new creative process/design?

DK: My team and I enjoy this challenge and in all honesty, it’s not so difficult- once we make a decision to align all our practices for the greater good. Understanding how to incorporate discarded textiles or previous season dead stock or even playing with rejected materials is fascinating. The best part is, that sometimes one would never know the starting point. We would generally keep working on it until we fall in love with it- from surface manipulations to print to different washes and odd combinations. Looking at surplus, rejected or dead stock is the first part of our design process. From there on we build the rest of the collection around it.


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ELLE: Menswear is finally entering an exciting phase which is experimental and accepting of styles that are beyond the norms of masculinity. How do you feel about being a menswear designer in these times?

DK: It’s the best time to be a designer in general. We try not to divide by gender and approach each product by targeting human emotion. It is essential for us at Kapoor to understand the psyche behind colours, shapes or products in general. “How do you want to feel?” This is what we want to cater to. The feeling is key! Consumer is more aware of their desires, their choices and what they believe in and it is our aim to match those frequencies through clothes.

ELLE: What’s next for the label Dhruv Kapoor?

DK: I am currently working on the next collection for September and am excited to see how that unfolds. As a brand, we are planning to add more verticals to our offerings to further enhance the experience and approach it from a 360-degree perspective by introducing lifestyle products and varied lines within the brand. And then, there are bigger plans! But I rather hold on to them and reveal them as they manifest.

For more on Dhruv Kapoor and his body of work, tap here

- Digital Fashion Writer


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