Arpita Mehta, who won the most glamorous designer of the year in her graduating fashion show from S.N.D.T. University in Mumbai is a very talented young Indian fashion designer. She started her own label in the year 2007 after working under renowned fashion designer Manish Malhotra for two years. Now she has her own studio in Juhu, Mumbai. Arpita recently joined NewsX for an exclusive interview for NewsX India A-List talking not only about how her journey started but her contributions to the pandemic situation as well.
Starting with her journey from school days Arpita told us, “To be honest I was an absolute nerd in school and was a hardworking student. But when the big question came about what I wanted to do next, I was really perplexed and I remember my parent’s reaction to fashion they were very surprised. Ten years ago people didn’t see fashion the way they see it now, so at that point of time it took me a while to convince them but I went ahead and studied fashion at S.N.D.T. University, Mumbai. After completing the three year course from the institute, I worked with the designer for 2 years and after that I launched my own label.”
With perseverance and knack for detailing, she debuted at the Lakmé India Fashion Week Winter/Festive ’13, showcasing her very first collection, ‘Violet Garden’ that featured unique digital prints embellished with intricate mirror work detailing. And there has been no turning back since. Today, Arpita’s illustrious clientele include industrialists, fashion industry stalwarts and celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Alia Bhatt, to name a few.
“It was not immediately that I launched my own label, it took me a few years and more years for me to figure out what I want to do and how I want to do it. I had no contacts in the field of fashion to help me. I started from absolutely scratch and finding my own team of workers. The beginning years were complete struggles and mistakes that I made but I feel that something that helped me to decide upon what I wanted to do, what my brand should be about, what is the aesthetic to take forward. The struggle of starting everything from scratch made me have my own individual personality that I builded on myself and on my brand. Ten years later now, yes we are having a good time,” continued Arpita.
When asked about how she feels now after a decade in the industry and how she marked the occasion of launching her very own Flagship store, she responded, “Ten years to be honest was a very big milestone for me because even though it’s been ten years I feel we just haven’t been working for long. We launched our first Flagship store in Mumbai and as it was in 2020, we couldn’t make a big physical launch but we did do a digital launch and we did it well. The store houses all our signature style lehengas to raffle sarees to mirror jackets which everyone loves, basically everything and it’s kind of a very contemporary looking store where one can spot it from outside. Apart from launching this, we even launched a very special coffee table book which is something very dear to me and it had all the inspirations of the brand from where we all were inspired by. We did get a very few known actors from Bollywood who are also friends and well wishers of the brand to do a campaign for us. This was truly very special and once can see it online.”
Talking about her inspirations, Arpita said, “I feel constantly inspired by nature be it the sea, be it the forest or flowers. Nature is constant but even apart from that there’s always this added element that I am inspired by which keeps changing I feel every season, every three months or every six months. Inspiration comes anywhere and anytime and I feel something that always resonates with every collection that I do, be it in the form of print or embroidery. Therefore inspiration is everywhere, you just have to be active.”
When asked about her beliefs that sets her brand apart from the others, she said, “I feel very early on my brand as in me. There is this craft of mirror work which is very true to a place in Gujarat and Rajasthan and has been around for years. What we did is because I have a sentimental connection with that being a Gujarati, and it’s something I wore a lot as a child. It kind of stuck with me and I wanted to do something different and unique that no one has been doing at that time. We took this craft and we made it in a contemporary manner. We organised the craft and presented it in such a way that one could wear obviously not just in that part but people could wear from the smallest to biggest Indian functions. I feel that this identity, the kind of embroidery and the mirror work that we used is something that has stuck with the brand right from the beginning until now and I think that is something that sets us apart from the rest.”
Talking about 2020 and how she coped up personally and professionally as well, the designer said, “I feel all of 2020 and now also in 2021 there has been a mix of emotions. Some days you are feeling anxiety and some days you are feeling overwhelmed on what’s happening around and some days you feel helpless that am sitting at home. To sum it all up it has been a mix of all emotions, while you have been mentally active but physically inactive because we were all at home. But it has also given us a lot of time to reflect in our personal lives and the way we interact with other people where work is concerned or where family is concerned and I think that helped me a lot in this time to just kind of go back into the past and see where and on have we been spending our time doing all this life.”
On a concluding note, the designer shared with us about her initiative she started to help the community at large during the pandemic. “We thought of coming up with an initiative last month called ‘Wishful Wednesday’ where every Wednesday we hold a sale digitally and we reach out to all our clients all over the world. We are offering them our garments and our latest collections at a discounted price and whatever amount comes out of that sale we have been directing it towards charity. We have tied up with different NGOs who have been doing absolutely amazing work and reaching out to people who are suffering with multiple Covid issues.”
“I just felt that was the way for us to give back to our country because you know it feels helpless and therefore we thought of taking this initiative where everyone comes in together and try to do their level best on whatever they can. It’s been amazing, the responses have been overwhelming and you feel amazing about the fact that so many people have come forward,” added Arpita.