Dubai is very lucky for me, says fashion designer Masaba Gupta

The young designer is in the city to launch her latest resort collection


Ambica Sachin

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Published: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 6:36 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Feb 2023, 8:54 PM

She’s fierce. Fearless. Rooted. Very much like her brand House of Masaba. Best described as a fashion disrupter, Masaba Gupta’s eponymous label is today a go to for millennials with its pop colours and kitsch elements that reflect a Made in India vibe with a quirky Caribbean heart at its core.

The daughter of ace Bollywood actor Neena Gupta and legendary former West Indies cricketer Vivian Richards, Masaba has today not only put her unique stamp on her designer collection, but also ventured into the small screen.

The 2020 Netflix series Masaba Masaba saw the mother-daughter duo navigate the tricky by lanes of relationships gone sour all with sartorial aplomb punctured with a natural vibe that made its first season such a great watch.

With Season 2 of the biographical-fictional series up for launch, Masaba reveals she will also be seen soon in a short film where she plays a fictional character.

In Dubai to launch her resort wear line that’s a little bit of the island, a little bit of the palm, at the same time a riot of colours” exclusively for Dubai shoppers ahead of its drop in India and the rest of the world, we catch up with the bold and beautiful designer to learn more.

Dubai is very lucky for me

Why she's launching her line exclusively in the city

The last international pop up we did with the brand was in Dubai. This was in February of 2020. That was the last time I felt normal - we have all had such a tough 2 years. So when we were thinking how we wanted to launch the resort wear, I said we have to go back and do it in Dubai. But this time it’s an exclusive. I find that the city is lucky for me. I also find it is very charming - it is a melting pot of so many cultures. Resort wear fits beautifully here against the backdrop of the city, which is mostly sands, browns and that kind of colour. But the beauty is that it is launching in India and the rest of the world a month later.

This city signifies for me a perfect blend of India and the rest of the world. And because you have such a strong Indian audience here, it really makes a big difference because when I travel, I find cities like London and the US are stuck to who they are, who they’ve always been. But Dubai has always been just constantly changing, that’s why I like coming back here.”

We are artistically commercial

How she sees the brand evolution of House of Masaba

I’m a lot more interested and inspired by data today. When we started out, for the first 5 or 6 years, it was all about my cut, my instinct and what I liked personally or what I wanted to do. And I wanted to do something different all the time. What’s changed is that I have a lot more of a commercial touch now. A lot of designers equate that with something negative, but I think clothes should be a steady mix of art and wearability. We as a brand are commercial but we are also artistic - artistically commercial like I say. It’s really important to have a sense of what people want and then do your magic with it. So I’d say I have changed a lot because I’m finally listening to my consumer and trying to give them exactly what they want.”

She plays by the rules when she has to, and breaks them when she needs to

The identity of a Masaba woman

She’s really independent. She’s fearless. She’s fierce. At the same time she is very rooted. She’s got a strong grip on her culture, her identity; she’s very India proud.

She’s, of course, well travelled. At the same time when it comes to inspiration, she can find it within her country, her people and her family. So she isn’t conservative, but she is also not a rebel — some one in between who plays by the rules when she has to, and breaks them when she needs to.”

Masaba Masaba 2

What can fans expect from the new season

Season 2 is no more a Hot Mess! We are taking charge of our lives, both mum and I. We are taking charge of our careers, our relationships and we’ve decided now it is time for World Domination! That’s the plan and what better place to start than Dubai!

I really enjoy being in front of the camera; it’s a very therapeutic experience for me. It looks natural because I enjoy it so much and I’m so relaxed that I can be myself! The series requires me to be myself like 500 per cent, so it really works.”

Women have the ability to be reborn again

Most important lesson shes learnt from mother Neena Gupta

I have learnt that it is really important to laugh at yourself. Being a working professional in todays day and age, being a public figure, if you do not have that ability you suffer a lot mentally. The ability to just crack a joke at yourself should be there - you own your mistakes.

And the second thing I have learnt from her is that you can start again at any age. She’s 67 today and is literally having a rebirth in terms of her career, and its only because she wanted to. Women have that power, you know? We are looked at as people who are nurturers and people who give birth to life, but at the same time we also have the ability to be reborn ourselves over and over again through our lives.”

Grit, passion and determination

What she's learnt from her dad Sir Vivian Richards

He’s like a horse with blinders, nothing can shift his focus, and he will keep going at it. He’s 70 as of a couple of days back and he has maintained his mental and physical state of being — it’s like worship for him. So that whole craziness about fitness — craziness about food - also comes from him! So I’ve learnt grit, passion and determination (from him).”

Don’t waste your time doubting yourself

Advice to her younger self

Its all a scam, just be easy on yourself, the world is just constantly trying to get you to be another version of yourself but trust me and you only learn this when you are in your early 30s where you come into your own. I’d say don’t waste your time being under confident. I wasted a lot of time putting up with things I shouldn’t have.

There are lots of people who have done nothing with their lives (laughs) but are very confident, so if you have done something with your life, you should be confident, no? There is also a very thin line between arrogance and being confident so make sure you toe that line well. But don’t waste your time doubting yourself.”

Masabas Resort Wear 22 Sanctuary will be launched exclusively in Dubai at Meraki Art Studio, Goshi Warehouses, Al Quoz 3 on March16.The pop up is open for shoppers from 11am-7pm

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