Who Is Kovid Kapoor? New Details About The 'Project Runway' Contestant From India

Photo: bravo
Who Is Kovid Kapoor? New Details About The 'Project Runway' Contestant From India

Project Runway’s 17th season has already proven to be a smash hit. Since the series premiere on March 14th, we’ve seen creations from designers from all different backgrounds. There are also new judges — Karlie Kloss, Elaine Welteroth, and Brandon Maxwell — and a new mentor, Christian Siriano. Though Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum aren’t returning, Nina Garcia remains on the judging panel.

Three contestants have been eliminated since the premiere, leaving 13 hopeful designers. The prizes include $250,000 and a mentorship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. And though these contestants put out amazing works of art, their backstories are even more interesting and show their roots.

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Who is Kovid Kapoor? Here are five details to know about the high-end, ready-to-wear designer featured on this season.

1. He’s from India.

Kapoor was born in Dehradun, a town in the valley of the Indian Himalayans. He’s from a military family and moved around Indian states, each with their own cultural identity and art forms.

2. Fashion means a lot to him.

Moving around and experiencing different cultures influenced Kapoor. According to him, “While witnessing different cultures in my country, I realized that clothing served so much more purpose than shielding the human body. It served a deep psychological purpose of representation, identity, and self-expression.”

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3. He has two degrees.

Before moving to the United States, Kapoor attended the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad, and earned his BFA in fashion design. After graduating, he worked for Gaurav Gupta, an Indian fashion designer. He then worked for Surreal Pal Mall Design, a men’s wear brand.

In America, he attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and obtained his MFA in fashion design, with an aesthetic for luxury and high-end fashion. It was here he began to develop his own personal brand, especially after realizing how different fashion was in India vs. the US. Being inspired by women, particularly, has brought his designs to a new level, celebrating female figures, feminine wisdom, fantasy, and mythology.

During eliminations in the second episode, Kapoor became emotional, saying, “When I was in school, I was laughed at because I was different and wanted to be with the girls. I have been surrounded by strong women all my life and I want to celebrate their strength with my designs.”

4. He survived his country’s anti-gay laws.

Kapoor decided to leave India after being harassed by police for being gay. On Project Runway, he revealed, “Me and my boyfriend have been together for eight years. We are from the Himalayan highlands of India, and homosexuality was still a crime in the country. One day our neighbours called the cops on us and we had to leave our home the very next day.”

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5. He worked with the first transgender model to be featured on the show.

Mimi Tao is the first transgender model to appear on Project Runway, and the second they met, Kapoor was grateful he could use her for his design. Tao revealed she was transgender, and Kapoor immediately bowed down and hugged her. “You’re the real goddess,” he said. He also revealed in an interview for the show that the two connected because each have faced “stories of oppression.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.