Vishal Kapoor’s traditional Indian jackets embodies the designer’s acute business sense and eye for detail

Bollywood designer Vishal Kapoor aka VK’s Panache Runway is a brand for both men’s and women’s luxury wear. He shares Panache Runaway with Sweta Sirohiya Rokka as a board director dividing his time between Mumbai and Kathmandu and finds it extremely encouraging that Nepalis men and women have both adored his creations, and have appreciated in a very little time.

In his most productive years Kapoor’s creations were shipped all over the world. As of now, Kapoor has started shipping his designs to Hong Kong and Dubai. But that’s not all. “I am planning to introduce my creations in UK very soon,” he adds. Born on 23 September, 1974, Vishal has a graduate in Textile Designing and Fashion Designing from Mumbai. Since his childhood he was fascinated towards arts such as paintings, sketching, watching fashion and lifestyle channels which played a bigger role in inspiring him to become part of the fashion industry. His love for fashion world and Bollywood specifically gave him a much needed push to venture into fashion business in 1996.

“My designs are all about enhancing an individual’s personality,” he shares and if he has been able to pull that he “has done what he chose to do with his life.” He asserts that the balancing act of experimenting with various cuts and fabrics and creating a design that is wearable at any given point of time is,difficult but it is eventually what it means to bring aesthetics into your art and creation, and being practical in the sense that people will love to wear the apparels.

Pragmatic in his design sensibility, he has rightly been able to deliver what he calls indo-fusion in his transformation of style over fashion - drawing a parallel between east and west and tradition and haute couture. “I draw inspiration through various modes of life style and arts by giving a practical transformation to clothes I design that are both easy and ready to wear,” he says.

Kapoor is not only sensible about his cuts and designs but has an eye for trends and as well. Fashion forecasting is a major weapon that any designer as a creative person should have in order to reach and cater to the demands and desires of a wide clientele, he concurs. Increasingly, more and more designers are being aware about this aspect and are readily able to cater to the latest trends in fashion industry. 

Before venturing in Kathmandu, Kapoor did a good research of the local market, designers and prevalent trends and immediately realized a growing interest of Nepalis in fashion and trends that only few local designers were catering to. He says that Nepali designers are gearing up towards showcasing their talents and designs which according to him is a good sign. However, he feels that they have to be “more serious in order to make a mark in in fashion business globally.”

What makes your j acket so unique?
Fusion between east and west, the inherited Indianness and fine cuts make them very unique. I would also say that it is unique because of the fabrics and patterns that elaborately explain why my jackets stand out among the mass.

Are you trying to say that you have a niche clientele?
I am not sure about that. But I am very clear about my clientele. Therefore, it is very important to have a control over production and the cost, and thereby to introduce a wide range of jackets for different clients and buyers. Categorization of clothing is also very important, I feel, because I cater to all age groups. My designs are incredibly versatile and therefore very wearable. The indo-fusion touch in my designs attracts my buyers.

What makes you believe that Nepalis will buy your jackets?
One can easily identify my fusion jackets in Kathmandu as they are highly inspired by Bollywood and Page 3 theme as these days retro look is in vogue. They are aware of latest trends and young Nepali men now do believe in quality spending going for an exclusive designer wear.