The Indian designers competing for the International Woolmark Prize 2018

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What are the odds of getting a second chance at a milestone opportunity? For designer Dhruv Kapoor, it’s all played out like a surreal dream. A year after showcasing his work at the regional round of International Woolmark Prize in Dubai, Kapoor has been nominated yet again for the 2018/19 Prize. Joining Kapoor at the regionals in Hong Kong next month will be Miuniku sisters Tina and Nikita Sutradhar (who’ve previously snagged the Special Jury Prize at LVMH’s Prize for Young Fashion Designers in 2014). Whoever makes it to the final 12 will face a panel of stalwart industry insiders, including Diet Prada makers Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, who will have their eyes peeled to spot innovation and authenticity. Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice bagged the coveted title last year. Do you think India can win the Prize twice in a row? We spoke to former Vogue India Fashion Fund winner Dhruv Kapoor to find out what he has planned for the big do-over.

Second time in a row! How did it happen this time? Why do you think you’ve been called back?

I feel really lucky for getting a second shot at this, moreover because the entire process has changed. The regional round is now judged at a global scale and I can’t be more proud to have made it along with Miuniku.

Any learnings from the last time? What would you change about the collection, or even the presentation?

We played it too safe last time and the product was too commercial. From all the feedback, we gathered that they are looking at the concept, and the buyers anyway tweak the collections. This time we are crossing our comfort zone—retaining our identity but exploring new avenues.

What’s the brief this time? How are you interpreting it?

The Woolmark Company has requested for fabric swatches only, so we are going all out trying to build an eclectic blend of technology and tradition. It will take a lot of research and development to conclude [in] the best language possible for the brand. The entire collection is more conceptual, wearable of course, but crazy in a way. We need to show sketches and two outfits from the previous season, and luckily our category is menswear and womenswear, where we are pushing out 70 per cent womenswear and 30 per cent menswear.

The Prize comes along with a mentorship from the best in business, along with many retail opportunities. What would this prize mean for the brand and how do you plan to grow it? 

The immense exposure is a side entry to the ever-growing business. I personally love to hear what people think, and take it in stride to perform better, but in the end I play by instinct. We are planning to tap New York and Milan to start with. We’re looking at pop-up stores, showrooms and later, flagship stores. The International Woolmark Prize gives us a big big push and brings us closer to our objectives. The panel, the council—I have something to learn from each one of them. Whether its Sara [Sozzani Maino]’s creative counselling or Tim Blanks’ choice of words and even Diet Prada’s [focus on] authenticity, I am excited and ready.

What do you think sets you apart from the other nominees?

We all come with our own vision and we are all striving for the best. But we are definitely going to put our surfaces to practice here.

How would you describe your aesthetic and brand?

An eclectic mix of past and future with a hint of eccentricity.

Have a look at his spring/summer 2018 in our slideshow below.

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data-cycle-caption-template=”{{slideNum}}/{{slideCount}}”>Dhruv-Kapoor-1Dhruv Kapoor spring summer 2018Dhruv-Kapoor-2Dhruv Kapoor spring summer 2018Dhruv-Kapoor-3Dhruv Kapoor spring summer 2018Dhruv-Kapoor-4Dhruv Kapoor spring summer 2018

The post The Indian designers competing for the International Woolmark Prize 2018 appeared first on VOGUE India.


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