Local Flair Issue 9: Khushboo Kaplesh

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Local Flair is back with yet another talented fashion designer, and this time I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Khushboo Kaplesh, a fashion designer born and bred in UAE. Khushboo is a newly emerging fashion designer and spoke to me about her label Khushboo Kaplesh. Read on to find out more about her work and inspirations.

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A little insight into Khushboo Kaplesh herself

Born and raised in UAE, Khushboo has always been pursuing design from a very young age and went on to graduating university and continuing to expand her knowledge of the fashion industry. She has gained an immense amount of experience through internships, including interning for the popular Dutch Haute Couture Designer, Iris Van Herpen, in Amsterdam. Khushboo went on to working in Couture for the next three years, as the Creative Head and creating heavily embellished pieces for local women.


The start of the Khushboo Kaplesh label

Though she enjoyed the challenge of working with and designing couture pieces for clients, she also very much wanted to have the freedom to design however she wanted. With the vast experience that she had, Khushboo wanted to create a Ready to Wear label for women who appreciated Art. After cutting short a well deserved break, she began working on her debut collection, gathering ideas and resources and after months of hard work, Khushboo Kaplesh was finally launched in October last year.

The purpose of Khushboo Kaplesh designs

“Wearable Art” is what Khushboo wants to achieve with her label. She would like girls to able to pick up her pieces, appreciating its artistic nature and be comfortable enough to wear it.

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The most rewarding part of being the owner of Khushboo Kaplesh

“Working for myself” she says is the most rewarding part of being the owner of her brand. Since Khushboo manages much of her work, she is also able to wisely spend her time and balance both her work and social life in a way she wasn’t able to before. When asked about seeing her debut collection for the first time, she said it was the “happiest day- the day of the SS16 shoot”, yet she understands that her business is still very new and is waiting to reap the benefits of her hard work, which will only come with time.

The most challenging aspect of the business, and how Khushboo has overcome it

Getting yourself noticed and pushing your name out there in the big world of the fashion industry is the most challenging aspect that Khushboo is facing since she is still very much a newcomer. However, she is learning to overcome this by networking lots! This includes going to events, showcasing her work, collaborating with bloggers and most importantly, learning from the bad experiences. It is also in her nature to want to meet new people and she is happy to chat to anyone wanting to know more about her designs, even if there may be no obvious benefit to herself.

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The inspiration behind the SS16 Collection

Khushboo was researching stones and in particular sapphires and marbles which served to be the inspiration for her Spring/Summer 2016 collection. She realised that the marble prints were always in black and white and mainly seen on architecture such as Taj Mahal. She wanted to put a twist on it by adding pastel colours, seeing it on fabric and experimented with marble painting herself. Khushboo was also sure that for a spring summer collection, she wanted her pieces to be feminine and soothing to the eyes, and she set about creating her own hand-crafted marble print that you can now see in her collection.

How did she go about choosing the names for each of the SS16 collection pieces

In her intensive research about marbles, she came across so many different kinds from different parts of the world. Eventually, she decided to name the pieces from the collection after the marbles since it was the inspiration for the initial print.

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My personal favourite is the Portoro Cape, as seen above. Which piece is Khushboo’s favourite from her SS16 collection?

The Portoro Cap is also one of Khushboo’s favourites because it is customisable, along with the Aurora and Volga Dresses, followed by the Madura Dress, all in that order! She went on to name a few more of her dresses and we concluded that basically ALL of them were her favourites! I can’t blame her!

Where the materials for Khushboo Kaplesh designs are sourced and put together

The hand-made marble patterns are printed on a fabric sourced from Japan and printed in UAE, and the other coloured fabrics such as Powder Blue and Mint Green are sourced in UAE. The production of the collection is done in UAE.

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A day in Khushboo’s life, and how she manages to balance family and work

Every day is different for her and that is what she loves about her job. She begins the day going through her emails and doing general admin work and meetings. In the afternoon, between 2 pm to 7 pm she accomplishes all the creative work such as sketching, fabric shopping, creating mood boards, along with a few more meetings thrown in. After 7 pm she dedicates her evenings to bonding with her family, friends and her cute dog as there is no way she would be able to get any work done with them around! Being a night owl, Khushboo often switches on her creative mind once again after 12 am, working late into the night when she finds she can concentrate best and be most efficient.

What major lessons has she learnt along her journey through the fashion industry

Khushboo states “Learning is ENDLESS”. She has learnt so much and is still constantly in the process of learning. What she learnt with the internship in Amsterdam could not be taught in university and what she learnt working in Couture could not be learnt by an internship. Therefore, this only motivates her to carry on learning especially since the fashion industry is such that is always evolving and endless in what it has to offer.

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Khushboo’s advice to other women in the UAE planning to start a business

“Don’t loose hope!” is her advice to you. Khushboo understands what it is like to start a business from the comfort of your home and how easy it is to begin to doubt yourself. She urges that you must be positive, and if you have the passion for it, you will succeed. Khushboo also comments that you may find that you have a hidden talent in a different field along the way. Khushboo has been blessed with supportive family and friends which is so important for success and though any business takes a while to pick up pace or have hiccups along the way, she asks that you not be disheartened by it and strive on by learning from those mistakes.

Khushboo Kaplesh in 5 years time

In 5 years time, Khushboo wants to be a successful designer but not in the sense of owning ten shops in Dubai or earning heaps of money, but that she simply wants women to appreciate her concept of “Wearable Art” and make them smile. Though Khushboo would of course love to showcase her work in fashion hubs such as New York and Paris too, her ultimate goal would be to have people look at her pieces and know straight away that it is a Khushboo Kaplesh design. Oh and of course if someone would say “OH-EM-GEE, I wanna intern for Khushboo Kaplesh!” in the same way she herself used to for other designers, that would really make her day, she says whilst beaming a wide smile!

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If you would like to get your hands on these beautiful pieces of Wearable Art or stay updated with Khushboo’s designs, head on over to her website or follow her work on social media.

Khushboo Kaplesh Website:  www.khushbookaplesh.com

Facebook: @khushbookaplesh and Instagram: @khushbookaplesh 

All photographs in this post are the property of Khushboo Kaplesh, and have been used by the owner’s permission.


  • Mehtab March 15, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Love the fresh marble prints. ??

    • mummyonmymind@gmail.com March 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Yes, they are truly gorgeous aren’t they! They were initially created by hand by Khushboo herself!


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