The Designer Diva – Shilpa Reddy

The modern woman of today is capable of playing many roles, and it’s no surprise that this doe-eyed beauty has already portrayed and owned them. Meet the sexy and super talented Shilpa Reddy – a model, designer, businesswoman, daughter, wife, mother and sister – a lady who has nailed each and every aspect of her life. She is truly a woman to who has set the benchmark high for her competitors, and taught us how the only secret to success is hard work and passion. Her journey from the Gladrags Mrs. India in 2004 to the internationally renowned Fashion Designer that she is, Shilpa has been and is a true inspiration for every woman out there, who wants to pursue her dreams.

We caught up with this Superwoman to know more about her label, personal life and fondness for pets.

Shilpa – The Designer

Tell us more about the journey…

I have loved clothes and glamour right from my childhood. It was because of this fondness that I grew up and evolved to learn more, and get formal education in the field. I kept doing what I loved and gained so much confidence with my collections that my work actually featured in Paris and New York.

How do you make your outfits different from what is in the market?

I end up seeing what the market is doing only once people start wearing it. Most of my inspiration and research is either from the international market or from absolute basics – like nature, culture and handloom. If you see our outfits, they mostly do not belong to the typical trend palette and that is what works for me.

One designer whose work you look up to?

This may sound clichéd, but every designer is unique in his/her own way, and hence you cannot pick one single favorite. I am a big fan of all creative people!

Future plans?

My immediate future has a lot of energy and effort going into the men’s line that I am working on. I can’t wait to see how that will shape up! While looking at it from a larger angle, I want to belong to the genre that makes a select capsule collection in the year for an absolutely tasteful and bold clientele. I am slowly working towards figuring out how this can be modified to the real industry functioning and to our Indian buying sensibility.

How involved are you with each piece? 

There is no piece in the workshop that doesn’t get my approval and input at every step. We believe in making lesser but better – which is also probably why we don’t stretch to be very commercial. This label is my passion and I don’t see a point in exhausting myself or the unit, and making things without the kind of attention I would like to give it.

What is that one thing that you leave behind in each creation?

A lot of people recognise our outfits without an introduction and I feel that happens only when you are original and true to your craft. One thing that I add to every piece we make is the style sense it is supposed to be worn with.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I root big time for our culture, indigenous products and organic way of living. A big part of all this not only inspire my outfits but also my life.

There is a fine balance of the Western and Eastern cultures in your line – how do you manage that?

There are so many occasions that I have to dress up for on a regular basis. I personally love being dressed in Indian but with a touch of modern design. I believe my clothes communicate a lot about me. A lot of my collections were centered around power dressing; therefore what I make is usually inspired by what I like to dress in – Indian, modern and powerful.

Shilpa – The Diva Herself

You’re known for your style – how difficult does it get to maintain that image?

When something comes to you naturally, there is nothing one really needs to maintain. It all comes effortlessly with a good understanding of aesthetics. I consider myself lucky to have been blessed with that.

Which is your favorite role that you play in life?

Undoubtedly a mother! And mind you, it has to be instinctive. Motherhood is very challenging in today’s day and age. No one has trained you to be a good one – I love figuring it out and do the best I can.

How easy/difficult does it get to balance your personal and professional life?

If you are a balanced person mentally, you can balance all aspects of your life easily. That needs a healthy body, healthy mind, sharp intellect, integrity and discipline – it is all as simple as that.

Your motto?

Just play the game of life with absolute involvement and absolute beauty.

What drives you forward?

Mortality! To live life to the fullest, and to understand the very fact of life that we are all here with a date of expiry. I have got it all clear and hence there is no time to waste.

How do you define perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is something ‘you’ should be able to generate, and not depend on any outside factor, person or situation. It’s you alone who can decide to be happy.

One thing that is uniquely you…

All of us are unique in our own ways, aren’t we? So am I!

One thing about yourself you would like to change?

More than wanting to change I want to evolve with every passing day. When I look back I want to feel that I have become a better person than I was last year – better intellectually, compassionately, and consciously.

Shilpa – The Pet Lover

Tell us about your pets…

I have a 2 year-old female English Mastiff named Dheera, and a year old female Black Labrador, Kaali.

Their personality quirks…

Dheera is a humongous dog who doesn’t know her strength or her size. She behaves like a baby – an innocent one! I have a huge soft corner for her… While our Kaali is a shameless, rowdy thing who is super jealous and desperate for love. She doesn’t like to share her love with Dheera and is perpetually lovesick.

Your favorite thing about them?

They are my daughters, so everything about them is just adorable.

Their grooming sessions?

I have one person hired only for them. He takes care of them every day. He looks into everything to do with their grooming, physical fitness, training, vet visits, vaccinations etc.

How did you train your pet?

I have a separate trainer for them who comes for an hour, once in 2 days. Both my babies are very well behaved and fit!

How have they changed your life?

Pets tend to change one’s life for the better. Bringing them up and caring for them makes you a better person. You understand another form of life with so much compassion, concern and can witness how they demonstrate their intellect. They are actually very intelligent! We often underestimate how smart they are.

 How do you spend time with them?
I love talking to them and surprisingly they understand most of it (smiles) I even sing to them! My son and I play football, and fetch with them. Kaali sometimes sleeps on the bed next to my son all night long! Both of them are babies of the house.