Rahul Mishra is not eccentric, as some may think, but humble and easy to talk to. He speaks of his craft as a professional would and relies on his personal sensibilities combined with market research to further his fashion business. He
showcased his designs at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2006 while pursuing a Masters in Graphic Design from NID, Ahmedabad. After the great response and many interviews he garnered, he decided to pursue a design course in Milan’s Instituto Marangoni. With a background as solid as that, Rahul fuses only the best techniques, craftsmanship and deepest knowledge of textile in his work. In 2008, he started his design business venture with Apple Tree that has being growing with a 100 per cent profit every season. Rahul’s designs transcend the age barrier and he boasts of clientele that ages from 16 to 60 years.
Being in touch with global and Indian market trends helps him understand consumers and their constantly changing needs. “The Indian market is huge. Europe and America are still recovering from recession, while Japan has been seriously hit by recent disasters. That’s why we’re seeing so many western labels come into the market as well,” says Mishra.
Even the Indian consumer is changing steadily. Till about five years ago, people wanted ready-made ensembles that could be worn as is, but now, he sees that the part of his collection comprised of separates like Chanderi coats sell more than the ensembles. Rahul explains, “Thanks to so many fashion magazines, people now understand how to wear and combine their outfi ts for maximum effect. Irrespective of age, people are also fitter and are therefore discarding conservative dressing styles.”
As a designer, he has experimented with wearable reversible clothing, dresses without seams and crafts from the heart of the country. He believes in retaining the purity of the art but the interpretation is obviously high fashion. His Fall collection last year featured khadi in dark greys and blues moulded into very international designs. Even his weavers were excited about creating something so different and beautiful with their art. While he’s keeping his upcoming collection a secret, he is letting us know that it will represent a pocket of India that wears a lot of colour. He clarifies, “The Indian design essence is not about loud colours or bling. Inherently, Indian textile is very sophisticated – chanderi, unbleached whites from Kerala, maheshwaris, kanjeevarams – zari in gold is common but Indian design is not synonymous with colour. There are only some regions in the country that wear colour and somehow they have come to represent the whole of India.”
He does share what he thinks is going to be huge on the global platform – the use of geometric silhouettes in fabrics like organza, translucent fabrics in monochromes and textures and functionality with sharp tailoring.
With his head on his shoulders, Rahul is surefooted on his way to achieving great heights in the world of fashion. “For me comfort comes first, style second and fashion third,” he says in all honesty.
Volume 1 Issue 3