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Bibhu Mohapatra: International fashion designer from Odisha

Bibhu Mohapatra, the International fashion designer from Odisha has marked his name all over the world in the field of fashion designing. He had made a huge jump from Rourkela to New York City and now he is a brand in international fashion designing.

Bibhu may be the toast of the A-list fashion circles now, he may have dressed some of the most influential women in the US – including First Lady Michelle Obama and Hollywood stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Hillary Swank, but at heart, Bibhu is still a humble boy from the small town Rourkela in Odisha.

Bibhu studied in an Odia-medium school till Class 7. He went on to study at the Municipal College in Rourkela and then spent a year in a management course – just to get 16 years of education, a requisite for applying to a Master’s programme in the US. But America was not so much a dream for him as it was a stepping stone into the future, into fashion.

Bibhu said, “At that time, in the early ’90s, there was only one fashion school in India – NIFT, Delhi. And it didn’t seem like I could get through it. Honestly, I didn’t even try,” he says. At the insistence of his brother who was studying graphic design in the US then, he applied for and got into the Master’s in economics programme at Utah State University on a partial scholarship. “That was my ticket to America. I left in 1996, with a suitcase full of Indian spices and a heart full of dreams!”

A creative mind like Bibhu’s could not be chained. In 2008, he started his own label which is now world famous. Bibhu has carved out a fashionable niche for himself and is well known for his chic and elegant style.

The Odisha-born internationally renowned designer has hogged the limelight on numerous occasions for his creative work. Lovingly called Bobby, he was born and brought up in Steel City Rourkela and has never forgotten his roots and the rich handloom tradition of Odisha.

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