Prabal Gurung mentoring aspiring jewellery designers
Prabal Gurung is determined to help aspiring designers who share the same passion he once had.
The Singapore-born Nepali fashion star is keen to aid those who want to get into the industry having previously participated in the CFDA Incubator and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
He's now gone from applicant to mentor on a venture titled Thailand Jewelry - 10 Imaginers, created by the Thailand Ministry of Commerce. It's a platform for South Asian designers to break into the U.S. market, with each contender already established in their home country.
“I absolutely identify with these young designers," Prabal told Observer. "I came to America with a dream: the only thing I ever wanted was to be a designer. The passion, dedication, and tenacity in these designers are traits I recognise in myself, especially when I was starting out years ago."
Thailand Jewelry - 10 Imaginers is sending 10 participants - including Sarran and Caso - to the Big Apple between 1-6 August (16) to attend the Accessories Market.
Prabal is currently based in New York, where he unveiled his debut collection during Fashion Week in 2009. He worked with the likes of Cynthia Rowley and Donna Karan before founding his own label, but praises fashion programmes for helping him fulfil his desire. Other recognition Prabal has received over his career so far include the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award and a nod for the 2010 CFDA Swarovski Womenswear Award.
“Programmes and infrastructure which provide education and opportunity to emerging designers, are incredibly important in the industry," he explained. "Participating was instrumental to my growth and success in the industry.”
Prabal knows how important it is to have a mentor in the business first hand, as he named Donna Karan CEO Caroline Brown as one along with a famous fashion editor.
“Anna Wintour has also had a great impact on shaping my career, for she forced me to understand fashion as both a creative form of expression, and a business," he added. "It was from her that the term art meets commerce was defined for me."