Swati Couture  

Janette Maack

Ms. Kapoor's ability to create unique, modern clothing inspired by traditional Indian style has drawn a very loyal multi-cultural Silicon Valley following. According to the designer, one Silicon Valley client owns over 400 Swati Couture pieces (I can only imagine what her closet must look like- swoon)!Meeting Ms. Kapoor was very inspiring; this entrepreneur has taken what she knows (traditional Indian fashion) and created a both a thriving business and devoted following (not to mention more gorgeous garments than she can count). During our time at her studio I had the opportunity to sit down with this established designer and ask her about the inner workings of Swati Couture.

Swati Q & A

SJFW: Who is the Swati Couture woman?

Swati Couture: She is elite, fashion-conscious, and has opportunities to dress. She is a global citizen who desires to be unique and is not afraid to adopt different cultures. Primarily the Swati Couture woman is someone who loves to dress and appreciates beauty and adornment.

Swati Couture

Inside her bright and cozy Milpitas studio Swati Kapoor seems right at home. Wait, she is right at home. A room off the garage of her 2-story California home has been remodeled to house the Swati Couture studio, where some 200 of Ms. Kapoor's handmade garments line the walls. Walking into her studio is like walking into wardrobe on the scene of a Bollywood movie: traditional Indian fabrics, colors, and beadwork shine, bringing the entire space to life.  

Fusion Fashion Entrepreneur

Ms. Kapoor is a motivated fashion entrepreneur who has made a place for Indian fashion in the western market with her focus on fusion fashion. What is fusion fashion, you say? Well, in the case of Swati Couture, fusion fashion means modernizing traditional Indian garments, fabrics, and adornment techniques with more modern cuts. The Swati Couture woman is not clad in traditional Indian attire on a day-to-day basis-this style of dress is reserved for special occasions. Swati Kapoor creates garments with a modern twist on the traditional, from evening wear to beautiful silk tops that can be worn with jeans.

SJFW: Your designs obviously have a very strong Indian influence- could you tell me about the differences between traditional Indian style and modern western fashion?

Swati Couture: Traditional Indian pieces have very specific origins when it comes to the style of a garment. Fabrics and adornments do not define an Indian garment- it is the cut that defines pieces like the traditional Salwar Kameez (a long tunic worn over draped pants) and the Lehanga (a long skirt usually worn with the choli, which is a midriff-baring top). In modern versions of these styles, the cuts are westernized but the Indian look is kept intact with the fabrics and embroidery.

SJFW: Could you tell me a bit about the creative process behind your collections?

Swati Couture: Each collection begins with a creative brief on what the collection should be based on the target audience, what is hot in Bollywood, the season, and my customer's lifestyle. I create a broad outline for inspiration, and go from there.

SJFW: Do you have a favorite piece from your latest collection?

Swati Couture: I very much like silk pants with a long, one-shoulder tunic that has a draped scarf attached at the shoulder.  I am also into gold spandex right now.

SJFW: What is the most exciting part of being a couture designer? What aspect do you find most rewarding?

Swati Couture: The most exciting part of my job is that I get to meet the most amazing women. My clients totally inspire me. The most rewarding part is that I really get to make a difference in the lives and wardrobes of my clients. I love being present for that moment of joy a woman experiences when she truly feels beautiful in my garments.

SJFW: Why did you choose to locate here in Milpitas?

Swati Couture: Because I live here. Although Silicon Valley may not be known for fashion, this is where everything is happening- where the magic happens. Why not fashion?

SJFW:   Have you found that the state of the economy has dramatically affected the couture market?

Swati Couture: It certainly has, I wouldn't deny that. However, people still want to dress. Customers are spending less, but with the sudden exposure from the movie Slumdog Millionaire I have many new clients. I have had to expand my collections because of the attention on Indian fashion.

Hollywood has gone Bollywood- shouldn't you? Swati Couture's brilliant Indian-inspired fashions are the perfect way to make a splash at your next event. Go on, add a little sparkle!

Want to see more of this designer?

Check out the Tie Con event on Friday, May 15th at the Santa Clara Convention Center, where Swati Couture designs will be featured in the runway show.


Stevn De Lozada

That Look Models
Svetlana Gromova
Paula Nuemann
Natalia Mishina
Tonya Bollinger
Natalia Mishina

Fashion Writer
Janette Maack

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