KATHMANDU, Oct 25: Bina Ghale’s Gabi has been offering a new range of creative, stylish and comfortable wear in the market for the past five years. The fashion designer and stylist has showcased her works in many fashion shows and also has had her creations on the covers of popular magazines many times. A successful former model, Bina is also a trainer at True Faces Talent Management.
Here, the young designer talks about her brand, her dreams for it and the drive behind her creations.
How is your brand, Gabi, doing? How successful do you feel?
Gabi is in the growing curve. We’re still working on establishing Gabi as a lifestyle brand. There are a lot of things to cover, so we are taking our time, as a brand, to move forward. That means a lot of research, and I get to play with my designs as well. Gabi is still a home studio and all my clients come looking for it. The personal touch with my clients makes me understand what the market really wants. I’m very happy with where I am right now.
What is the essence of Gabi? How would you describe your creations?
All of my creations have an element of rebellion in them. I also make sure that there’s a sense of power with clothing and style. With Gabi, I’m always innovating, evolving and instigating new taste and style. I focus on making designs that are wearable and, most importantly, sellable (smiles) rather than going over the edge.
You’ve been working as a designer for five years now. Do you miss modeling?
Not really. I loved modeling and did it for quite a while. Now I enjoy working behind the scenes – be it designing, styling or training the models. However, I still get offers to model and I might take it up if the project is interesting.
Would you say that your stint as a model has helped you creatively and professionally as a designer here?
Yes, it has. I wouldn’t have tried my hand in designing if it wasn’t for my modeling career. I found my true calling as a designer while I was modeling.
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs from?
I don’t like limiting myself to the current trend or any theme. I do a lot of research before I embark on a project. My inspirations come from anything, anywhere, anytime and I think it reflects in my designs. I believe in innovation and there’s always a new element in my creations. I let my imagination take its course and then consider making it practical and wearable.
You’ve said that you want to create clothes for the masses. Has that been limiting or do you feel freer while working?
After covering all the basic apparels, designing for masses gives me a lot of space to work with. I get to design for different variety of customers; different age groups, different sizes, different genres. I get excited just talking about it. Of course, it is challenging and risky but I love it. I’ve always tried to bring forward Gabi as a brand and not just a boutique. I feel happy when people know the name Gabi but don’t necessarily recognize me.
With so many designers all over the world and the rapidly transforming fashion scene, how can a designer be ‘original’ and prevent himself/herself from getting too inspired?
Well, an artist can never be not inspired or be completely original. There are always pieces of inspiration from here and there. The mantra for being original is making what you love, and not simply making something that you think others might like. Yes, the fashion world is rapidly changing and, yes, we need to keep up but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to copy from others.
What do you enjoy the most about being a designer?
The best part is the power to let loose your imagination and getting the vision to a final product. The bonus is getting to meet interesting people who have their own sense of fashion. I enjoy working with them with boundless creativity for their wardrobe. The honor of deciding someone else’s look is always awesome.
Can you share your future plans for Gabi?
As I mentioned before, I want Gabi to be a lifestyle brand eventually, and now I’m starting off with some sections of it. I’m planning on launching Gabi Men, Gabi Tradition and Gabi Accessories in Nepal by next year and there are also some international surprises in the pipeline, which I shall not reveal now.
What are the things you have to look at while designing for men? Also, how do you manage to work on different aspects of clothing, like sports and traditional wear?
Designing for men is harder than creating clothes for women. It also depends on the customer. Men have specific style choices and they stick to it. So we have to design alongside it. The most important thing about designing for men is making the designs comfortable. We, girls, can easily suffer for the sake of fashion but when it comes to men, comfort is most important.
I’m lucky to have been born in Nepal for the cultural diversity it offers. Hence, designing traditional wear just comes naturally. However, for sportswear, we do need to do a lot of research and testing on the fabrics and the designs.
What is your success mantra?
The success mantra I adhere to is being myself and treating everybody with respect. I also try to keep it simple by understanding the values of the market. I believe that it’s also important to keep on learning, take advices and criticism from anybody and find a balance to improve.
Five must haves in a woman’s and man’s wardrobe.
Every woman should keep a white top, a pair of slim fit jeans, a dress, lots of accessories and the right size lingerie.
The men need to be ready with white shirts, blue jeans, a perfectly fitting suit, a black leather belt, shoes and ties.
What are the fashion mistakes that you see men and women in Nepal making?
There is a lot of imbalance in the fashion here. Everybody has their own style but some that I find very unpleasing are over dressed women and those with too much makeup. Women wearing socks with sandals, especially in winter, are also a sore sight. As for the men, I see some wearing very tight t-shits or over-size clothing. They should stop wearing their father’s clothes and get something for their own size. And most importantly, the people here don’t wear the attitude to match their clothing style.