Mohapatra vows to promote Odisha’s traditional fabrics

Bhubaneswar: Internationally acclaimed faishion designer Bibhu Mohapatra said his goal was to promote traditional handlooms of Odisha abroad.

Mohapatra, who has the distinction of designing clothes for US first lady Michelle Obama, pointed out that there were special types of fabrics in Odisha which could be successfully marketed globally by giving them a modern and contemporary touch.

Mohapatra, who originally belonged Rourkela town and currently based at the USA, said this while addressing the students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bhubaneswar here on Monday.

"I am looking for an agent in New York to showcase these designs so that other international designers are also inspired to use them in their products," Mohapatra said.

In his Resort 2013 collection, Mohapatra said he used 'Ikat' patterns and temple border designs by developing them digitally and printing them on silk fabrics.

"It was very successful. These traditional patterns are graphically pleasing. In my next collection also, I'll have some ethnic Odiya crafts, fabrics and techniques," he said.

Mohapatra said he would review his ongoing "Design bank" project with the Odisha government. He has already submitted 40 to 50 designs to the state government for the project.

"I am waiting for the first set of samples to arrive and shall review the development in the project. I also have plans to buy some fabrics from weavers at Nuapatna, Baragarh, Barpali and some other places in Western Odisha," he said.

Meanwhile, NIFT Bhubaneswar has decided to launch a one-year programme in fashion retail management to meet the demand for skilled manpower in the sector.

The 30-seat course is scheduled to begin from October 15. "Many national and international designers approach us for skilled manpower to deal with retail fashion industry. There is a huge supply-demand gap for manpower in this sector. So we decided to launch the programme," said NIFT director K C S Ray.