Finding a balance between commercial successes, mixed with innovation yet wearable clothes, is what has won Indian label Pankaj & Nidhi critical acclaim since the duo launched in 2006.
Celebrated for their fresh and crisp sensibility, this powerhouse couple pushes the boundaries when it comes to style and elegance. Their creations are charming and spontaneous, with generous use of colours, inspired by craftsmanship, symbolic and cultural objects.
“Nothing about us is minimal,” Pankaj & Nidhi
“We come from a land that’s used to exhibitionism, the colours that we see when we walk out on the street. It’s what we’ve grown up with, nothing about us is minimal,” explains Pankaj. “When you see a thing of beauty then you’re inspired to create things of beauty. What could be more inspiring than that?”
Inventing a contemporary language, creating clothes that tell stories for women who love freedom and authenticity and those who are always on a quest for originality remains the mission for Pankaj & Nidhi.
“I think when we started out we were just wanting to discover what our brand would look like and over the years we have evolved a language, a handwriting, for our brand,” explains Nidhi. “We want to represent the colours of India, the craftsmanship, but in a very global form.”
In their final submission for the 2012/13 International Woolmark Prize India regional final, the duo’s cultural heritage and enthusiasm for colour was clearly reflected in their garments and impressed the esteemed judging panel which included Fashion Design Council of India President Sunil Sethi, Vogue India Editor Priya Tanna, Kimaya Fashions founder Pradeep Hirani and Lock Group CEO Simon Lock.
Pankaj & Nidhi’s distinct style and love for natural fabrics shines through in each collection, with colour and vibrancy coming naturally to both designers.
“India’s so gifted in terms of the crafts and resources that it has and our brand uses these resources in a way to make a contemporary language in a way that can be understood by the world,” explains Pankaj. “There are very subtle expressions and very vibrant expressions. Our philosophy is very slow and steady wins the race.
“Working with wool has been an eye-opener for us. This has been like the unfolding of a love affair; we’ve found that wool takes to our ideas in a beautiful way, it reacts beautifully to colour, and it’s got these amazing qualities which make it so versatile.
“We find the Woolmark Prize just a fantastic opportunity to make such a dream come true.”
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