De­sign­ing Dreams

Kolkata-based fashion de­signer Jaya Misra bagged the Dadasa­heb Phalke Ex­cel­lence Award 2018. A peek into her world of de­sign


Afash­ion de­signer of in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion, Jaya has styled stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Shrad­dha Kapoor, Jac­que­line Fer­nan­dez, Shilpa Shetty, Huma Qureshi, Konkana Sen Sharma, Ayush­mann Khur­rana and many oth­ers. She has also de­signed cos­tumes for Sal­man Khan’s Wanted and Tol­ly­wood movie Duione. Her work has earned her sev­eral awards and ac­co­lades such as the ‘ Best Fashion De­signer’ award from NIFD (Na­tional In­sti­tute of Fashion De­sign), ‘Naari Shakti’ award by L N Mit­tal, ‘Best Up­com­ing De­signer’ and ‘Best Na­tional De­signer’ awards at the 17th and 18th Lions Gold Awards re­spec­tively. She was also the of­fi­cial de­signer for the Fem­ina Miss In­dia pageant for two suc­ces­sive years—2012 and 2013. Jaya’s de­signs also got fea­tured in a fashion-themed film ti­tled In­dia Says, which got screened at the Mi­ami Fashion Film Fes­ti­val 2014 and at the Lon­don In­ter­na­tional Fashion Film Fes­ti­val. She is also the re­cip­i­ent of the ‘Savvy Woman’ award in Delhi. Re­cently, Jaya Misra in­formed me that she has been hon­oured with the pres­ti­gious Dadasa­heb Phalke Ex­cel­lence Award 2018 for ‘ The So­cial and Busi­ness En­tre­pre­neur of the year’. Speak­ing of the pres­ti­gious hon­our, an elated Jaya says, “I am elated to re­ceive the Dadasa­heb Phalke Ex­cel­lence Award. It feels great when your hard work is ac­knowl­edged on such a pres­ti­gious plat­form. Even I got equally sur­prised and ex­cited when I heard about the nom­i­na­tion. I couldn’t be­lieve that I was nom­i­nated for this award. And then when I even­tu­ally re­ceived the award, I re­alised may be this is the way God is in­di­cat­ing that my jour­ney till now and all the toils and tur­moils I faced in life are worth it. Ev­ery­thing hap­pened very fast. It was like a dream phase. I will be al­ways be thank­ful to the com­mit­tee for recog­nis­ing my hard work. This has mo­ti­vated me to do be more hard-work­ing and is a re­sult to mark that I am on the right path.” Later she told me that she was be­stowed with this award as a part of the ‘She Can Fly’ ini­tia­tive of Smile Foun­da­tion, the char­ity part­ner for Dadasa­heb Phalke Ex­cel­lence Awards. “The ‘ She Can Fly’ is an ini­tia­tive of Smile Foun­da­tion to en­able, equip and em­power the girl child with qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, proper nu­tri­tion, good health, ad­e­quate skills and above all, a lot of self-con­fi­dence to help them live their lives to their fullest po­ten­tial. The

ini­tia­tive also fo­cuses on bring­ing at­ten­tion to the pay gaps that af­fect women in the Bol­ly­wood in­dus­try,” Jaya says. Jaya is known for her con­tri­bu­tion to­wards so­ci­ety and has been as­so­ci­ated with Smile Foun­da­tion to sup­port the cause of girl child em­pow­er­ment through ed­u­ca­tion. An En­tre­pre­neur at heart, she is man­ag­ing four other com­pa­nies with ex­cel­lence and perfection—UniLab In­dia (Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Com­pany), Body Granth (Aes­thetic Skin Clinic), Food Granth (Nu­tri­tion & Health Café) and Brand Bucket (360-de­gree con­sul­tancy firm). I ask her to share the ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with stars. “I have al­ways had very good ex­pe­ri­ence with all of them. Mr Bachchan is very hum­ble and not just punc­tual… he used to reach the spot be­fore time,” she says with a laugh. “Jac­que­line is a sweet­heart, a lively and bub­bly girl. Apart from them, Elli Avram, Eve­lyn Sharma, Huma Qureshi and Ayush­mann Khur­rana are all dar­lings with pos­i­tive and good work ethics. I still re­mem­ber, when I was work­ing with Ayush­mann at the time of the show, when he was about to hit the floor as the show­stop­per, he sud­denly asked me to join him on the ramp and said if I won’t join him, he won’t walk. This hum­ble and lov­ing at­ti­tude of his re­ally im­pressed me. And apart from that, per­son­al­i­ties from Tol­ly­wood like Ri­tu­parna Sen­gupta, Prosen­jit Chat­ter­jee, Dev, Jeet and Rachna are very dear to me. Be­sides de­sign­ing clothes for them, they are also very good friends of mine,” she shares. Jaya has show­cased her work in places like China, USA, Aus­tralia, Brook­lyn, Bos­ton, Philadel­phia, Lon­don, Sin­ga­pore, Hong Kong and Dubai, as well as at the pres­ti­gious Van­cou­ver and Bel­grade Fashion Weeks. In In­dia, Misra has show­cased her cre­ations at the Aamby Val­ley In­dia Bri­dal Week, the Audi Group show, Swarovski show, In­dia Re­sort Fashion Week and many more. “I al­ways at­tribute my suc­cess to my hard work and ded­i­ca­tion. The in­dus­try has warm-heart­edly ac­cepted me and praised my work. I re­ally en­joy dress­ing up people. When people come into my store and I put an out­fit to­gether for them and they look fan­tas­tic, they are re­ally happy. I like know­ing that some­one’s life is bet­ter be­cause of what I do. I also en­joy the act of cre­at­ing clothes. Work­ing with colour and fab­ric are still things that re­ally drive me. One woman once told me, ‘your clothes al­low me to go out into the world.’ She had some fig­ure prob­lems, but the clothes al­lowed her to feel that she could face the world,” Jaya says proudly. Jaya’s en­try into the de­sign­ing world hap­pened only af­ter she was a mother of two. “I have al­ways wanted to be a fashion de­signer, mainly be­cause I love to cre­ate trends and fashion of my own. When I was younger, I al­ways pre­ferred to de­sign my own cloths and get them stitched from the tai­lors than to shop for ready-made clothes from branded shops. And the main rea­son is that there is a sense of achieve­ment I get when I see a lot of people wear­ing clothes de­signed by me. It also makes me ex­tremely proud when key in­dus­try play­ers con­sider me a trail­blazer,” she elu­ci­dates. Has your family been sup­port­ive of your ca­reer choices? “My family is very sup­port­ive. Their en­cour­age­ment and mo­ti­va­tion is an­other rea­son for me to be who I am to­day,” she quips. Jaya is sure a busy lady. She de­signs, trav­els and looks af­ter her com­pa­nies. “I am a person, for whom work­ing is as nec­es­sary as breath­ing. I can’t sit without work­ing even for a sec­ond. Be­ing blessed with such an en­er­getic mind, I de­cided to ex­tend my work and ex­plore dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries. The aim to fly high and set a bench­mark for every com­mon girl to make her dream come true, is what mo­ti­vates me the most,” she re­veals. With such a de­mand­ing work sched­ule, how does she manage time be­tween work and family? “When we are pas­sion­ate about some­thing, we can make time for it. It doesn’t mat­ter then how busy we are. Sim­i­larly, for me, my work and my family are equally im­por­tant. I ac­tu­ally don’t feel the stress of man­ag­ing time. Even while trav­el­ling for busi­ness or when I am stuck in traf­fic daily, while go­ing to of­fice or while com­ing back home, I pre­fer to con­tinue with my work,” says the ded­i­cated de­signer. What’s com­ing up next for Jaya Misra? “We are go­ing to soon come up with our new la­bel—Fashion Granth, which will cater to every kind of woman. This la­bel will cre­ate a simple yet el­e­gant and dig­ni­fied look in a woman. To know more, you will have to wait till it launches,” she smiles. We will do that…

Re­ceiv­ing the Dadasa­heb Phalke Ex­cel­lence Award from ac­tor Ra­jkum­mar Rao

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