In Conversation with the founder of Mysore Fashion Week
From owning a small tailoring unit to starting Mysore Fashion Week, Jayanthi Ballal believes in creating opportunities and possibilities to expand her realm of imagination. With a strong support system that is her friends and family, her husband accepted her radical ideas and together they took it forward and created something they can proudly call their own. Abraxas Lifestyle recently caught up with the entrepreneur for a quick chat
What made you start Mysore Fashion Week? What challenges did you face on your journey?
The urge to showcase, realise and display my talent is one of the most important factors behind the culmination of Mysore Fashion Week as well as the modelling school and hunt. Keeping in mind that Mysore has immensely talented designers who only want a platform to showcase their work was another driving force. Creating this platform for them was not only a challenge but also a privilege. There is no reason why the people of Mysore should be deprived of experiencing new vogue. The challenges were of course obvious – would it be accepted, would it be a hit… One should not let that bog you down; the main agenda is to focus and achieve your dreams.
There are not many role models for women who want to be entrepreneurs or the off beaten track in tier II cities. Who was your role model?
It would be unfair to say that I have one role model; I would say that my role model is a much more abstract creation – hard work and motivation are my role models and they will always help me achieve my goals and aspire to be better.
Is Mysore receptive to professions like fashion designing and modelling?
Receptiveness to fashion designing and modelling just like any other city is a slow yet steady process and that applies to Mysore as well. The receptiveness has of course increased but it is expected to increase a whole lot more as time progresses. 10% growth every year is a good figure to describe the receptiveness of Mysore.
Do you think Mysore has what it takes to become a fashion city?
Mysore being a heritage city definitely has everything it needs to become a fashion hub – its history and culture provides great inspiration to its designers. Furthermore, I think Mysore has the monetary capability to become a fashion city. Therefore, I suggest that people come forward and help the city reach its fullest potential.
Tell us about the upcoming inaugural edition of Mysore Fashion Week.
It’s all about fashion being brought to Mysore in all its panache and glamour.
Which designers are participating?
The designers participating include Jayanthi Ballal, Mona Shroff, Saroj Jalan, Pinky Kachhela, Mahe Ayyappan, Saroj Jalan, Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhary and PETA India.
How did you convince them to showcase their creations in Mysore?
It was definitely a task, with them wanting to know what the city can offer and what makes it stand out from other cities. The answer as mentioned earlier is definitely evident – the culture, the traditions and of course the monetary ability to make the city what it can be.
How will Mysore Fashion Week help upcoming designers in tier II cities?
The designers in a city like ours yearn for a platform and Mysore Fashion Week is exactly that. It is a collaboration as well as a festival of great creative minds displaying their work.
What is your vision for Mysore Fashion Week?
A vision is something that would draw limits, so it’s best to let my brain child just go where it wants to. So I’m leaving it to sheer growth and just taking life as it comes. Though of course as always I hope for the best and hope that it does exceptionally well.
Tell us about your other projects.
My other projects are a model hunt, and a modeling school which by the grace of God has also been successful and is growing in its own aspects.
What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
Women entrepreneurs must follow one simple mantra – just go for it and get with it. Never look back, set a high target and stay grounded, the rest will fall in place and most importantly, set your priorities straight.
Bringing Fashion to Mysore