Manish Malhotra has chosen the next generation of Indian designers.
The superstar Indian designer was on the panel of judges that chose the winners of the Woolmark prize for Indian and the Middle East this week – Indian labels Antar-Agni (menswear) and Bodice (womenswear).
The regional final, which took place in Dubai on July 24, saw the two Indian labels selected by a panel of judges, which included Malhotra and editors of both UAE and Indian publications.
Each of the designers created one look that they feel represents them as a designer. For his menswear design, Uijawal Dubey of Antar-Agni created a grey one-toned layered look, taking inspiration from his own culture, with comfort being key to his design. Bodice’s Ruchika Sachdeva took inspiration from the 18th century costumes of Indian Nautch girls, which she contrasted with modern tailoring for her bold outfit design. She used panels of colour to off-set the sport luxe design.
‘The International Woolmark Prize is always a great experience,’ said Malhotra, ‘the judging gets tougher every year as the quality of work from designers nominated keeps getting better.’
‘Bodice scored high on adaptability, commercial viability and creativity of the look... and Antar-Agni created something true to his belief. We are keen to see how these designs will be received in the global market,’ added Malhotra, one of India’s top designers.
Each of the winners will be awarded around Dh200,000 to put towards developing their fashion label, and they will also compete in the International Woolmark prize final in Australia, which has a prize of around Dh580,000. Both winners will also receive mentoring support from a global team of fashion experts.
Previous winners have seen their designers featured in British Vogue and gained international recognition from the likes of Victoria Beckham and Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet.