USU Alum and fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra. Photo and slideshow courtesy of http://www.bibhu.com.
By Nichelle Probst
The name Bibhu Mohapatra is buzzing around the fashion world. With a specialty in ball gowns, he has presented several unique collections of evening wear and his works have graced red carpets on such figures as Angelina Jolie, Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett and Glenn Close. On Feb. 13, 2012, Mohapatra showed off his stunning fall line with his first runway show in New York City.
Bibhu Mahopatra’s story is inspirational. Born and raised in India, he completed his bachelor’s degree in his own country. For his MBA in economics, he came to Utah State University, where he was inspired to continue his education.
Mohapatra has always had an interest in fashion, from a very early age he was designing and making clothes for his sister. This desire to design didn’t end when he was studying at Utah State. He would make sketches of dresses in his classes. One of his teachers saw these sketches and encouraged him to pursue fashion design as a professional career. He took this advice to heart, and after obtaining his MBA, continued his education at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T) in New York City. There he honed in on his designing skills, and graduated with honors after one year, receiving the coveted Critic’s Award for Best Evening Wear Designer.
After graduating from F.I.T., Bibhu worked for the well-known fashion label J. Mendel, where he worked as design director for nearly a decade. After working there, he discovered that he and his creations could fill a specific niche in the fashion world and he branched out to start his own line. Soon after, he was presented the “Women’s Apparel 2010 Rising Star Award,” by The Fashion Group International.
He has since come out with eight of his own collections, each with unique qualities and influences and only the finest in couture. Each collection is embellished with bright colors, fine furs, and a subtle taste of Indian inspiration. One of his latest collections, for Fall 2012, was inspired by 20th century Chinese opera and was featured at the Mercedes Benz fashion week in New York.
Bibhu Mohapatra is becoming a huge name in fashion. He is one Utah State alumnus who is worth keeping an eye on.