TrendsEverything functional is streetwear, says Dhruv Kapoor

Everything functional is streetwear, says Dhruv Kapoor

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In an interview with ‘Lounge’, the designer talks about his presentation at the Milan Fashion Week, his learnings as a creative entrepreneur and why streetwear has taken over the fashion world



It’s been a busy few months for designer Dhruv Kapoor. After presenting his fall collection in Milan, as part of the fashion week in the fashion capital, earlier in January, he returned again to the runway last month in the same city to showcase his new spring-summer line.

One of the 10 international designers selected by Kering’s Material Innovation Lab (Kering MIL; a mentorship programme that promotes sustainable fashion in menswear), Kapoor is one of the few Indian creators who have been part of the official calendar of Milan Fashion Week.

In an interview with Lounge, Kapoor talks about recent collection, Fantasms, future plans for his brand and why streetwear has taken over the fashion world. Edited excerpts:

Dhruv Kapoor at the end of the Men's Spring-Summer 2024 fashion show on 19 June

Dhruv Kapoor at the end of the Men’s Spring-Summer 2024 fashion show on 19 June
(AFP)

Tell us a bit about ‘Fantasms’.

Our collections evolve from intangible inspirations: the impact of clothes on human emotion and how we use apparel or fashion to soothe our being and provoke interest and build fantasy within and around us. Fantasms served as a reminder to each one of us of our unlimited nature by eliminating planted belief systems, forced social imprints, stereotypes and listed protocol. It is a combination of diverse cultures, eras and thoughts to birth a new aesthetic… one that seamlessly sits in the new world, free from social and political restraints or gender-based roles.

Thoughts on the popularity of streetwear?

I feel everything functional is streetwear. I am consistently amazed by how streetwear has evolved over time, be it a couture dress or a three-piece suit, they are all paired in an individualistic format that maintains functionality. It’s our current and forever state of mind.

Who is the loyal Dhruv Kapoor buyer?

Our clientele, on average, would be those between the age of 25-65. However, we do not create for a specific age, race or gender. For us, emotion is the true target… “How do you wish to feel?”…. The feel-good factor is key.

What attracts you to streetwear and androgynous clothing?

It is a mindset that we resonate with. We don’t purposefully look at street style or try to cater to that specific segment. It is more about unusual pairings where functionality is key. The aesthetic would evolve for sure but in an organic format. I would never force a change if I don’t naturally blend with it. My team and I seek to find a balance between gender stereotypes and societal conditioning, where we push the softer core within each man and the powerful core within every woman to the forefront. Oneness is the main objective.

What is piquing your interest at the moment?

The jaw-dropping information I am absorbing through a series of books by Dolores Cannon. If one is interested in acquiring new knowledge and mind-bending approaches to life, they must get their hands on it.

What are you experimenting with in fashion at the moment?

Lately, it has become more important to focus on the intangible impact of fashion and we are consistently researching new avenues, age-old techniques, and ancient wisdom to push through our work.

Your thoughts on couture labels doing streetwear?

The world is blurring all boundaries that seek to divide. I enjoy watching a couture dress paired with a cool pair of shoes and a baseball cap. It is more relatable.

Your label completes 10 years next year…

The journey has been an inspiring one and continues to inspire us every day. I am going to leave numbers out, but we doubled and tripled our annual revenue in the last couple of years. Over time, we understood our strengths and were able to provide a well-curated offering.

We were learning then and continue to learn now and that’s how one evolves. I personally enjoy a challenge, but they are never so great to create difficulties. For now, we are working on restructuring the brand entirely and every step of it is exciting me.

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