'My aim is to encourage young talent'

'My aim is to encourage young talent'

ROYAL DESIGNER

'My aim is to encourage young talent'

Who says gone are the days when kings undertook quests? This prince from the desert town of Jodhpur has embarked upon the quest to create and prom­ote the ‘Indian design’.

Metrolife talks to fashion-costume designer and entrepreneur, Raghavendra Rathore about his tryst with the Jodhpuri designs, and his quest to promote Brand India.
A member of the royal clan of Jodhpur and a cousin of Maharaja Gaj Singh, Ragh­a­v­e­ndra’s initial schooling was in India. He later went abroad for almost a decade for further education and work.

“I felt complete and saturated and took the decision to come back to India. It was the right decision then as it was the beginning of everything in design. It was partly personal as I was emotionally close to my parents and my father had met with an accident.

But partly it was the belief to embark upon a new journey, using all my experience to bri­ng tailored clothing to India.” Something that nobody else was doing.

He introduced exquisite bandhgala jackets and achkans to the ramps of the fashion world. The reason for his designs was “the challenges that the modern Indian society was facing. Earlier, the design aspect of a product was not so important. But now there is a surge in design. In this age of infrastructure, be it a car worth one lakh rupees, a flyover or future cities, the design element is important. Design is not to do with only fashion, it is also the essence of our social fabric. Design is important for not just hi-end products but also lifestyle products for everyday use like a toothbrush, pen or mobile.”

He thus accepted the offer of National Textile Corporation for a Young Designer Hunt. “In every creative pursuit there has been some initiative but in design there was not much scope. This is the first time that the Government of India is taking the initiative to promote design and create a new generation of young designers who will design products for brand India stores. I feel it is important to promote this because a lot of existent products have not been evolved. If you have a store at the airport, the products should even be eloquently packed so that one is enticed to buy them. My aim is to encourage young talent to not only think about catwalks and fashion shows but also design for products that appeal internationally.

“The fundamental reason behind this is when I ask people what is an ‘Indian design’, I never get a straight answer,” he shares adding, “there is a big quest required to find this out. My focus for the next decade is to search what true Indian design is, so that the next generation of Indian designers do not design through Google or a Western template but try to understand what the previous generation has left for them.”
Even wealth could not dissuade him from his quest and he remains selective in desig­n­ing for Bollywood.

“When Vidhu Vinod Chopra approached me for Eklavya - The Royal Guard, the script and story board were so perfectly aligned with our brand and we got a chance to showcase an entire collection of clothes to the masses. It was the beginning of our love affair with Bollywood and we got a lot of offers after that but chose not to do them because the idea of creating wealth is to create it while you do something good.” In fact, he agreed to design for Akshay’s look in OMG! Oh My God but any further association with Bollywood is uncertain.

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