Although 24-year-old Shubhra Chaudhary had decided as far back as the fourth standard that she would not take up medicine or engineering, she stuck to her promise to her parents. She would focus on science.
That's why the girl from Muzaffarnagar, Bihar, not only followed up a one-year course in merchandising from NIFT, Delhi, with a four-year course in fashion designing and information technology from NIFT Hyderabad, but also simultaneously pursued a masters in computer application from Indira Gandhi National Open University. This way, she could keep both her father an employee of the State Bank of India and herself happy.
While she was at NIFT, Chaudhary dreamed of participating in the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. And she saw that coming true when she won the Femina Young Designer Contest in Mumbai. "The award was free membership of the FDCI. Thank god for that, otherwise I don't know how I would have made it this far".
Although Shubhra has participated in the International Artwear Competition in New Zealand, she is nervous about her ramp show at the WIFW. "I am expecting a lot out of myself and that is making me anxious," she says. "My role model is Sabyasachi. He does the best fabric blend in the country and the way he made a mark in his first show at the fashion week was very inspiring."
But despite her nervousness, Chaudhary is very clear about what she wants to do. There is a hole in the Indian fashion market, she says, and she intends to plug that hole. Her target is teenagers.
"For some reason, teenagers have not been able to enjoy the fashion boom as much as they would have liked because most designers either concentrate on wedding wear or party wear for older people," says Chaudhary "So I want to focus on teenage fashion. Which means that there is no room for embroidery or sequins. They are looking for wellfitted, trendy clothes and that is exactly what I want to give them since it suits my sensibilities."