It was a big day for Indian fashion on Friday, as Delhi-based designer Rahul Mishra became the first Indian to bag the prestigious International Woolmark Prize at the Triennale Museum in Milan, Italy.
We caught up with Mishra over the phone from Milan.
“I still have to pinch myself a thousand times to believe that I won. As soon as my name was announced, I broke down in tears. In that moment, I knew that my life had changed forever,” said Mishra, 33, who has joined an elite list of past winners that includes design legends such as Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.
The award focuses on innovation as shortlisted designers from across the globe are asked to come up with merino wool creations.
Rahul’s all-weather wool which he told us: “can even be worn in the Delhi heat!” and his fine detailing impressed the panel of judges, that included British model and fashion writer Alexa Chung and Frida Giannini, Gucci’s creative director.
“They were surprised to see my mostly monochromatic palette, something they did not expect from an Indian designer,” added Rahul.
Rahul beat popular contender from USA, Altuzarra, among others, to win the prize which includes AU$1,00,000 (around Rs 56 lakh), and an opportunity to be stocked in big retail stores around the world.