A graduate of South Delhi Polytechnic for Women, Khushbu Dangol started her women's wear label in 2008 and has swiftly become a renowned label in the industry. Khushbu is a powerhouse of talent whose sheer determination and love for design got her into the fashion industry and has helped her to carve her niche in the industry. Fusing drapes into structural designs, which does wonder for the Nepalese body type, Khushbu’s on the mission to bring wearability to the forefront. With creations made with immense thought, love, and dedication, her designs are manifestations of art, immaculate craftwork, and impeccable fit. She vessels the soft power of silhouettes into exceptionally intriguing pieces that convey class and luxury.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your professional journey as a fashion designer?
I have always been interested towards fashion. For me, the spark came from my mom as she was into the same profession. My dream has been to create impossibly elegant ensembles that are a rich tapestry of techniques and flawless execution. My hallmarks include fabulous fabrics, intricate embroideries and embellishments, and a desire to reinvent the classical. Lately, most include diffusion and western wear and the concept sprees are the recent ones in the hype.
The journey has been amazing because society has opened up to some extent, allowing people to make their own decisions. So, that is very encouraging for us because there is no confusion.
2. What sort of factors inspired you to become a fashion designer?
You know there are some career options you don't choose, they choose you. I always wanted to be in the creative business.
3. Almost everyone thinks of Oodni when talking about popular designer wears? What is the story behind Oodni?
On a quest to revolutionize the Nepalese couture, Oodni’s designs revolve around creating ingenious ensembles reflecting one’s personality while amalgamating it with a modern perspective. Made with excellent quality fabrics, each outfit is customized according to the taste and requirements of the clients. Each ensemble is carefully handcrafted, where the focus lies in intricate details and upholding the consistency of the art. All our pieces are a harmonious blend of classic heritage and new-age glamour. The label aims to flawlessly combine western sensibilities with a traditional ethos to create fashion for those young at heart. A unique brew of authenticity and contemporary trends that are closely woven into the fabric of culture and tradition defines the label's core design philosophy.
4. What was your turning point as a fashion designer?
For me, I consider each day as a turning point as I get to learn something new every day. The way clients love the designs and the final contentment on their faces is what excites me.
5. Regarding fashion, what according to you are the work ethics?
Well, be it fashion or not, work ethics has always been very important to me. I am someone who is very particular when it comes to time. Answering this in reference to fashion, I like to set my appointments with my clients on time. Also, I am very specific with how my people deal with the clients.
6. Any challenges that you faced in this journey yet.
If you know what you want to do or what you are doing, then I think it's the most magnificent journey. I think of it like I'm going to Disneyland every day to have fun; for me, the work is like that. Because I'm so much in love with my work, I make sure I create such an environment around my employees, that they also feel that they are in Disneyland. Sometimes you have to tell them to leave early so that they can go back to their families and enjoy their life.
This is what actually motivated me and never really allowed any challenge to come in my way. But yes, like for every entrepreneur, there have been some difficulties. But I am lucky to have a great team beside me who have been supporting me each day.
For me, fashion is all about feeling comfortable. No matter, how expensive the outfit is, if you are not feeling comfortable, that’s of no use. Also, fashion is very much reliable to one’s personality. I believe that your outfit should be enough to represent who you are and what specific role are you there for.
8. How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect the businesses of the fashion industry and how did you cope with that?
It was a very challenging time no doubt. Everything was shut and thus an industry like fashion was seriously hampered. I, being specializing in bridal wear since all the weddings were called off, there were no appointments. Retaining the staff was equally hard but I didn’t let go of any of them. I consider them as my family and thus I made sure none of them get affected.
In fact, it was also the love from my loyal clients. You won’t believe but there were clients who just bought outfits from me so that I don’t suffer economically during this hard time.
9. What changes do you want to see in the Nepalese fashion industry? What are the yet-to-be-done reforms in the Nepalese fashion industry?
The Nepalese industry has come a long way and today it's a lot more refined than it used to be when I started. People have understood how minimalistic is the right approach to take. People have started experimenting with new looks. However, I feel they are still stuck with the color red. I get it that it represents our tradition, however, I feel trying out colors is also equally important.
10. Any message to the fashion designers who look up to you and the women entrepreneurs engaged in the fashion industry.
I just want to advise everyone that don’t let anyone stop you from making you do what you want. Society will always envy you and the success as you achieve but the only thing that keeps you going is your willpower to stay happy and bring a change in society.