Meet Ms. Gipsita Nayak who has multiple feathers in her cap. She is a model, fashion designer, brand consultant, and also show producer. Gipsita carved her way towards success all on her own, without any external help. She started off at a time when fashion designing was not widely accepted at her place.
Professionally, she started as a fashion designer, completing her course at IIFT, Bhubaneswar, and training in IIFT Delhi. There she started her own label Gipsitaz in Bhubaneswar when she was 20. There was not a lot of exposure to designers at that time. So, it was very tough to get resources and arrange everything but still, she managed to make it successful. She got into styling as well while doing her course in production management in FIT New York. During that time she got into New York fashion week as a fashion stylist. After completing her course, she became a show producer as well. Gipsita used to direct shows in New York starting from planning, reaching out to designers to getting the team from all over the world. She is also a Dale Carneige certified leadership coach.
Initially, in New York, there were additional challenges I used to face, because of the difference in community and culture. Although there were a lot of Indians in the USA, mostly all of them were in the technical field. In fashion, you will find an extremely less number of Indians. It took me couple of years of rigorous hard work to settle there as I also had problems while communicating because of difference in accent, perception, etc.
Being a science student, initially, it was a little tough for her parents to get convinced for Gipsita to enter into the fashion industry. But because she had a huge amount of inclination towards this industry, her parents somehow agreed.
I and my friends did a show in Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar, which was a fashion show around 2005 probably. It was in the concepts of Lakhme India fashion week. That show was a huge success, after my father witnessed it, he started believing in me and was really proud. During that time period as we didn’t had access to internet at our home. So, I used to sit at internet cafe’s for long hours and just keep on researching about fashion industry. I used to pursue really hard on knowledgeable people to share the knowledge and information regarding the industry.
If you are passionate about something no matter how painful the journey and the process will be, the end result is what matters. Gipsita used to go for work in very chilling weather of -7 degrees, but no kind of change in surroundings could stop her determination to work as she was very passionate about whatever she does.
Besides work, she loves dancing and doing makeup. Dancing is something that brings peace and happiness to her. She can literally dance all the time as she loves doing it.
When I get a criticism, first I judge the intention of that. Because some of them are constructive criticism which is necessary for my improvement. As there are different body types and every design I make may not suit everyone. But also sometimes there are comments which just want to pull me down. Like some people come and give very vague comments like this design is not good at all. You have to specify what exactly is not good, or else I will determine that their intention is just to pull me down.
When Gipsita was young, rejection used to affect her a lot. She used to get sad and stressed after rejection. But with time and maturity, she learned that everything happens for a reason. So, if she gets rejected she just makes up her mind that maybe something better is waiting for her.
Her favorite part of being a designer was to visualize a lot of things even before it happens. She likes imagining different designs and totally loves that process of creativity.
The collection I launched in New York Fashion Week 2017 was Odisha handloom collection. And I was the first designer to do so. I took all kind of Odisha handlooms and made western outfits out of them, like blazers, skirts, etc. I westernize the handloom because that is the most preferred in New York because of the weather condition. A saree is practically not possible there. So that is the reason I wanted to present our handlooms in a very different and modernised manner which can be globally accepted.
Gipsita believes in making garments that make a person feel powerful and liberated. She gains her inspiration from various kinds of sources starting from artworks to museums.
According to her, fashion is the representation of a person’s personality. It is also a kind of celebration where people have the liberty to choose their own style and feel powerful. It is a complete positive feeling for her. To be a fashion designer you have to be a jack of all trades. You need to have knowledge about everything.
The copyright thing is not really strong in fashion, especially in India. Like you make design and someone else can easily take and brand it as their own and you can do nothing about it. Although, there are certain laws for copyright, they are not strict enough. And it is also a very long and tiring process. If we go with that. that is one of the most difficult part in the industry. Secondly, the fast fashion that is growing becomes very difficult for designers to cope up with it as it practically not that possible.
On a personal level, Gipsita engages herself with various social causes. She does all those work volunteering because of her personal satisfaction. She loves doing it but does not believe in saying it to the world out loud. In the future, she would love to work for women’s empowerment. By promotion of education for every girl child and making every woman financially independent.