As this year marks the 10th edition of Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s reader’s choice India’s Best Awards, we are elated to introduce IBA Icons—an editorial-led category that felicitates 10 changemakers and trendsetters across hospitality and lifestyle industries. Presenting the Sustainable Fashion Icon, Rahul Mishra.
Rahul Mishra’s designs are a marriage of traditional crafts and modern tailoring. “We create fashion independent of trends and seasons,” says the fashion designer. “This slowness allows us to put the spotlight on India’s diverse craft heritage and employ local communities who find themselves threatened by industrialisation, mass production, and the psychological impacts of fast fashion.” Empowering artisans aside, the Delhi-based designer is also into green initiatives like upcyling scrap fabrics and refurbishing older embroideries. Mishra’s crowning glory came in 2014 during the Milan Fashion week, where he won the International Woolmark Prize, an award that celebrates designers who demonstrate innovative use of fabrics and textiles. He was the first Indian designer to clinch the title. Since then, Mishra has showcased his work at fashion weeks in London, Dubai, and Australia; he has been a regular on the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week; and more recently, he launched the Couture Fall 2021 collection, The Shape of Air, based on the time he spent in Santorini during the pandemic. “We hope to create more employment opportunity for people by using slower processes and creating sustainable, slow-fashion clothing,” says Mishra. “I cannot think of being inspired without thinking about the kaarigars I work with, and how every piece of clothing can be a source of livelihood for them.
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