Sanyukta Shrestha, London based Nepalese bridal designer has become an established name in the UK bridal industry. Regarded as the fast rising star of the industry, she has won various awards Best Wedding Newcomer Award by THE PERFECT WEDDING AWARD 2011 and Bridal Innovation Award by JP SELECTS EXCELLENCE AWARD 2011. Among her counterparts, she differentiates easily due to her brand unique selling point of using eco-friendly materials with the hand-crafted luxury. As a result, the whole collection is driven by a ‘LOVE GREEN-BELIEVE IN ETHICS’ ethos.
Her career has spanned in different countries from Nepal, United Kingdom to Republic of Ireland. Already very popular and established designer in Nepal, she was the official designer for Miss Nepal beauty pageant for many years until she came to England to pursue her fashion degree. In United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, the height of her success is reaching its peak. Even though she is based in London, she still contributes a great deal to Nepalese economy as the fibres used for her collection are imported from Nepal. We managed to interview her who we found is a very humble and quite busy lady. Let us witness her journey to the stardom together.
1. How was your journey from Nepal to UK in terms of breaking into both fashion markets. What difference did you find between these two fashion market?
Breaking in both markets was not easy but naturally, it was more obvious that breaking into international market was not easy at all especially when you are in a new country with no connection to the fashion field, you need to pave the way for your career.
2. What inspired you to get into fashion designing at the first place?
My passion for art and design.
3. You have previously designed in Miss Nepal, if you get offer to design for Miss Nepal again would you consider designing for them?
Yes, I will.
4. Lakhotia Institute and London College of Fashion is where you studied for your fashion designing. Can you briefly talk about what you managed to grasp and learn from each academic institute?
I studied in both as I did diploma from Lakhotia Institute and degree from London College of Fashion. I guess in Lakhotia, I learn to crawl in the fashion world and in London College of Fashion I learn to walk. It was a natural growth.
5. Did you face any difficulties/hardships during your time in London studying and trying to break into the bridal market?
I guess I chose a long voyage where hardship is part of it. Breaking into international industry is certainly not easy. Many hurdles came but my objective would be just following my path that keeps my journey happy and meaningful.
6. What inspired you into designing bridal gown and head gears?
I have been always passionate about bringing inner beauty of woman through my design. I believe designing for brides is very fulfilling as you tend to become the important part of someone’s lifetime dream.
7. Your whole brand is focused on eco credentials and is USP for your brand. Do you believe people buy more eco-friendly products than non-eco-friendly products at the moment ?
I believe the more people are aware about the benefit of having eco-friendly products than man-made chemically treated products and its impact to our earth and oneself, the growth is inevitable.
8. The materials you use for your clothes do you get them from Nepal?
Yes indeed. Most of Organic and fair-traded natural fabrics like Organic cotton and bamboos, Nettle, hemp, banana fibres are hand-woven in Nepal
9. Talking about Nepali fashion industry, do you feel that there have been any improvements in the industry?
Yes, I can see many emerging talented designers in Nepal and the models. Our Nepali fashion industry will surely grow.
10. What do you like to do in your usual time?
Just to be with my husband and share dreams.
11. Your favourite fashion designer
Late Alexander McQueen & Valentino.
12. Your inspiration
13. Any plans to go back to Nepal?
Many plans!! Actually I am always up and down in Nepal and UK.
14. Your favourite food
15. Any advise to young people aspiring to become fashion designer?
Learn your skill, study hard and try to find a fashion related apprentice work. Get ready for all hurdles that you may find on your way but remember determination, perseverance and believing own self is a key to a goal.
Finally, be prepared that being a fashion designer isn’t glamorous all the time!
The designer herself with one of the awards she received
Image credit for catwalk images: White Gallery London
Editor’s Note: Sarita Chamling Rai, a London-based fashion blogger is the author of this post who contributes to the weekly Fashion Friday segment on TexasNepal Blog. To read more of her blog posts please visit her personal blog at fashionbeautybug.com.