Meet Sapana Amin Indian-American Fashion Designer
Sapana Amin is an Indian-American fashion designer. Born and raised in America she always had her western wardrobe updated, but she was never impressed with the Indian outfits. Breaking the regular norms, she wanted to design clothes that would be stylish and elegant at the same time. She completed her Bachelors in Fashion Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Sapana moved to Mumbai and worked with several fashion designers and boutiques to gain knowledge and experience. She started off as an intern and worked her way up to become a lead designer in one of the companies. She finally created her self-titled label ‘Sapana Amin’ in 2008.
“We continued to grow our wardrobe with all the latest western trends, but when it came to attending an Indian function we would look like we came from an 80’s Bollywood movie and not the good kind! This was something I felt for a long time, but after completing my Bachelors in Fashion Design from Virginia Commonwealth University, I realized I would be able to provide girls like me, Indian outfits that were just as stylish and trendy as our western clothes. This passion of mine is what gave me the courage to take the step to move to the capital of Indian Fashion, Mumbai City!”
When did you decide to be a fashion designer?
It was during the end of my first semester in College (Virginia Commonwealth University) when I realized that I didn’t want to be a pharmacist (which is what I went into college thinking I was going to be). I had this realization that I was destined to do something in the creative field and fashion design just came to me. And luckily for me, VCU had a great art school with a fashion department.
What is an ultimate goal for you as a fashion designer?
I started my self-titled label in 2008 so it has been 10+ years where I have been doing what I set out to do when I decided to move to Mumbai, India in 2005. Now after 14 years of living in Mumbai I decided to move back to the States, specifically to LA, California. So to answer your question, I don’t think I really have an ultimate goal except to continue to grow in my business and be happy doing it! I think that is what matters at the end of the day, to love what you do and be able to make a living doing what you love. And I feel blessed that I am able to do that and have amazing clients from around the world who love and support my work.
Do you think luck plays any factor in someone’s success?
To a certain extent, but I think it has more to do with hard work and believing in yourself. We are all destined to follow a certain path but I believe we can also make our own path if we want it bad enough and channelize our efforts in the right direction.
How do you describe success? What success means for you?
Success for me is when I am recognized and appreciated for my work. Success for me is when I receive heartfelt emails and messages from my clients to let me know how happy they are with their outfit. Being able to do what I love every day and having happy clients around the globe makes me happy which to me means I have succeeded.
Tell us about the brand and what does it stands for?
My self-titled label, Sapana Amin is for all women who want to stand apart from the crowd and want to have a little fun with fashion yet stay elegant and classy. The label is inspired by my Indian culture which is embellished with colors, traditions and has so much beautiful art and combine that with my western upbringing, you have indo-western clothing. It is the perfect blend of east meets west!
I am sure you have noticed a lot of florals in many of my designs… florals was something I have always been attracted to even before it became so popular with Indian outfits and in our regular clothing as well. When I had to do a project in Fashion school, making a garment out of upholstery fabric, which mainly consisted of floral fabrics, I loved it so much. Even then, I mixed floral with polka dots! Something I still do, mix and match prints in my designs! I have always created what represents me as a person, so I have never looked around to see what others are doing and what is trending in the moment.
If it’s something I like, and it happens to be a trend, that’s fine, but I have always tried to stick to what I like and what works for me. I offer clients unique prints and combinations that have a hint of western elements to Indian outfits, and that is exactly what I came here to do. I am also quite particular, so that reflects in my outfits. I believe in good quality work using good fabrics and offering great customer service!
If you were not a fashion designer?
If I was not a fashion designer, I would be a yoga teacher. Yoga is something I have become very passionate about in the last few years of learning yoga from my amazing teachers in Mumbai. Yoga by Sapana Amin. I like the sound of that;-)
Who are your favorite designers?
I have many but to name a few- Dolce & Gabbana, I love the way they mix and match their prints and are not afraid to do something different, whether it is with their innovative campaigns or collections. Anamika Khanna, her attention to detail and unique silhouettes are something that I can resonate with. Sabyasachi, of course right?! He is the golden boy of Indian fashion today! But my love for his work started when he did his first fashion show at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. I was working with Rocky S at the time and our booth was right next to his. That was the first time I saw his work and I feel in love. He introduced us to something that was so fresh and unique and I admire him for that.
Some words for your fans….
First and foremost a heartfelt admiration and love for all the people that have supported my dream. Starting with my family who supported me in every way when I decided to leave my home and move to Mumbai where I didn’t really know anyone. And to my beautiful clients who have trusted me and my work every step of the way. So thank you with all my heart because without you guys I wouldn’t be able to do what I love!