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retail | IST

TAILOR MADE BIZ: Designer Suket Dhir on being the first Asian to win the Woolmark Prize in the menswear category

A NIFT graduate, Suket Dhir’s work is defined by a minimalist approach with intricate detailing. Suket emphasizes on the importance of playful fabrics and little details and gives fabrics his very own definition inspired by his travels. His design philosophy follows leisure in all its forms with a simplistic aesthetic. In 2016, he was awarded the International Woolmark prize in the menswear category.
He describes his brand as one that embodies the ‘Less is more’ philosophy showcased in the garments through masterful detailing and clever design. A brand where Maharajas in their poshakhs roam around on Segways and Maharanis take selfies. Suket’s work can be described as Whimsical fantasies in contemporary minimal silhouettes.
CNBC-TV18 anchor Sohila Bajaj chats with Suket Dhir as he shares the importance of believing in your vision and translating it without external influences.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Sohila:
You won the International Woolmark Prize, which was won by an Indian or an Asian for the first time for menswear back in 2016. Did it change the ethos of your brand?
Suket: No, it just made me believe in my vision even more because it was an internal journey for me winning that award. When it comes to international fashion, you work with seasons, cycles and timelines. It is very professional. Whereas my whole process is incumbent on the weavers, block printers and karigars playing their roles. And these guys don't work with logic or follow timelines, and they often take leaves for personal occasions. For the past two-three years, we've been trying to follow international timelines.
Sohila: You’re looking at fashion through an international lens?
Suket: Yes, I was always looking at it that way; it just reinforced the fact that I was thinking the right way. The clothes that I wear have an Indian soul; there's always something Indian about them. I don't like making things look ethnic; I prefer to give a spin to the fabric.
Sohila: Clearly, you’re a big believer in the advantages of linen. How long have you been using the fabric for?
Suket: When we launched our collection in 2010, linen was amongst my khadi cottons and other cottons. Linen was my go-to fabric. I started developing my own linen three years ago as soon as I started working with weavers from West Bengal. We sourced our linen from Jaya Shree textiles (that manufacturers linen fabrics through Linen Club) in Kolkata. There is no fabric I would rather choose to wear in summer than linen; especially fine linens. As soon as the fabric touches your skin, you feel cool.
Watch more episodes of Tailor Made Biz here.
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