Prabal Gurung on Fashion and Diversity

Posted by Kristi Choi & filed under Fashion, People to Watch.

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With an impressive resume that includes dressing powerful women such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, and Oprah Winfrey, Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung is living the American dream, but his success is anything but an overnight miracle.

Prabal Gurung was born in Singapore and raised in Nepal before setting off to India to pursue his love of fashion at New Delhi’s Institute of Fashion Technology. After apprenticing for different designers, he moved to New York to attend Parson’s The New School of Design where he had the opportunity to intern for Donna Karan. With persistent hard work and dedication, he launched his own collection in 2009 and within three short years, women around the world can’t get enough of his designs.

Although Gurung acknowledges that dressing First Lady Michelle Obama was a significant milestone in his life, in his interview with Vogue magazine, he shares that how he has been able to highlight his native country of Nepal through his work is definitely one of his proudest accomplishments.

“Nepal is a third-world country in between China and India. When people talk about that region, it often gets ignored and neglected. By wearing my dresses she told millions of people back home that all you need is a dream and a dedication for things to happen”, Gurung tells Vogue.

If his go-getter personality, humble attitude, and exquisite designs weren’t enough to make me fall in love with Prabal Gurung, his awareness to the lack of diversity in the fashion industry was the perfect cherry on top. While Gurung doesn’t feel pressured that it is necessarily his duty to diversify the industry, he is aware of the very unequal representation in models being hired today. Nevertheless, he believes that fashion greatly reflects the society and is optimistic that as Asian countries become more economically powerful, we’ll be able to see more Asian models working internationally.

The good news doesn’t stop there though. For the majority of us who love high fashion but can’t seem to understand or afford to pay the high price tag for the beautiful pieces, Prabal Gurung is launching a much more affordable line in a collaboration with Target. Set to launch on February 10th, 2013 with prices ranging from $13- $200, the spring collection will showcase a mix of bright colors and stunning prints. This calls for a shopping trip down to the United States for all of us Canadians!

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