India's craftsmen are its soft power
Designer Rahul Mishra says the country is the best producer of slow fashion
India may not be the most fast forward country in consumption of fashion, but it is the best producer of slow fashion, says Rahul Mishra. The designer should know.
Hailing from Kanpur, Mishra became the first Indian winner of the International Woolmark Prize in 2014 and has seen a fair amount of success for his work abroad.
He says the fashion industries in India and the West are too far apart in their timelines to deserve a comparison. "But India for sure is picking up and doing really well.
And every Indian designer takes a lot of pride in the fact that their country has its unique beauty and power of hands. It's like a soft power – of creating beautiful things," says the designer.
A power that comes not just from big fashion houses, designers and models, "It has its foundation in the millions of artisans, who silently work behind the scene to create what sells as fashion.
India is way ahead of everyone else in that artisanship. And you see that in the clothes and the jewellery that the country produces traditionally," he says.
According to Mishra, it is the power of Indian craftmanship that has led international brands to invest in the designers here lately.
For the designer himself, "Fashion is something very emotional for me. It's a tool to pen my own poetry on fabric. That is the beauty of fashion."
Mishra recently showcased his Spring Summer 2020 collection at the Paris Fashion Week, and is currently working on his next collection, inspired by some cities and an island. "Let's see what happens," he says.
And his advice to the millennial buyers, "Be yourself, and do not fall into the trap of just buying things.
Buy less, buy good, buy with genuineness, because we all have much more than we need. Invest your time and money in things that inspire," he concludes.