Guide to Becoming A Fashion Designer ft. BHAVDEEP KAUR
“Fashion is not solely about the way you dress up. It is about your style, personality, dedication and the zest with which you follow your passion while setting your unique trend.”
If you had witnessed the social media sensation of the Indian fashion trends during the lockdown period, you would have definitely come across the name Bhavdeep Kaur who has been one of the most viral brides of 2020. When pandemics hit the world, things were not normal and the culture of intimate lockdown weddings began. One of the most viral weddings of 2020 during the pandemic times has been of Bhavdeep Kaur and Harkaran Singh from Ludhiana, Punjab.
Bhavdeep Kaur is a young Fashion Entrepreneur, Fashion designer, blogger and influencer. Her passion for fashion was so intense that she set her foot on the entrepreneurial journey right as a teenager by establishing her clothing brand Youngberry. She has been one of the top fashion designers from Punjab.
Her elegant line of clothing emerged from Ludhiana and has gone up to the cities of Canada and New York. She is one of the popular fashion bloggers in India and her blog depicts shopaholic diaries, wedding inspiration and fashion inspirations. She has also emerged as one of the top Instagram influencers in the field of fashion.
One the fourth episode of the Podcast, I interview Bhavdeep Kaur who shares a gist of her fashion designing career and the brand Youngberry. She guides emerging fashion enthusiasts on how to become fashion designers in India and the scope of fashion entrepreneurship in India.
You can also listen to this fashion interview on the Podcast Exploring Career Opportunities below.
Please do elaborate on how did your fashion designing journey start? When and how did you realise your passion and start your clothing line up?
My journey began when I was 18 years old, and the first dress that I designed was for my 18th birthday. That’s when it all started. I always wanted to do something in fashion design but my parents wanted me to have a degree in a conventional degree course. Since my passion for fashion designing was always in me, I kept experimenting with my creativity. On seeing that first self-designed dress of mine, I started getting orders even at the time when I didn’t own a label or a brand of mine. So, my fashion designing journey began with that one dress of mine.
How did you come up with the brand Youngberry and what is the story behind it?
My fashion label is called Youngberry. After brainstorming for a while, we came up with this name. And I felt this to be a perfect one because I was also a little young at that time. And there on Youngberry grew from a tiny bud to a flower hoping to flourish even better. It’s a home-grown brand and, we have nurtured it with a lot of hard work and passion.
Initially, we started with designing western wear. Back then, western outfits weren’t made on order by tailors. There was a conception among the people that western wear can only be bought from high-end shops and malls from reputed brands and cannot be made on order. Even the local boutiques then were dealing in suits, sarees, and lehengas and did not venture into western dresses. So, I decided to make western dresses, and this unique idea gave a kickstart to our brand.
It seemed like we had set a trend and people were so happy that they could have tops and dresses designed. So our decision to get doing something innovative rather than following the ongoing trends proved to be an excellent move.
Slowly and steadily, Youngberry expanded and explored Indian wear by designing couture. Now we also design Indian bridal outfits and bridal lehengas. In short, I would describe Youngberry as a brand that has been nourished with a lot of love and passion.
How did you market your brand in the initial days? Did you focus on online marketing or showcased your clothing line in the fashion events or did it all happen through word-of-mouth marketing to your customers?
Whatever new designs we made, either my friends or I would wear them, and we would click the pictures of the designs. Initially, we used to upload them on our Facebook page, and got good popularity on the page. Consequently, we did fashion exhibitions and explored other platforms too.
You have grown as a popular Instagram fashion influencer in recent days having a good community of followers. So, what strategies helped you to grow your community on Instagram?
Growing my Instagram community to the level where it is today took a lot of time. It is quite a slow process, yet one has to be very steady and consistent in it. If you simply make an Instagram page, you cannot expect it to grow overnight.
For me, consistency worked wonders. So I would specify that posting content consistently and staying in touch with the audience has helped me to a greater extent. You have to post consistent content, come up with innovative ideas for promotion, and then your brand will scale up efficiently.
I have seen that currently, you are focussing more on Instagram reels, so are the reels bringing good reach to your page or how are the reels proving beneficial?
Reels are something that does not consume much of the audience’s time. Earlier it was 15 seconds, and now it’s 30 seconds, so it is a quick way to pitch your idea or showcase your designs to the audience. Reels are growing by leaps and bounds, and recently one of my reels reached 1 million views. So it’s a great way of making people see in a nutshell what you’re capable of doing.
Something that recently added galore of fame to your name was your lockdown wedding, especially your bridal look with a bridal mask that created a huge buzz in the town. Your Mehandi look and the Wedding look are still trending on social media.
So, at a time when the brides were a little hesitant about covering their face with a mask, you voluntarily came forward and designed a trendy bridal mask which undoubtedly became a trend thereon. So, how did you come up with those looks and the design of your wedding dress which I guess conveyed a beautiful message of the humans’ situation then?
So, Covid has been affecting everybody’s lives and lifestyles for months, and it also affected the way we were going to get married. I didn’t want to ignore the threats of the pandemic and hence decided to take utmost safety measures. I wanted to be very careful, and there came the idea of designing a mask. I knew well that due to the pandemic, I’ll have to wear a mask at my wedding owing to the safety but I didn’t want to wear the typical surgical mask on my big day.
A wedding happens only once, and I didn’t want to look boring because even after years pass, we preserve our wedding pictures and show them to our family and friends.
So to make it all a memorable one, I was brainstorming for elegant Indian wedding dress ideas. And then I decided to beautify the mask which had become a necessity then and even now. So, I took the extra fabric of my dress and designed a beautiful wedding mask embellished with embroidery.
As far as the Mehandi mask is concerned, I had cut off the sleeves of my Mehandi lehenga to make a mask because we had a lockdown going on and it was nearly impossible to go out and purchase fabric to get it made. Moreover, I wanted a mask that would match my Mehandi outfit and hence decided that I would rather wear a cut-sleeve blouse and design an ethnic mask.
Speaking about my wedding dress, I always love to add a personal touch and a story to every outfit I design. Since Covid was at its peak at that time and there were lockdowns, on one side of the coin we could see that people could not get out of their places, we were caged in our houses but on the other side nature was reviving, pollution levels were going down, and we could see birds chirping around, and the surroundings looked so beautiful.
Though the times were tough I wished to focus on the better side. I wished to depict a positive perspective by incorporating and spreading that positive message through my outfit. I portrayed the story in my outfit where my husband and I were locked behind the doors of a huge mansion as that was the situation then while nature was reviving. This in turn made my wedding dress a memorable one, and yeah, it received a lot of appreciation from people all over the world.
Though things were not normal, we managed to bring up a fun typical Punjabi wedding, and since then our wedding became one of the best intimate lockdown wedding inspirations and was also mentioned in popular magazines and news.
That’s about your wedding lehenga but usually what happens to be your inspiration before making any new design? Like how do you keep up with the latest fashion trends and also manage to weave beautiful stories on the outfits while making new designs?
Mostly I try to design for myself depending on my mood, the situation then and everything happening around me. It also depends on the seasons if the festive seasons are up, I keep them bright and colourful.
It involves a complete thought process, and it is not a matter of a few hours but it takes me days to integrate my thoughts into my designs and come up with something new. My inspiration keeps changing from time to time and from dress to dress.
I would like to mention an incident here. I had to attend a destination wedding that was happening in Phuket. I kept thinking for a month but couldn’t come up with anything. And in the end, I just thought of the place I was going, the mood I was going to have, and I came up with a marine-themed lehenga.
I designed a lehenga that had all the marine plants at the bottom, and there were fishes and bubbles around the lehenga. And that really went with the vibe of the place. So, sometimes it’s the place, sometimes it’s the mood, the event that inspires me and it keeps changing.
According to you, which is the one evergreen fashion trend that can never go out of fashion and would always look trendy whenever you don it?
If I speak about the Indian wear, the traditional Indian embroideries or the fabrics that we have, the cultures that we have are all so evergreen. Like if we speak about Punjabi, phulkari will never go out of trend. I have seen my dadi-naani wear it and now even I am wearing it. So every city and state of India has its own culture, heritage and style like lucknowis, chikankaris and bandhani to mention a few will never go out of fashion. So, the traditional Indian heritage that we have been preserving for years will never go out of trend.
Your brand emerged from Ludhiana, so how did it reach to the cities of Canada and New York?
We had organized a fashion show at Time Square in New York. We invited Indians and people who would be interested in our products. I always had in my mind that my collection has to be in New York on the ramp, and it all came true. We also have an association with a lot of designers in Canada and our products and designs are available there too. We are also trying to expand more. So, it was always my dream to have my brand worldwide, and that urge made it all possible.
What would be your message for all the emerging fashion designers out there? What initial steps they must take to establish and grow their brand?
I get a lot of questions from the budding designers on how to start a career in fashion and where to start. I just tell them that start with whatever resources they have and wherever they are. You don’t need to have a big store or hundreds of employees. For me, just one dress helped me build a brand. So if you have a talent and wish to show that to the world, just do it without thinking about the amount of investment and effort that you have to put in. If you have creativity in you, people will recognise it. Just start doing it and, you will do great.