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Home > City Resources > Fashion & Beauty > Interview

.......................................................................Interview with a Designer


Yusuf KhanYusuf Khan looks a designer, talks like one, but never dreamt of being one. His designing stint began with helping out in his friendís boutique. ďI was not sure how long I would stick to designing, because to me designing was a hobby and I was unsure about the business,Ē Yusuf admitted. Much to his surprise, even without a formal education in designing, he was able to sell quite a few of his designs. A graduate in Arts with a Bachelor's Degree in General Law, Yusuf followed his natural sense of style and design and pursued his creative vocation.

His artistic vision translated his unique and original ideas into stunning yet practical garments. "My most exotic and outstanding designs would be worthless if they did not allow the user to feel comfortable and in some way, better about himself or herself," he states.

Yusuf Khan's creations comprise a wide range of casual and formal wear for the tasteful individual, including delicate and unique trousseaus, Indian designs, Western styles, suits and much more.

Major achievements

Numerous Advertisement Films have featured his creations: Cadbury Gems, Polo with a Hole, Ponds, Sun Silk and TVS Suzuki are prominent among them.†

Yusuf has designed outfits for several promotions like the Benson & Hedges and Baccardi Blast (Wizcraft), BPL OYE for Channel V, Channel V and MTV. The Air France Cargo crew uniform also has his label. International feature films like Ismail Merchant's Ivory Productions and Mira Nair's Kamasutra have showcased some his designs.

The 'Yusuf Khan' label has flattered celebrities like Aishwarya Rai, Diandra, Dino Morea, Fleur, Ila Arun, Maria Gorreti, Nirmal Pandey, Ruby Bhatia and Sushma Reddy.

Excerpts from an interview:

How would you describe your clientele?

When I began my career, my clients were mostly college students. Today, I deal with a mature clientele - working women, businessmen and professionals, less of a teenager crowd.

How do you decide on a design for a particular client?

Personal interaction with the client is a must. Only after understanding the client's personality and requirements, [do] I offer my fashion ideas. My repertoire comprises casual and formal wear for both men and women. I want my boutique to be the place for anybody's dream wardrobe.

I design casual, formal, men and women's clothes - anything that my clients like. I use cottons, silks, imported fabrics, and fabrics provided by my customers themselves. Now I am mainly into styling and stitching.

Are fashion shows meant for designers or customers?

At fashion shows, designers showcase fabrics, colours, cuts and trends and how best they can be used. If straight plain clothes were displayed on the ramp, they would look unexciting, and the styles and colours would get lost. Sometimes the outfits are really ridiculous, but they show how far the fabric can actually stretch. Even models do not wear such fancy outfits.

Is Mumbai fashion different from other cities?

In Mumbai, you can get away with wearing anything. At the most, you might invite a passing glance. Mumbai is the fashion capital of India, since all fashion trends are born here. For years, Delhi had been called the fashion capital just because most designers hail from that city.††

How soon are international trends coming to India?

Satellite television has linked the fashion world all over the globe. Today you see a trend on television; tomorrow someone is wearing it at a nightclub in Mumbai.

Most Indian designers use imported fabrics. A few years ago we used to recommend Raymond fabric for menís suits, but now even clients find this old-fashioned and suitable only for senior citizens. They prefer foreign fabrics [which are] available in attractive colours and lower prices.

Who forecasts trends for the coming year?

Indian designers do not forecast fashion trends. They just follow international trends. Designers study fashion statements abroad and then decide whether black, blue or grey is in.

In India, at least 80% people are not concerned about fashion or what suits them. Women generally buy black for most occasions, except for marriages - because it hides their body shape. They generally keep in mind their drawbacks while buying colours. A woman would not wear 'red,' even if it is in fashion this season, because it does not suit many Indian skins.

In India, according to stock availability, the boutique owner or designer convinces the customer about the latest fashion.

Abroad, stores discount last season's outfits. Hence, fashion conscious Indians would rather buy clothes from abroad, knowing that they are genuinely in fashion.

Yusuf Recommends

(for large frames)

  • Slim cuts.
  • No loose clothes. (Large people wear loose clothes to hide their bulk; it has the opposite effect.)
  • No over-clingy clothes.
  • Straight fitted trousers and a medium fit blouse; no loose palazzo pants..
  • Slightly darker shades, but not bright colours. A darker trouser and a lighter shirt, or a single-colour outfit, makes one appear slimmer.

(for medium frames)

  • Almost any kind of clothes.
  • Checks and even big and bold prints are okay.

(for smaller frames)

  • Lighter colours, pastels and dark shades to flatter the frame.
  • Short tops and sleeveless tops.

Fair complexion

  • Dark shades like navy blue, old rose, pinks, pastels, black, magentas, ruby red and turquoise.

Wheatish complexion

  • Wear colours that brighten your looks.
  • Browns and beige make the skin colour look shallow, while white, khaki, military green, mustard yellow brighten the complexion.

Dark complexion

  • Avoid using dark colours.
  • Some dark shades like charcoal grey complement your complexion.
  • Pastels like peach, light cream, white and ivory white are meant for you.
  • Avoid orange.

What's In?


Unisex short V-neck kurtas, worn casually with jeans or cargo pants or with draw string pyjamas.


Sketch  -- shirts and shorts
Sketch -- shirts and cargo pants
Sketch -- blouse with wrap skirt
Short semi-fitted shirts with
mid-length shorts for guys
Short semi-fitted shirts with
cargo pants
Short blouse with wrap skirt


Sketch--Lycra and cargo
Sketch -- blouse and sarong
Short blouse with Sarong skirts
Lycra blouse with cargo pants
Short top with Hipster pants

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