If four-year-olds can turn catwalk queens, then who says a pre-teen can’t design an entire clothing line? Twelve-year-old Prachi Badve, who first raised eyebrows by participating at the Pune Fashion Week at the age of nine, made her Mumbai debut at the recently-concluded India Kids Fashion Week.
“Teachers would complain that her grades were dropping because her notebooks were filled with sketches of dresses,” mom Pooja recalls.
The family finances Prachi’s collections, shelling out huge participation fees for the various fashion weeks. “We were worried about spending that kind of money on such a young child, but I reasoned that if she wanted to be a doctor, we would have invested about Rs 50 lakh in her education anyway,” says Pooja.
And if you thought that she was all talent, no technique, Prachi has already completed a diploma course in fashion designing at the Vidyanchal Institute in her native Pune. “After my first fashion week, there were lots of offers to study at various institutes. The schedule here matched my school timings, so I chose this,” she explains.
But the pre-teen, who wants to be the “most established designer in the world and dress Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan one day”, snaps at any question of her parents’ involvement. “I don’t know why people keep asking whether my parents are forcing me to do this, or if my mother designs the clothes and I take credit. No one in my family is involved in fashion,” she protests.
Her mother adds, “All 65 garments that she’s designed so far are lying in my house. I don’t want people to think I’m using my daughter to set up a business. I’m just helping build her brand. Once she’s old enough, she can turn professional.”