“We, as a nation, are generally very obsessed with the West and anything that they do. Anything that’s a fad — be it in garments or make-up looks — it immediately translates here,” Masaba said.
The new-age designer, a former fashion director at the luxury label Satya Paul, says people “should speak up” against designers who blantantly copy others both from India and the West.
“There are so many designers who take India as an inspiration, internationally and do such amazing things…I think people and the media should openly speak up about designers who are copying others because it’s very important that they do not give them that stamp of approval,” she added.
Masaba especially feels that Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad, who is famous for making gowns, and national designers like Gaurav Gupta and Tarun Tahiliani, who have brought the concept of sari gowns on the runway, have been aped the most. She feels designers who copy “should not even get a place in fashion weeks”.
“I think for the layman, it’s not plagiarism…for them it is a similar outfit. But people who are in fashion and people who understand it should stand up and voice it out,” added the designer, who has her indigenous style that she lends to her creations.
Known for her extraordinary and quirky prints like the lipstick, cow and camera print, which have been one of the most copied print in Indian fashion market, Masaba said it is copying the silhouettes that bothers her more than anyone copying her designs.
“I get irritated when people copy my silhouettes…I do not get irritated when people copy my prints because that’s something I cannot control…It is very easy to copy my prints. You can just take a photograph here on the runway and replicate it in the next 10 days.”
“You will have many fabrics in my print, but silhouettes is something original and that should not be copied. But I think designers should not copy the other designers’ style or print,” she said.
Masaba — the daughter of actress Neena Gupta and cricket legend Vivian Richards — had launched her eponymous label in July 2009.
Talking about how she came up with her famous quirky prints, the 26-year-old said: “I do not think I know anything else… I just know how to do take objects, motifs, a certain theme and just turn it around and make it really fun.”
Masaba, whose creations have found fans in a host of Bollywood celebrities, feels that the youth “are biggest influencers of fashion today” and so she constantly try to make something that can “define their style statement”.