For a designer who has unwittingly and single-handedly spawned an entire industry of copies, flourishing on the duplication of her trademark prints, Masaba Gupta, 25, is unfazed by the blatant plagiarism of her creativity. In fact, the young Mumbai designer — currently holding the dual title of Creative Head of House of Masaba and Creative Director of Satya Paul — has decided to counter the counterfeiters with her own line of chic and affordable clothing and accessories, catering to “young girls on tight budgets”. Masaba Lite, now available at the designer’s Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata stores, and soon to launch on Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, is a collection of casual westernwear, nightwear, iPhone covers, slogan ganjis, socks, eye patches and more. “Why buy a fake when you can get the original at the same price?” says the designer on her newly launched website http://www.houseofmasaba.com.
“I remember three college girls coming to my Juhu, Mumbai, store once and pitching in to buy one sari, which they said they would share,” says Gupta. Therein germinated the idea of a collection that “pays tribute to the pocket-money phase, which restricts teenagers, who want to explore their personal style, but don’t always have the means to do so,” she says. The collection comes in monochromes and bright colours and wears the designer’s distinct signature prints in the form of doors, windows, locks and keys. “We’d like to do a line of affordable saris but we’re still in the process of doing our research on the right fabrics and the printing process,” she says. The range is priced between Rs 400 and Rs 4,000.
“The Masaba buyer is a girl in her 20s. Masaba Lite is aimed at someone younger. We’re aware that we need to keep the identities of the two labels very distinct so that they don’t overlap and eat into each other’s market share,” says the astute businesswoman. Even as Masaba Lite takes shape, her signature label is also likely to undergo refinement. “The print story is everything to us. As we progress, Masaba Lite will become more like our signature line, with our trademark block-printing and screen-printing. Masaba, itself will move towards digital prints,” she says.