Strike a pose: Vibrant young designers from the Global South | Hindustan Times
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Strike a pose: Vibrant young designers from the Global South

Updated On Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

A new crop of designers is driving fresh ideas onto ramps around the world, as they redraw gender lines, and spotlight fading techniques. Take a look.

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F1 racer Lewis Hamilton wears a silk block-print quilt jacket designed by Gurugram-based menswear designer Kartik Kumra. The self-taught designer launched Karu Research in 2021 and works with handloom weavers from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, hand embroiderers from Delhi and West Bengal, and natural dyers from Karnataka and Odisha. He is one of 22 from around the world shortlisted for the 2023 LVMH Prize (which awards young talent with mentorship at the French fashion house and a 300,000-Euro grant). Rapper Kendrick Lamar and singer Joe Jonas have helped bring the 23-year-old into the spotlight.(Courtesy @karuresearch on Instagram) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

F1 racer Lewis Hamilton wears a silk block-print quilt jacket designed by Gurugram-based menswear designer Kartik Kumra. The self-taught designer launched Karu Research in 2021 and works with handloom weavers from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, hand embroiderers from Delhi and West Bengal, and natural dyers from Karnataka and Odisha. He is one of 22 from around the world shortlisted for the 2023 LVMH Prize (which awards young talent with mentorship at the French fashion house and a 300,000-Euro grant). Rapper Kendrick Lamar and singer Joe Jonas have helped bring the 23-year-old into the spotlight.(Courtesy @karuresearch on Instagram)

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This year, Rachel Scott became the first Jamaican semi-finalist for the LVMH Prize. Scott’s label Diotima, founded in 2021, weaves traditional handicrafts such as crochet and macramé into garments made from fine Italian fabric (see design above). She produces only two collections a year, made entirely by communities of traditional textile craftspeople. She hopes to widen the definition of sustainability beyond materiality, she has said, by supporting communities in the Global South who live on the frontlines of the rising oceans crisis.(Photo courtesy diotima.world) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

This year, Rachel Scott became the first Jamaican semi-finalist for the LVMH Prize. Scott’s label Diotima, founded in 2021, weaves traditional handicrafts such as crochet and macramé into garments made from fine Italian fabric (see design above). She produces only two collections a year, made entirely by communities of traditional textile craftspeople. She hopes to widen the definition of sustainability beyond materiality, she has said, by supporting communities in the Global South who live on the frontlines of the rising oceans crisis.(Photo courtesy diotima.world)

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Delhi-based Dhruv Kapoor, 34 (above), was the first Indian designer to showcase a menswear collection at the Milan Fashion Week, last year. His designs tend towards geometric floral motifs, maximalist prints and statement graphics. Most of the fabrics are either up-cycled or recycled. (Photo courtesy dhruvkapoor.com) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Delhi-based Dhruv Kapoor, 34 (above), was the first Indian designer to showcase a menswear collection at the Milan Fashion Week, last year. His designs tend towards geometric floral motifs, maximalist prints and statement graphics. Most of the fabrics are either up-cycled or recycled. (Photo courtesy dhruvkapoor.com)

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Kapoor’s January collection, The Embracer, explores the concept of alter-egos and the importance of individuality, unconditional self-love and growth, through kitschy graphics of iconic monsters such as Godzilla, representing aggression; floral prints to encourage stillness; and lace detailing for a brush of romanticism.(Photo courtesy @dhruvkapoor on Instagram) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Kapoor’s January collection, The Embracer, explores the concept of alter-egos and the importance of individuality, unconditional self-love and growth, through kitschy graphics of iconic monsters such as Godzilla, representing aggression; floral prints to encourage stillness; and lace detailing for a brush of romanticism.(Photo courtesy @dhruvkapoor on Instagram)

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Akshat Bansal’s collections are gender-fluid and size-agnostic. They take a stand on sustainability and the climate crisis, and embrace new technology as part of a possible solution. He likes to think his clothes resonate with his strong opinions. “I don’t think one should become a fashion designer if one does not have a strong point of view,” says the 31-year-old (above). (Raj K Raj / HT Archive) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Akshat Bansal’s collections are gender-fluid and size-agnostic. They take a stand on sustainability and the climate crisis, and embrace new technology as part of a possible solution. He likes to think his clothes resonate with his strong opinions. “I don’t think one should become a fashion designer if one does not have a strong point of view,” says the 31-year-old (above). (Raj K Raj / HT Archive)

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Bansal featured prominently at Paris Fashion Week last year, where he showcased heat-sensitive polyester dresses that change colour, glossy rubber jackets in geometric silhouettes, recycled PET-mesh trousers, and bodysuits made of econyl or regenerated nylon sourced from fishing nets abandoned in the sea.(Bloni) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Bansal featured prominently at Paris Fashion Week last year, where he showcased heat-sensitive polyester dresses that change colour, glossy rubber jackets in geometric silhouettes, recycled PET-mesh trousers, and bodysuits made of econyl or regenerated nylon sourced from fishing nets abandoned in the sea.(Bloni)

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A year after she launched her eponymous label, Mowalola Ogunlesi’s debut collection showed at London Fashion Week in 2018. At the 2022 Paris Fashion Week in June, her collection, Burglarwear (above), was described as being inspired by all types of criminals, from stockbrokers to kidnappers and priests. Her Fall/Winter 2023 collection was a commentary on capitalism that took the shape of mud-spattered oversized hoodies covered in bootlegged versions of real logos. “Low-key we’re literally in the last fight between life and tech. And I feel like a lot of corporations are gaining massive power over a lot of things,” Ogunlesi, 27, told Vogue last month. (Photo courtesy @mowalola on Instagram) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

A year after she launched her eponymous label, Mowalola Ogunlesi’s debut collection showed at London Fashion Week in 2018. At the 2022 Paris Fashion Week in June, her collection, Burglarwear (above), was described as being inspired by all types of criminals, from stockbrokers to kidnappers and priests. Her Fall/Winter 2023 collection was a commentary on capitalism that took the shape of mud-spattered oversized hoodies covered in bootlegged versions of real logos. “Low-key we’re literally in the last fight between life and tech. And I feel like a lot of corporations are gaining massive power over a lot of things,” Ogunlesi, 27, told Vogue last month. (Photo courtesy @mowalola on Instagram)

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The first African designer to be awarded the LVMH Prize (in 2019), Thebe Magugu was also a finalist for the prestigious Woolmark prize, in 2021. The 29-year-old has been releasing solo collections under his eponymous label since 2017, using motifs and details that draw from Africa’s cultural history. His Fall 2023 collection (see design above) features nautical motifs inspired by the legend of Mami Wata, a water spirit venerated in Africa as a guardian of the continent’s shores.(Photo courtesy @thebemagugu on Instagram) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

The first African designer to be awarded the LVMH Prize (in 2019), Thebe Magugu was also a finalist for the prestigious Woolmark prize, in 2021. The 29-year-old has been releasing solo collections under his eponymous label since 2017, using motifs and details that draw from Africa’s cultural history. His Fall 2023 collection (see design above) features nautical motifs inspired by the legend of Mami Wata, a water spirit venerated in Africa as a guardian of the continent’s shores.(Photo courtesy @thebemagugu on Instagram)

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The craft-focused menswear label Harago was born in 2019, when Harsh Agarwal (above), an economics and business management graduate from Western University, Canada, decided to focus on reviving dying craft techniques such as the sujini running stitch technique of Bihar, through a high-visibility fashion label.(Photo courtesy @harshagarwal95 on Instagram) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

The craft-focused menswear label Harago was born in 2019, when Harsh Agarwal (above), an economics and business management graduate from Western University, Canada, decided to focus on reviving dying craft techniques such as the sujini running stitch technique of Bihar, through a high-visibility fashion label.(Photo courtesy @harshagarwal95 on Instagram)

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Agarwal, 27, uses cross stitch (above), kantha and pattachitra artwork on cotton-silk shirts and co-ords (two-piece outfits in matching colours and fabrics). His Jaipur-based label retails internationally at Matches in London, New York’s Tony Shirtmakers, and the New Jersey-based concept store & Son, among others.(Photo courtesy @harago_ on Instagram) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Agarwal, 27, uses cross stitch (above), kantha and pattachitra artwork on cotton-silk shirts and co-ords (two-piece outfits in matching colours and fabrics). His Jaipur-based label retails internationally at Matches in London, New York’s Tony Shirtmakers, and the New Jersey-based concept store & Son, among others.(Photo courtesy @harago_ on Instagram)

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Uganda’s Bobby Kolade, 32 wants his genderless clothing brand to change how his country views the used clothing shipped in from the Global North. Currently, a lot of it is resold at rock-bottom rates, hurting the local textile industry. He aims to turn the discards into high-end designer wear that can then be resold at a heavy premium.  An ongoing collection, Return to Sender, consists of garments such as frayed denim jackets, patchwork hoodies and panelled sweatpants, each made from multiple shipped-in versions of themselves. Four-panelled T-shirts and hoodies (above) are recreated from parts of different tees.(Photo courtesy buzigahill.com) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 11:03 PM IST

Uganda’s Bobby Kolade, 32 wants his genderless clothing brand to change how his country views the used clothing shipped in from the Global North. Currently, a lot of it is resold at rock-bottom rates, hurting the local textile industry. He aims to turn the discards into high-end designer wear that can then be resold at a heavy premium.  An ongoing collection, Return to Sender, consists of garments such as frayed denim jackets, patchwork hoodies and panelled sweatpants, each made from multiple shipped-in versions of themselves. Four-panelled T-shirts and hoodies (above) are recreated from parts of different tees.(Photo courtesy buzigahill.com)

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