Debahuty Bora is the founder of Piply, the fashion label. An Assamese settled in Mumbai, we wanted to know how she juggles a corporate life with her passion for fashion. We spoke to her over the weekend to find out more about her label and style.
1. Piply is the name of your label and also your pet name. Tell us more.
If you are born Assamese, then it is your family’s right to give you pet names. While my elder sister survived with Diplee, I grew up being called Piply. But in retrospect, this name was unique and it actually shaped who I was. I had unique perspectives and always embraced my distinctive ways of looking at things. I hope you can see this in my fashion label ‘Piply’, which is all about three to four pieces. I don’t believe in bombarding my audience with bulk designs. That’s what mass produced brands do. I wanted to ensure and take care of every piece that I put out there. To live up to my name and my outlook, I decided to craft every single piece uniquely. After all, no fingerprints are alike, then why should dresses be same?
2. Your profile screams that you’re a woman who is empowered, living ‘the’ corporate life. What tingled your creative side?
My roots are handmade and my mother is my inspiration. She handcrafted and stitched dresses for us when we were young. And I always thought that she conjured up incredible magic when she would also hand paint mekhala chadors. This got registered in my mind early on. I grew up with an inclination towards fashion. Having said that, I never imagined that I would end up with my own label.
Hustle and bustle of a busy work life was always there, but the hunger for handmade clothes was far stronger. And it became possible after I discussed with my husband and few friends, who believed in me. It is not easy balancing a corporate life and my label, but like they say, behind every successful, multi-tasking woman is a very helpful husband. He helps with the marketing, talking to my clients, as well as helps with PR. And I use the weekends to travel back to my roots to work on my label and not only is this therapeutic, but also very empowering.
3. What specifically inspires Piply and her designs?
Piply is inspired by simple and clear cut designs that resolve a few fashion conflicts that we women face when it comes to playing dress up. When I looked at the world of fashion, it was divided into isles and sections. Casual on one side, designer on the other. Simple on one side, grand on the other. I needed a resolution to the greatest fashion conflict we girls face. Why can’t casual be crisp? Why can’t a perfectly chiseled piece of clothing look like it goes on you naturally? Why can’t simple be ostentatious and grand?
And Piply is inspired by working women who want to break from the gloomy corporate colours to more vibrant colours, which they just need to team it up with some accessories and are good to go for any party after work. The design is also inspired by women who want to just dress up casually and still look chic.
4. What message do you have for women longing to break free from the stereotypical style statements?
Loose and flowy clothing can be chic too. Colours can also be a part of corporate clothing. Just don’t be afraid to experiment.