“Not every Indian designer wins an International acclaim quite that often, but when it does, it makes it big.”
Delhi-based designer Suket Dhir’s brand Suketdhir won the famous ‘International Woolmark Prize’ this January 2016 at the Pitti Uomo (the biannual menswear trade show) in Florence, Italy. The award recognises design excellence using merino wool.
Dhir made it to the list of six finalists from over 70 nominees around the world, before winning the award. He quoted to NY Times on his win “I didn’t expect it, but I was hoping. My god was I hoping. This is the most beautiful and surreal moment for me, my family and all my team back in New Delhi. It is a real game changer for the house of Suketdhir.”
Launched in 2009, the brand wins a cash prize of $70,000, and also partnerships with department stores around the world to sell the winning collection. This award will steady the career ship for fledgling designer’s career. Dhir said that while he wanted to go international, he didn’t have the right contacts. So, this win will provide him the perfect Launchpad to grow his name globally on the fashion circuit.
“The judging panel said it was impressed by the collection’s contemporary take on classic Western tailoring with an Indian twist – homage to the style of his grandfather that marries sharp lines with a romantic sub continental fluidity,” the New York Times report further stated.
In 2014, designer Rahul Mishra also bagged the similar award in the women’s wear category.
Earlier last year, Suket Dhir also shared his valuable inputs with the fashion design students of Pearl Academy Noida. During the chat with the Pearlites, Mr. Dhir quoted the importance of organic fashion in the near future. Dhir also runs a Weddingwear and Womenswear capsule but these are not his priority list.
Check out more of his work: Here
To every artist, his each art piece is special but he makes his identity in the world with his greatest masterpieces that challenge the power of imagination of the audience. One such emerging Indian artist is Nandan Ghiya, faculty at Pearl Academy Jaipur, who believes that any arrangement of form and space defines individual, cultural, geographic or economic identities.
Through his artworks under his signature ‘deFacebook Project’, Nandan has gone on to develop his unique point of view on contemporary societies and human relationships thereby making his work an interesting interface between the past and the present where faces, genres and pixels mix and match in a series of vintage print collages.
Recently, Nandan’s work was published in ‘Photography and Inherited History of India‘, a book by San Jose Museum of Art in Association with University of California Press. This book accompanies the exhibition of the same name organized collaboratively by San Jose Museum of Art California and Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas on the view in San Jose from February 5 through August 2, 2015 and in Wichita from September 12 through December 12, 2015.
For his project, Nandan took inspiration from the nearly bygone tradition of studio photography, he invited participants to pose against a constructed space which was created using pixelated vinyl-print cut-outs of photography studio objects like a chair, a flower bouquet on a stool, a backdrop or a carpet. Photo documentation is taken, then manipulated on a computer and printed with an instant photo-printer.
Nandan’s tryst with the art is not new. Apart from being born and brought up in Jaipur, he comes from a family of art dealers and his earliest memories of growing up was surrounded by pictures of ancestors, gurus, and political heroes hanging on the walls of his ancestral home. His experimental art practice challenges our perception of the status-quo and thus presents a new perspective of the young generation from a country with long-standing histories and cultures within a fast globalizing world.
“I was not able to help my sister but then I decided to help all those sisters who face the same problem.” says Kartik Verma whose maiden project ‘Assuage Mom’ took him to the top 3 positions at the Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition. The project that caters to the pregnant and nursing women, has already received huge appreciation at International level for its perfect value proposition and unique target audience.
Kartik is a Level 3 student of Fashion Business Management (FBM) at Naraina campus of Pearl Academy. Talking about the journey of his ambitious project ‘Assuage Mom’, Kartik says, “Assuage Mom was conceptualised in level 2 of my graduation when we were supposed to develop a business plan to fill the market need gap. Many ideas came to my mind but they were not beneficial for the society. So, I thought of listing down the products that would be beneficial for any of my family member. And, that’s when I thought of solving my sister’s problem. She had to think twice before going out with her baby about her clothes and the place. Many a times she ignored outings so that she could feed her baby comfortably.”
‘Assuage Mom’ is an exclusive brand developed to provide clothing for nursing mothers, especially catering to the Indian culture where feeding is considered to be a very private practice. As a brand, Assuage Mom not only fulfils the functional parameters but it is also high on fashion quotient to meet the needs of the contemporary Indian women.
With the rapid increase in number of working women professionals, there is a huge need gap of such products to support them in maintaining a fine balance between personal and professional lives. The idea behind this is to make these super moms look good, confident and not restrict them from their day-to-day activities. She should look a gorgeous and proud mother with no hints of shyness or embarrassment.
Another major USP of the brand is the organic fabric used in manufacturing the garments, which makes them eco-friendly and sustainable. Also, these clothes are skin-friendly, anti-bacterial and softer than cotton that will pamper women during this most important phase of their life.
While designing the product line, factors like comfort and convenience were given utmost priority to provide the mother a soothing experience. These garments will comfort moms in their last trimester of pregnancy and will also prove to be a beneficial option for nursing after delivery.
How it is different from other Maternity Brands? Assuage mom is not a just a maternity wear brand, it is a lot different from all the maternity wear brands present in the market online or offline like Ninematernity, FirstCry, etc. today. The uniqueness of this brand lies in the concept that it takes care of the mother during the period of pregnancy and will carry the same during the nursing phase. The Indian market has yet to experience something of this sort.
Kartik achieved what many would aspire for but the real task is actually a mammoth one and it is standing right in front of him – to prove the worth of his pioneer brand ‘Assuage Mom’ and turn it into a successful venture.
We wish him Good luck for the competition finale and for his future endeavors as well!
***The Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition promotes the entrepreneurial spirit among students at Laureate International Universities Network institutions. This competition has two categories – one for undergraduate students and the other for working adults, graduate students and recent alumni. The team with the best business plan at each participating network institution receives an award established by the local institution. The top six teams in the network (three undergraduate and three graduate/alumni/working adult teams) are invited to a global competition, which takes place at the Annual Laureate Leadership Summit. To know more about the competition, click here: Global James McGuire Business Plan Competition