Growing up in a sleepy village 53 miles off Kanpur, Malhousie, Rahul Mishra, who spent his childhood with his grandparents, grew up listening to stories. Stories of all kind - religious, historical, moral, and about balance and humanity. A government school nearby was where his education foundations were laid. A physics graduate from Kanpur University, and a chance encounter with a design school, saw him trail to the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad for a postgraduate degree that turned to be the turning point. He found his calling, in an atmosphere that questioned his commitment to the world around him and how Design was a powerful tool to alienate people’s problems.
The steps here took towards addressing issues of empowering the vast skilled artisans and craftsmen he encountered during his dissertation projects made up his mind, and the debut collection borne out of a project on Kerala handlooms, took him to Istituto Marangoni on a scholarship.
2008 saw the genesis of the label Rahul Mishra in Mumbai. Setting out with its first collection itself the brand endeared to establish its identity with textiles and craft intervention etching a new language in handmade couture. “Let craft lead the way” was the crux from which the brand sought to sew its presence and create fashion that is relevant, and serve larger cause. And from this inspiration evolved the belief, that a tradition that has been practiced for generations, and has upheld economies, can be molded into a chic, modern, urban wear line. The staunch belief in the ages old crafts, and the ability to interpret it in a new language saw consequent collections collaborating with crafts from various regions of India. Sustainable, ethical, slow fashion, are terms that are increasingly used to term his work of redefining ideas of fashion.
2014 catapulted Rahul Mishra on to the global stage, with the winning of the prestigious and coveted International Woolmark Prize in Milan’s La Triennale Museum on the sidelines of the Milan Fashion Week. His work won global applause and reverberated the year round from New York to Sydney, Milan to Beijing. Buoyed by the success he made his international debut at Paris Fashion Week SS'15, and is now a regular on the calendar and into his second season.
Presently the label retails at the best fashion stores, and online portals in the world, besides a chain of retail networks across India. Rahul Mishra features in the 2014 edition of BoF 500 (Business of Fashion) amongst an august list of people shaping global fashion industry. “It’s important to keep your passion alive. Craftsmanship is not like any profession, its not just about making money, it gives you passion and that is the magic of fashion.