The young and wildly-successful Indian designer Masaba Gupta recently launched an affordable teen clothing line in an attempt to counter fakes that have flooded the market.
“Why buy a fake when you can get the original at the same price?” her website spelled out when introducing Masaba Lite, a less-pricey collection of socks, headbands, iPhone covers, sleeping masks along with clothes.
Ms. Gupta, 24, known for setting bold Indian prints of cows, cassettes, old electric fans and Tamil alphabets against color-blocked designs may be a victim of her own success. After all, her collections are one of the most plagiarized in the country – often repackaged with similar motifs in wholesale cloth stores and complete rip-offs of design and form found in smaller boutiques, including her novel takes on modernizing the sari.
The new collection which includes jumpsuits, cropped tops, dresses and sleepwear start at 400 rupees or $6 and go up to 5,000 rupees or $83.
Ms. Gupta said she was inspired to design this collection for college students after she watched a group of young girls at one of her stores trying to pool together their money to buy one of her designer saris.
“It’s easygoing,” Ms. Gupta said. “The silhouettes are very different from the regular line. It’s more basic and focuses on fun slogans and everyday prints.”
To begin with, Ms. Gupta’s main label, House of Masaba is not exorbitantly expensive compared to other Indian designers. Her ensembles mostly sell for under 50,000 rupees, often a starting point for more lavish designs and Indian designer labels.
Still, Ms. Gupta said she was looking forward to widening the accessibility to her brand. “The idea was to be able to provide a reasonable option to young girls on tight budgets,” Ms. Gupta said. “They are my target market.”