Q&A Wednesday With Swapnil Shinde


A quick Q&A with designer Swapnil Shinde…

And, don’t forget to check out our Directory Page for more info on various designers…

1. As a designer, what inspires you? Have a muse?

As a designer one always expects you to have an inspiration….but somehow for me its always been about my music, what I’m listening to at that point in time….sometimes its “beedi” from Omkara..then there is the Bjork phase…at times its Britney Spears…hahaahah then there is world music….it’s always very diverse….thus my mood, and my music always reflects in my work….it’s good sometimes… bad at times… really tacky at times….perfect at times….but that’s the art of being creative…..though I must admit I do have my share of muses, mainly my models…Amrit Maghera and Mashoom Singha to be precise… these days its undoubtedly Priyanka Chopra in her short hair!

2. Are you a procrastinator or do you usually have your collections planned the moment an inspiration or idea takes root?

It would be good and ideal for me to say everything is always planned….but I must admit that there have been times when I have planned out my collection down to the sampling….then suddenly I would see a piece of architecture…or listen to an Italian song ….or for that matter a Versace gown which would build a whole new story on its own …so I guess it’s only fair to say I’m very spontaneous .

3. How has the high-end luxury brand influx in India changed the local fashion scene?

It’s made us as designers, and people in general more aware, and given fashion a certain sense of importance…people are considering it NOW a serious business, importance is given not just to finish and pricing but also marketing your brand…importance of brand ambassadors etc.


4. How do you feel about more and more celebrities choosing to wear International labels at various award functions and other public events? As a designer do you feel our homespun designers aren’t getting their due?

I think that is a major misunderstanding…that our celebrities wear international brands, on the contrary Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu , Aishwarya Rai to name a few have chosen Indian designers for red carpet events as opposed to international ones, probably just for smalltime events they would choose international brands, which is only fair to them as they need to break their monotony of being loyal to one designer although I’m not complaining there either!!!! You have young girls like Mugdha Godse, Neha Dhupia, Asin etc sporting young and upcoming designers which is great.

5. How much of an effect has global recession had on the ‘design’ process? Is this a time when prices should be cut, or staying put and riding it out is better?

For me recession has not been an issue mainly because my costing has always been affordable from the day I began my business, my clientele is the young college going girl who can’t afford a 40,000 dress but can chip out 6000 to 8000 for an evening attire and thus my design process has never suffered, my brand has always been sexy, fresh, but very edgy and not predictable….but most importantly very affordable.

6. Who is that one Indian celebrity that you are just itching to give a make-over to? Don’t hold back on us!?

Although I believe everyone is entitled to make mistakes as we are only human, I would most certainly love to do a makeover with Vidya Balan not because of how she is now as I think she looks fine…but I personally believe she is undoubtedly sexy and has an aura which is undeniable…but needs more help where it comes to westernwear….enter SWAPNIL SHINDE

7. Five essentials that should take us through the seasons this year?

Mini handbags in dirty colours (get rid of acids and juicy), a fitted to flare black dress, sunglasses, a super cool customized laptop bag, masculine chunky watches.

8. How would you describe your own sense of style?

Relaxed and sporty , I am just like my brand , I am a modern guy who goes to the gym, eats healthy food and would want to wear clothes that are comfortable yet charming!

9. Is it the clothing that adds allure to a woman or a woman who makes the clothing more alluring with her personality?

Its always that hidden ex factor which usually comes out of confidence…and that confidence has to be your own….no expensive dresses which are perfect from tip to toe can give you that…..you can wear a plastic bag with towel and make it work….the biggest example for that is Sarah Jessica Parker and in India its Sonam Kapoor.


10. And finally…

a. One word that describes you?

b. A trend you wish would go away?
Balloon and cocoon (pls women wear fitted stuff, enough already with the balloons , cocoons, sacks, bags etc etc)

c. A trend you can’t get enough of?
Priyanka Chopra in short hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

d. Shoes or bags?
Shoes…..you can go with no bags to an event but bad shoes are unforgivable!

e. If you weren’t a designer, you would be?
A dancer

f. One thing Swapnil Shinde cannot live without?
My dance


Swapnil Shinde Fall 2009

Image courtesy: Yahoo


  1. Do you conduct these interviews? The fall 2009 collection looks like an inspiration from the movie SATC; gladiators and belted ensemble.
    Most designers do a lot of last minute changes, late nights at the studio before fashion shows; is that called spontaneity Swapnil? Kidding yeah!
    Regardless of how the collection fares and whether you have borrowed an idea or two, if you are a hands-on designer, the level of hardship in executing and achieving what you envisioned is the hardest of all, so thumps for that.


  2. I wonder if there are any websites, where we could look at his collection or even buy stuff from?
    I LOVE that grey metallic gown on the runway :)


  3. I find his interview quite casual compared to Anand Kabra ..but maybe staying casual is his thing. He seems smitten by Priyanka Chopra.. but calling her bob a trend is just too much… who else have we seen wearing that? Also.. I was thinking that the bob was probably a wig and not even her real hair which only came up in cover shoots. Being inspired by music is fine if that works for you.. but being inspired by a Valentino … well that just scares me because I keep thinking of how some designers almost like to copy but like to label it as an inspiration. 6000 to 8000 is not excatly affordable for a college going girl.. but i’ll give that to him. Stop picking on Vidya Balan now.. it is ancient news that she could probably use a makeover! In the 1st set of pics featured in this interview, I don’t like the dress on the right.. and the way that the same fabric has been used on the guy.. don’t like that either. The grey mettalic gown sure looks interesting but it could go down as really frumpy or a mess on someone on the red carpet. Would like to see someone try and work that dress in real life. I like the colour of the 2nd gown tho.


  4. Nick, the interview does sound very casual or more like he is young, and there is an honesty of a young heart in it. The rhythm of the music can be an inspiration as it creates flow, texture or even a silhoutte.
    I think he meant Priyanka Chopra in her bob is his muse nowadays; he is visualising his garments on her with that hair style. Besides, anything we see or felt can be an inspiration, any form or shape of any object or emotion, but it would sound weird or funny if you go into the detail to explain. That being said, it is imporatant to focus on one theme or storyboard, to make it the collection, although subconsiciously or consciously elements of the design could have been drawn from random things that we may have seen/heard/felt.




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