“I don’t sell clothes, I tell stories.”
Earlier this year, Rahul Mishra made history by becoming the first Indian designer to win the coveted international Woolmark prize.
In this official 25-minute documentary chronicling the journey of the finalists — the list included Joseph Altuzarra from the US and Sibling from the UK — Mishra recounts how he would never have imagined reaching this stage as a young boy far removed from the world of fashion.
“I was always a creative person, but had no idea how to express myself,” Mishra says. “Only when I went to college did I understand what design meant. It’s more than art, it’s about responsibility.”
While judge Alexa Chung admitted that it was Mishra’s devotion to his design philosophy that won her over, the documentary really drives home the fact.
“Right now in India, there’s a lot of possibility, and craftsmen require designers like us to make their livelihood sustainable and more accessible,” he says, adding. “Sustainable luxury is the word for me.”
Hopefully following in Mishra’s footsteps are a new set of participants from India recently announced for the next edition of the competition — Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta and Zubair Kirmani for womenswear, and Barkha Sonzal for menswear who will compete regionally this summer in Mumbai along with designers from Pakistan, Lebanon and the UAE. The winner will join the international finals next year.