For Devki Bhatt, working in fashion doesn’t seem like a career choice, but a destiny that she could not resist. Growing up in Ahmedabad, Devki was raised in a family of physicians which led her to the profession of pharmacist. Devki’s styling career started after her marriage when she got support from her husband.
Devki has styled some of our favourite celebrities. She notes that determination is the key, it is easy to dream however to act upon the dreams is what it takes to get anywhere in life.
During this interview, Devki shared some of the best styling wisdom you’ll ever find. She can teach us all a thing or two about pursuing our ambition and creating our own Vogue stories.
- Full Name: Devki Bhatt
- Birth Date: 13 February 1986
- Occupation: Pharmacist, Fashion and Celebrity Stylist
- Residence: Kentucky, USA
- Alma Mater: University of Kentucky
- Parents name: Manan and Shula Bhatt
- Your mission: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
- Favourite Slogan: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs
Greetings Devki! Tell us how did you get started as Stylist?
- Indian actress Taapsee Pannu is a relative and we started in November 2014. She was kick-starting promotion for her movie Baby and we decided to collaborate. There was no looking back.
Tell us about your early life, career, your school & college life?
- I grew up in Ahmedabad till I was 12 and moved to US. I did most of my schooling here. Coming from a family full of Physicians I was always expected to follow the path they lead. I did my Bachelors in Biotechnology and proceeded to getting my Pharm D. in 2011.
Who are your biggest career influences?
- My sister and my husband. My sister always knew I had other interests apart from science. She always helped me carve a path that would aid me in following my passion yet keep my family happy. Pharmacy with my main career I always made time for other things in fashion. My now husband and boyfriend of 7 years always supported me in with my love for fashion and styling. I also work for Rue La La which leaves me doing two jobs. He was the one who said I could do both and gave me the support to turn into this person who works everyday of her live except 4 days a month.
What motifs do you fall back on?
- Simplicity in work, life and words.
Tell us about your personal life?
- Both of my parents and grandparents are physicians. I have an older sister who is also a Physician.
How often do you visit India?
- I visit India atleast once a year. I was in a long distance relationship for 7 years so at that time I used to visit more than once.
Which celebrities and special projects you have worked with?
- I have worked with Taapsee Pannu, Gauhar Khan, Manasvi Mamgai, Lakshmi Manchu and Darshan Kumaar. The projects that I have worked on are purely event based. I have not styled any shoots as yet.
You recently styled Taapsee for Honda event. How was your experience with her?
- I take every event I style seriously and always stress out till I see the final look. There is a sense of anticipation I have when I do these events. But when the final look comes together and my client looks stunning there is a sense of satisfaction and gratification. It gives my work its true meaning and worth. Honda was very specific about the kind of look they wanted and that is no different from what a client demands without the involvement of a Company like Honda. Ofcourse there was an added pressure to please not just your client but also a company.
Tell us about Devki as Pharmacist?
- I am extremely particular and demand perfection from all who work for me. I manage a Pharmacy in Stanford KY and have practiced as a Pharmacist for over 4 years. I love what I do and I love being able to reach out to patients and build a relationship with them. Just like in styling how you work to see the betterment in someone, Pharmacy gives me the same opportunity. I get to see a person go from sickness to health. In US Pharmacists are at the forefront of healthcare. Patients have to take an appointment to see their physicians not their pharmacists. Therefore we play a big role in providing health based needs.
When it comes to styling. I would ofcourse would be the first look I did for Taapsee. It was a miracle moment.
What’s your favourite memory while at work?
- Gosh its hard to think of one particular one. I was promoted to management over a year ago and had moved to a different pharmacy. My patients from old pharmacy started coming in to the new one just because of their faith in me. So whenever I see someone from my old place its always a memorable things for me.
- When it comes to styling. I would ofcourse would be the first look I did for Taapsee. It was a miracle moment. For someone unknown to Bollywood and not even in India to be able to coordinate the look. It gave me faith and strength to do what I do today.
What does your home, closet say about you?
- Simple, basic, clean and chic. Four words I would use to define my aesthetics. My closet is full of staples and neutral tones. I love all things black white and grey.
If you could bring back one celebrity from the past, who would it be?
- Unquestionably Audrey Hepburn.
When did you got married?
- I got married in December 2014 to my boyfriend of 7 years. We spent 7 years in a long distance. He lived in India while I was in US.
To someone reading this interview, give our readers one important piece of advice if someone was looking to get into this side of the field.
- Determination is the key. It is easy to dream however to act upon your dreams is what it takes to get anywhere in life. Also do this work with benefit of others in mind. It will give you a better perspective of things and help you make the right decisions. I know a lot of people think that in today’s day and age it is all about how you know. However, I beg to differ. I think if you keep trying and keep doing what you love someone will see your efforts and help you get on your chosen path of success.
What’s your favourite outfit?
- A pair of jeans and the oldest tshirt I own. I like comfort.
When do you feel most beautiful?
- Mornings when you are fresh and well rested. The world and its pressures have not gotten to you just yet.
What is your favourite accessory?
- My pearls. I love wearing my classic dior pearls.
Your essential footwear?
- My black Jean-Michel Cazabat black pumps. They go with any look.
Which brands you love the most? Why?
- I am not at all brand conscious. I choose things based on the fabric and the cut. I have a huge thing for how things feel on my skin. I don’t like synthetics. However in currently obsessing over Chloe and jcrew has always been my to go for everyday stuff.
I have too many _______
- Shoes!! I may have a problem here.
One advice to women?
- Be who you are. Don’t let the society and its pressures affect your decisions. Only you know what is best for you. Let life guide you not the opinion of others.
What do you look for in a man?
- I always have believed that behind a successful woman there is a supportive man. I believe it is extremely important to have someone who is there to guide and support you in your toughest times. A man should be supportive of a woman’s choices.
What your favourite places to find unique stuff?
- I believe the best way to find unique things is to travel the world. I pick up things from different countries and places we travel to. It gives them a meaning and a story.
Which movie & actor inspired your fashion sense?
- I am terrible at movies. I cannot sit through even one. I am too restless of a person to sit for more than 30 minutes. I don’t let the entertainment industry direct my choices. I like to style independently irrelevant of what is around me. My clients should look unique in their own way. They don’t follow a trend of a style. They look good by carrying their own personality through their looks.
Do you have some big goals in your life?
- I make goals everyday! I plan too much and at times I don’t think there is enough time in the day for me to do everything I want to do. I want to be a chef, a stylist, a pharmacist and a homemaker all in one. The struggle is real and constant. My goal I would say is never to stop learning. I want to grow as a human being, take in all that the world has to offer. Who know I might even learn how to make jewelry in a few years or start fly-fishing.
Styling in Bollywood is a very shallow and ruthless field. It is becoming more of a quantity over quality kind of a field.
Tell us about your upcoming projects?
- There is no way of telling in styling. Styling in Bollywood has become very competitive. And the stars focus so much on their looks that they may offer you a look and choose to go with another stylist if they like their look better. It is a very shallow and ruthless field. It is becoming more of a quantity over quality kind of a field. There is a new stylist almost every day. Which makes it hard to confirm any project till is actually takes place.
What’s your future planning for your career?
- I am content with the status quo. I want to keep styling for the love of it and keep it as stress free as possible. I want to continue to see a positive change in my clients through my work. I do hope to work with as many local designers as possible. I think as stylist we have this opportunity to showcase the new talent. If we don’t promote our own talent who will? Part of the reason why I love this job is it gives me this opportunity. So my future goal is to use as many new talented designers as possible in India on as many clients as possible.
Finally, give us one word that immediately comes to mind when we say “Devki Bhatt”?
- Honest. I am what I am and I will tell you like it is. Nothing dubious about me.