I wanted Shilpa as showstopper: Divya Reddy

From having Shilpa Shetty as her show-stopper to making her ramp debut at the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week, Divya Reddy’s career graph as a fashion designer is what every aspirant designer hopes for. The 31-year-old designer from Hyderabad talks about her unplanned fashion journey and her alluring show-stopper.

Shilpa, the advisor
“Right from the point when I started working on my designs, I wanted Shilpa Shetty as the show-stopper. And if she had said no, I don’t know what I would have done,” says Divya, who impressed the style icon with her designs for her collection titled Allure. “When my designs were sent to Shilpa, she was informed that I was a debutante and that she would be walking on the Jabong stage, not the main one. But she didn’t care and said she loved the designs.”

And Shilpa always donned the cap of an advisor. “She would tell me this is how the garment should look, this is how the model must walk, technical aspects of the show… I didn’t mind it. She has walked for all big designers, whereas I was a debutante, I was more than happy with the advice,” she said.

From MBA to Fashion
Divya graduated from St Francis College in marketing and then left for New York to pursue her MBA. “But the syllabus was the same. I didn’t want to go to a new city and spend tons of money learning the same thing,” says Divya. And that’s when she took to fashion. “New York is the kind of place where you get  easily influenced by fashion, it’s everywhere. Growing up, I did like to dress up, but I never wanted to make it a profession. New York changed that,” she says.

Tribute to handlooms
Even though the only designer in the family, Divya credits her mother for her love of handlooms that was reflected in her collection.

There were 12 garments and 85 per cent of the fabrics used were handlooms. “My mother works in the Crafts Council and I was always inclined to help the weavers out and promote their craft. So for my debut collection, I made a conscious decision to use handlooms,” she says.

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