Breaking New Ground - Shriya Bhupal

Being part of a family literally filled with business moguls must put a lot of pressure on the kids. But Shriya Bhupal took the challenge head on and carved a name for herself in the fashion industry. The beautiful and talented young lady has been taking Hyderabad by storm with her label, Shriya Som. Her stunning designs have won the hearts of many, as has the creative woman herself. With four successful years of her brand now under her belt, Shriya has shown true dedication and passion in spite of her hectic life. She chatted with
You & I about her family, her work, and her passion.

The wildly successful Shriya Som brand turns four this year. What have you learned about being an entrepreneur?
I’ve seen that loving what you do makes everything worthwhile. That is what will drive you to keep learning and constantly honing your skills. Your passion will help you believe in yourself and your vision, which results in products that are true to you and resonate with customers on a deeper level. It might be arduous and tedious, but it’s an exhilarating journey!

Being the daughter and granddaughter of prominent business people, have you ever felt the pressure of being an entrepreneur, or does it just run in your blood?
I was the one who decided to pursue fashion design, and to make it my profession at some point in the future. It was a decision born out of pure passion and my entire family was unconditionally supportive. They encouraged me in this venture, regardless of the fact that the field of fashion had been untouched by anyone in the family before me. It makes me feel truly blessed that my family did not pressure me and, on the contrary, showed me endless love and support. Their business knowledge has helped groom me as an entrepreneur, and I have also been fortunate to have married into a family that encourages my work. Anindith and my parents-in-law have been avid supporters since the start, by expressing unwavering faith in me.

How has it been growing up with a businesswoman and how has that shaped your outlook toward your own business?
Mom has always been eager to learn, which is one of her most wonderful qualities – her innate curiosity combined with awareness that one must keep evolving. She brings this asset of hers to her personal and professional lives. Her tremendous energy goes into everything she does, and these invaluable qualities are what I hope to imbibe and emulate.

When did you realise that fashion design was your calling?
Since I pursued art earlier in my life, I was keen to further explore art and design. I went on to study at Parsons in New York, and the London College of Fashion. I also trained with the legendary Tarun Tahiliani, as well as couturier Naeem Khan in New York, before returning home and starting my label, Shriya Som.

What were the challenges you faced when you were kick-starting your label?
I often use a lot of technical details in my design – from creating textures in-house to construction techniques, all of which require a certain skill set. Getting the right people to produce my work initially proved to be a challenge. It took me a while to build my team, and although it took some time, it worked out perfectly in the end. All of us have learnt and grown together into a team I am proud of today.

It seems as though everything is changing in the fashion industry – especially customers. What are the most noticeable changes in your own consumers and how they interact with Shriya Som?
Markets are always evolving, as is the customer. The customer today is knowledgeable and aware. Digital media has contributed greatly to their self-awareness. It has given them exposure, as well as a platform for self-expression. Consumers are astute and clear about who they are, and that has given them the confidence to experiment and express themselves unapologetically. This makes it a very exciting time to be a part of the world of fashion.

How do you balance your new role of being a wife with your work?
I have realised that one must learn how to maintain a healthy work and home life balance. My career is my passion, but my husband and family are the foundation my life is built on.

How are you planning to celebrate Mother’s Day with your mom?
I love travelling with my mom and, hopefully, even if a little after Mother’s Day, we will take a holiday together soon to relax and spend some quality time.

Quick Takes
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
Just a relaxed evening at home with a pizza and a movie. Nothing could be more perfect!

What is your favourite travel destination?
That’s a hard one, but I’d have to say New York City!

What is your favourite fashion label?
Although there are many, Galliano for Dior.

Who has been your style icon?
Definitely Cate Blanchett! I love her style.

What is your go-to, all-time favourite outfit?
Honestly, sweats and a t-shirt. (Laughs). Comfort is important!    --- as told to Rubaina  and  Clothes: Shriya Som; Photography: Eshaan Girri