We had the good fortune of connecting with Rupal Banerjee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rupal, what do you attribute your success to?
Being open to learning and picking up things fast. I noticed from an early age that to run my own brand, I had to know both business and creative aspects. So, I went to school for marketing and branding and continued to take internships in the the fashion industry, whether it was product development or fashion design. Whatever, I didn’t know already; I taught myself just from YouTube. I learned to hand make clothes, I learn to do graphic design for my marketing materials. This, mixed with my marketing background made me jack of all trades type.

It’s this ability to watch people around me and pick up on things that I was missing that has allowed me to be successful. I just have been constantly inspired by other successful people in the fashion industry and then I pretty much work backwards and pick out what really worked for them.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m Rupal, and I’m 23. I started my brand, Ru by Rupal back in 2019. The inspiration for my brand is women’s empowerment mixed with my Indian heritage. I am such a strong woman, I want to inspire others to be strong as well. In the Indian culture there are so many strong goddesses that are highly respected and they’re even warrior types too. I’m so inspired by this, fight through it all and conquer.

It really wasn’t very easy to get to where I am. As an Indian woman it’s just not easily accepted, being in a creative field, like fashion. My parents didn’t really want me to go down this route and so they were quite discouraging. However, I still went past them to start my brand. I didn’t have their support and in fact we stopped speaking for a bit because I was taking this step. However, I understood my parents, my brother, and myself came to this country as immigrants. My parents just wanted me to be successful, but I just couldn’t play it safe. I had to do whatever it took to achieve my goals. They, themselves, even took a risk by starting their own business as well and are incredibly successful, how could I not follow in their footsteps?

Over time I was able to prove to them that I could create something and get people interested in my work. I caught the eyes of celebrities including Lil Nas X, Kehlani, and Tinashe (just to name a few). I’ve gotten to where I am professionally today by really just hustling. I didn’t know how to start a fashion business. I just new how to design clothes and make clothes. However, I decided to learn marketing and branding in college and implemented those skills in my brand. I strategically went to school for this because I knew to have a fashion brand, I needed to eventually know how to run a business. I interned in fashion PR, Product development, and fashion design as well. I figured out how to reach stylists and how to get my garments to celebrities. After graduating in 2020, I quickly taught myself graphic design to create logos, marketing materials, and professional visuals for my brand. Overall I taught myself everything I could to run my business on my own, except for photography, still working on that skill. Luckily, I have some amazing friends who shoot for me, including Sarah Shen (@sarahshenphoto).

Some ups and downs of being in my industry include the instability at times. Sometimes, it’s hard to see where you’re exactly going next whether it comes to getting a paycheck, creating a new collection, or just what’s next LOL. However, it’s important to be sure of yourself at these times and not to let anyone or any situation shake your faith in yourself. You’re going to figure it out, no matter what. If you loose belief in yourself, it’s going to be a major struggle for you to grow, because creatively no one knows your purpose better than you.

Some advice to other designers in the fashion industry: Also, keep evolving, as a creative. The fashion industry continues to move, move with it, or get left behind, but again do it in a way that you are still being you. Surround yourself with other great creatives and always be aware of which people are on your team which are not. Sometimes the universe places obstacles in your way, you have to have no doubt that you can overcome things.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would definitely got o Millie’s Cafe, vegan, gluten free, and regular options too!! The brunch is so so good. We’d also go hang out at the Silverlake Reservoir, take a walk and hang in the grassy area. We’d also have a day at Echo Park Lake and go on the Peddle Boats. Another day, head over to Santa Monica, hit Bungalow (such a fun day bar). Definitely also would have to grab a Taco Tuesday and some margs ahaha. And don’t forget all the flea markets on the weekend, gotta head over to Silver Lake and Melrose for that.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom deserves this shoutout. She is an entrepreneur and I took her inspiration from that to become who I am today. She and my dad, both have their own business so that pushed me to do the same.

Website: https://rupalbrand.squarespace.com

Instagram: rupal.official

Image Credits
Campaign images: Sarah Shen ; Fashion week hallways images: Harry Osei-Bonsu ; White Background image of me and a model: Madeleine Ray

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.