He has the names of John Abraham, Lara Dutta, Anushka Sharma and Dino Morea to back up his stature; not that he needs them. “Today, if a girl reaches Mumbai and says, ‘I am from the Prasad Bidapa Training School’, she is welcomed with a warm smile,” says a proud Prasad Bidapa, at Elante Mall, Chandigarh, to launch fashion designer Rupam Kaur’s studio Jaamawar Minx recently.
The fashion and image consultant, fashion journalist, stylist and choreographer, also known as ‘the man with the magic touch’, has all good things to say about Rupam Kaur. “I met her three years ago in Bangalore and knew instantly she’s going to make it big,” says Bidapa, who has been a part of the fashion industry for the past 35 years.
Recalling one of his incidents, Bidapa says, “Anushka’s father sent her to my training school when she was 13; she was a supermodel by 16. Her father trusted me and I delivered.”
Given the industry’s infamous track record for exploiting women, he says, “Girls have to be careful themselves; they should know whom to trust. If you don’t do a thorough background check, you’re giving them a chance to exploit you. Another big driving force in such cases is the desperation to reach the top.”
Having groomed various big names in the fashion industry, Bidapa has earned the tag of a ‘fashion guru’ himself, about which he says, “I have not been a designer myself; I have just promoted big designers. I obviously don’t take the tag seriously.”
For the past decade, Bidapa has been making headlines for the Prasad Bidapa Fashion Week and Mega Mart Model Contest, which he promises to bring to Chandigarh next year. “Bangalore and Chandigarh are cities with a modern spirit. The two days that I have been here, I’ve seen that the youth here has a very good fashion sense. I love how they pair bright-coloured turbans with t-shirts,” he says.
About Indian fashion setting trends internationally, he says, “India being inspired by western fashion is history. They aspire for our trends now. This year, the Chanel show was driven by Indian fashion. In fact, India is the only country that has a list of super models who are in their 30s and 40s — take Jesse Randhawa, Carol Gracias, Monika Chaterjee, Aanchal Kumar and Bhawana Sharma for instance.”