One of the most well-known and celebrated designers in India, Sabyasachi has built a name for himself like no-other. He has dressed all the major Bollywood stars including Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli, Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh and even Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas for their weddings. He has also collaborated with French shoe designer Louboutin and has dressed Hollywood stars like Renée Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon.
While a lot is known about the designer, it is still unknown to many that the ace designer was a student of economics and was almost on his way to Google after his studies. The designer was about to take up a high paying job in San Francisco but the unexpected turn of events took him to design.
For a man with such an impressive body of work, Sabyasachi is totally human. He has made mistakes and risen back from the ashes. In 2017, while talking to India Today, Sabyasachi talked at length his demons and about having suffered from depression. He called the mental illness a 'natural occurrence' and compared it with common cold.
He spoke about his own battle with depression, and said, “I was depressed, and I tried to kill myself. I was unconscious, and my mom gave me a slap. I was sad at moving to a new place. Moving from Chandannagar to Kolkata was like moving from suburbs to Paris. Depression is as common as common cold. If you’re not depressed, you’re not normal. My depression gave me a lot of clarity. Had I not been depressed, India would’ve lost me to some company called Google, in San Francisco.”
He has spoken quite openly about his depression after this interview. In another interview with ET Panache, the designer said, “I got into severe depression when I was 17. I tried committing suicide. It was a failed attempt. Mental health in today’s day and time, with this quick pace of life, is becoming more pronounced. And people need to understand that it is not something that one needs to be ashamed of or fear because it’s quite normal. And we need to just address it as normally as possible.”
He spoke at length about how lack of creative freedom and lack of self-expression in his early years resorted him to turn to design as an outlet. He said, “I think a lot of us creative people suffer from a lack of self-expression. [At the time] I was a creative person in the wrong education stream. I was studying medicine, then economics, wasn’t very sure what I would do. Self-expression helped me cope with the frustrations of not being able to find a creative outlet, I started expressing myself by dyeing my hair orange and wearing ripped jeans with safety pins on them, inspired by Madonna.”
“I think the big stigma that happens to most people comes from isolation where people think I’m probably the only one who’s going through it. But when you reach out to a community you realise you’re not. I think right now there is a lot of conversation happening on mental health and everybody can find their community, sometimes if not offline, then definitely online.”
In the past, celebrities like Deepika Padukone and Shaheen Bhatt have also opened up about their battle with depression.