Padma Raj Keshri, Helena Bajaj Larsen, Mohammed Mazhar, Ayushman Mitra and Anvita Sharma along with Asit Barik are some of the young names in the design world who want to change the way fashion is perceived in India.
They are the winners of the 25th Gen Next batch for Lakme Fashion Week's Summer Resort 2018 edition. The programme has previously given names like Rahul Mishra, Nachiket Barve, Masaba Gupta, Kallol Dutta and Aneeth Arora.
Padma Raj Keshri, a 26-year-old from Ara in Bihar, says that young designers are opting for unique ways to set trends.
"The kind of processes young designers are following these days are out of the box and focus towards the end user and targeting them with the right product is the key to success and growth. Currently, the industry is back to the basics and the challenge is what to offer in limited resources with the theory of Less is More," he told IANS
The 22-year-old Helena Bajaj Larsen from Paris believes the fashion industry is heavily saturated and there is certainly no lack of talent, with design schools sending thousands of bright graduates out into this competitive world every year. However, she feels that it is important to wonder if what we are offering has never been seen before,
"The young designers who are making waves in the industry right now are usually highly distinctive in their style and are ensuring that their production methods are sustainable both in terms of social ethics and environmental protection.
"This is what I was able to observe throughout my years in Paris as well as my four years at Parsons in New York - where cutting edge design is always paired with a greater mission," she told IANS.
Mohammed Mazhar, a 27-year-old from Sahranpur says that the new crop of Indian designers is working on the ground level of the industry, and hence know the ambience of the industry in a better way.
Young designers today have a very strong individualistic approach to their work and research, feels 27-year-old Ayushman Mitra from Kolkata.
"The change is already here. The young lot believes in ethics and aesthetics. It is not about only creating what sells but also about individual vision. So, create a distinct universe of original and evocative design.
Anvita Sharma, the 27-year-old from New Delhi, feels that young designers have a great advantage in today's era of social media.
"It allows our generation of designers to reach and address a greater audience even beyond geographical borders. Also, they are not playing safe anymore. Experimentation in silhouettes, fabrics, techniques etc has reached another level all together. The thirst for newness is very evident thus resulting in the formation of products and concepts that have never been seen before," she said.
Added 30-year-old Asit Barik, "We as a brand feel that our generation isn't afraid of trying out new things and being unique and different. Specifically, Two. Two (brand that he runs with Sharma) believes in complete annihilation of existing norms, accepting the differences and imperfections amongst and within ourselves."
"Being an agender brand we also challenge the conventional image of masculinity and femininity. We believe in removing the categorical separation of the genders. Thus, creating a new identity which is beyond the binary. This anti-conformist attitude is also becoming prevalent in the mindset of the audience which has opened a new iota of experimentation for the new brigade of designers in the industry."
The forthcoming edition of fashion week will take place from January 31 to February 4 in Mumbai.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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