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The Interview – Tenzin Tseten Bhutia

The world has turned from a simple crowd of people to dreamers exploring and tasting the common aspects of life with a different spice. Something so simple as clothing is enough to excite us and the world of fashion is ever changing. When you meet someone like a fashion designer, you’re initially aware of his or her creative mind. Fashion designers think in colors, limitless styles ,shapes and their experiments are endless. A lot of them have been trying to think beyond the box, think beyond just tailors and their machines, and in this crowd, one man has been able to be a part of a change, a sexy revolution, and clothing will never be the same anymore.

Tenzin Tseten Bhutia, the name we never get tired of, has changed the face of fashion designing. His creations inspire many, and he has been encouraging a lot of us to think beyond just the everyday t-shirt and jeans. Proud of his sleek and ramp-craving designs, the man knows the difference between creative colors and exaggerated fashion.

And luckily, we got to interview him!

Because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, we wanted this interview to be unique. Rather than the same questions about how he accomplished his dream, we wanted to ask him questions that we’d definitely want a true fashion designer to answer. So after crafting up a good line of questions and a few email exchanges, here we have, Mr. Bhutia’s answers, his thoughts and views, about the world of fashion, the people, the trends, and the fashion culture.

1.What was your first inspiration to work in this field?

I remember reading this great article on India Today about this designer while I was studying in Delhi. That’s what inspired me and motivated me to study fashion in Bangalore. It was a very risky career at that time as most of the guys my age preferred a safer career… but then I had to do what I wanted to do 🙂

2. So you started in the field of Fashion Designing from Himalayan Couture in Kathmandu which sent its products to foreign countries like Paris. Also, you are known to have explored local places like New Road and Ason to look for inspirations. What contrasts do you find between the local fashion and the fashion that is internationally recognized?

There is a huge difference in terms of everything.  We Nepalese are more into clients who are neck to neck with foreign styles and trends… but we are more drawn towards silhouette of international market.. Whereas when we used to export design, the clients are always looking for something new and creative and different… both ways it’s challenging 🙂

3.What difference do you find in the fashion sense of people of Nepal with that of other countries?

As I mentioned before, we follow various international trends, as the Nepalese are very much updated with fashion trends happening in abroad, and are more inclined towards foreign style, silhouette and fabric but there is group of people who are also looking for something new and ready to experiment.. We need to cater to both of these categories.

4.Were you, at any point of your life, insulted by anyone for being “male designer”?

I wouldn’t say insulted but yes some are judgmental especially when you sort of become a public face.. They do comment on your personal stuff… we say that we are the new generation but at the same time we do not respect our values and the lifestyle we live in. Then again, people are going to be judgmental but then u got to do what u have to do 🙂

5.We are facing a few problems regarding local markets these days. They copy the ideas of exotic boutiques, replace the materials with cheaper substitutes and sell them in local markets at a much cheaper price. By doing this, the buyer from the boutique feels offended. What do you think should be done for this?

Well, there is nothing much to be done since we don’t have a copyright system in Nepal. It has been happening for ages and it will continue… just feel flattered that there are people who are copying your design and feel worth it.. Not only in Nepal, it happens all over the world with such a copyright. They sue each other but then you go to another level in terms of publicity and image, so I think it’s worth it 🙂

6.Do you agree that in any clothing store, men’s side is dominated by the female’s? In an era where people are coming up with such varied taste of fashion for both sexes, why do you think this is still happening?

Yes, that’s the core of nature… how women can get pregnant and men cannot… that’s there in the human nature… women are more inclined and more sensitive towards fashion than men.. And we as a designer, we cater to people who have a hunger for fashion… and that as comparatively there more in women than men.. That’s the human nature and it will take time to change 🙂

7.Why do you think the tradition of hiring skinny and expressionless models is still going on? Do you think a varied range of models of different sizes should be introduced?

Well, that’s the format. It looks more beautiful and presentable on right sized women In terms of weight height and curves. People look at the design and get judged on the design on how it is presented … and the right sized women does the perfect job. Modeling is a work of art. And it can be done with the perfect attitude and perfect curves… I normally don’t prefer either too skinny or too heavy… have to have the perfect flesh and curves to make it look beautiful.

8.Do you have any plans to work for someone or for a cause or any achievement? Any important goals which you are looking forward to fulfill?

I have been to reality show and I have won silver medal for best in long gown at miss earth. I am very privileged that it happen so fast… but there is one thing I want to do for the society as a charitable cause in future… I am not privileged in that area but I hope to fulfill that in near future something to do with clothing as a charity so it benefits more to more people 🙂

9.We have an open mind when it comes to fashion these days. Still some people get offended by exposure. They easily judge people, designers as well, who are comfortable with exposure. What do you have to say to them?

I feel that we shouldn’t cross the line… there is a very thin line between glamour and vulgar. If we exceed that then I am sure people are bound to poach. I don’t accept vulgarity but I do appreciate glamour. You just need to know where to stop when it comes to skin show 🙂

10.Fashion Designing can be a difficult career for some people, because of lack of support from family, judgmental society, financial issues, etc. What do you have to say to the people who look up to you as a role model?

If you have the zest to be a fashion designer, you will somehow figure out how to make it happen. Like you don’t have to study a lot, you can practice on your own. You don’t have to be a part of judgmental society, be a part of that society who appreciated you. Family will support you anyway sooner or later because family is family, you have to convince them that that’s what lies within you. And all this comes when u have the passion and the hard work that you put towards this field 🙂


Photo credit : Images displayed are taken from the official facebook page of Tenzin Tseten Bhutia :

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