With her new brand VinoSupraja, the rising star and Indian fashion designer Vino Supraja, who graduated from IFA Paris has encountered great success. Her talent is now shining beyond her country, reaching as far as New York.
Michel Temman: You were born and raised in the South of India. Were you already thinking about studying fashion as a child?
Vino Supraja: I was born to a doctor dad and an educationist mom in a small town called Vandavasi in the South of India. I did my schooling at my mom’s school and moved to a bigger city called Chennai. As a teenager, I was just another simple, talkative and fun loving small towner. Then, I actually started to study architecture!
M.T.: How did you discover the fashion world? When did you decide to become a fashion designer?
Vino Supraja: Though my undergraduate education was in architecture, I built a strong career in media for five years as a radio jockey, producer and even television anchor! So, when I had to move to Shanghai, due to my husband’s job, I couldn’t continue my career in media because of the language barrier. Therefore, I decided to study. I couldn’t find any course related to media taught in English. While researching, I came across the website of IFA Paris. The courses were interesting and being a creative person, I decided to study fashion and learn a new craft.
M.T.: Then, you entered IFA Paris in Shanghai and obtained a Bachelor in Fashion Design degree. Few witnesses remember hearing you say that IFA Paris changed your life. Is that right? How and why?
Vino Supraja: IFA Paris was definitely a life changing experience for me. I studied fashion for the first time there. I went back to student life, did a second bachelor degree, leaving behind a career. I did all these in China, where I couldn’t speak the language. The decision wasn’t easy, but that is one of the best I have made. IFA Paris really transformed me, from a novice in fashion to a confident graduate able to run my own business successfully in the United States, the very following year of my graduation. The training I got in IFA Paris was 360 degrees. It taught me not only the design process, but also how to make clothes and market them. I take this opportunity to thank my teachers of IFA Paris from the bottom of my heart. I owe them big time for all the knowledge I gained from them. They were not only good teachers but also, great mentors, friends and well-wishers.
M.T.: You were recently in New York to show your new collection at the Brooklyn Fashion Week. How was it? Which elements of your life inspired this new collection? It also seems that you maintain a special link with the United States...
Vino Supraja: I was invited to show my collection at the prestigious Fashion Week Brooklyn, on their 10th Anniversary. I showed my Fall/Winter 2016 collection “Buoyancy”. The collection was inspired from the zenith of humanity that helped my city, Chennai, to bounce back from recent historic floods. I hand sketched the iconic buildings of my city and made textile prints out of them and had blue piping as an element cutting through them, depicting how floods tried to break us into pieces and still we stood together, with humanity as a binding force. I gave a speech on the runway about the theme and showcased the collection. The collection was well received by the audience, with a standing ovation. In my case, The United States is the land of opportunities. If you are talented and hard working with the right attitude, The United States welcomes you with open arms.
M.T.: How would you define your brand and the fashion scene in India?
Vino Supraja: VinoSupraja is a brand which believes that fashion is a wearable emotion and art. I see fabric as canvas and garments as sculptures to express myself. My collections have strong inspirations and deep meanings. India is a very diverse country with a strong cultural tradition of its own. I am currently working on finding a fine balance between my design aesthetics and traditional couture techniques of India.
M.T.: What about your next projects?
Vino Supraja: I am currently in the process of setting up my own studio in Chennai, India and launching an online store. In this process, I am meeting many new manufacturers and merchants and exploring new things. I think, learning is a never ending process and I am glad that my learning in fashion began with IFA Paris!
To learn more about the Vino's program at IFA Paris: Bachelor Fashion Design and Technology