Priyal Prakash - Dressing Up Bollywood Flawlessly
“Priyal Prakash House of Design” debuted at Lakme Fashion Week, Summer Resort in March 2012 and thereafter showed its tussar silk range in 'Silks of Bihar', a fashion show by the Bihar Government. Today this major brand is available at Ogaan Hauz Khas Village, Anantam South-Extension, Delhi, Anahita Hyderabad, Collage Bangalore and has an online presence even internationally at – www.perniaspopupshop.com, http://www.indianroots.in/ andwww.exclusively.in
Her list of celebrity clients includes like of Shilpa Shetty, Sonakshi Sinha, Nargis Fakri, Anushka Ranjan and Pooja Hegde etc.
(Photo credit: Priyal Prakash House of Design)
Priyal Prakash, 33 years, swept the All India rank one at the NIFT entrance exams, continued to be one of the best academic performers over the years and topped with the best “Womenswear Designer Award” at her graduation in 2007. She made her much anticipated launch in September 2010 in New Delhi.
How did you find the designer in you?
Sometimes, I do think I am a born designer.
I grew up in Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand and a child in a middle class family. Even when really young, I would help my mother in landscaping her gardens, selecting saris for her to wear and the upholstery for house. Specially calling for interior decor magazines from the nearest bigger town. I refused to wear locally available clothes, so would think of innovative ideas on my own.
Since I was also good in academics, my parents let me get away with wanting to spend some extra time with clothes, fashion and home décor magazines. My schooling was done in St. Xavier’s. It is said that you do not choose your work, your work chooses you. And I’m glad that everything fell in place and I ended up in, NIFT, New Delhi. I had to convince my parents to let me shift from an academic background to fashion. But they knew how passionately I connected with fashion so they let me leave Sociology Honors in Miranda House and move to NIFT.
As a young and successful designer and an entrepreneur, how did you chart your own course through all the maze of challenges?
When we launched our first range, it received a lot of appreciation. However the appreciation did not convert into enough sales. As a new entrepreneur, it was difficult to assess the situation. Several retail outlets were not ready to showcase the collection as they thought people would not trust such newness from a new kid on the block. I was proud of my first collection (and still am). However, I had to accept that it was not a commercial success and move on. I did not recover the money that had gone into the research, and development. Organizing funds to keep going on was a great challenge at this time.
I am not much of an extrovert and my PR skills are limited. Putting my brand out in the market and promoting it to the right audience was a huge challenge for me. However, I learnt that word of mouth can work wonders for a genuine product and that we can always get help or hire skills we lack.
Our work force mainly consists of people who are uneducated or have primary education. Learning to communicate, instill professional ethics and educating them about maintaining quality standards, are things I continue to strive to better and achieve with my workforce.
Dealing with clients has also been a great learning. I have come across people who are humble and cordial, but that is not the case all the time.
I have seen failures and successes, have witnessed how the market changes, and am making mistakes and learning every single day.
The journey has been very humbling. I am transforming into a matured entrepreneur from an ambitious young professional every single day, but gladly the stubborn designer in me is still intact.
(Photo Credit: Pinterest)
What is your inspiration behind your work?
Different things inspire me at different junctures of my lives. When I started out, I wanted to offer my unique expression in clothing to the world. Then I wanted a sustainable brand. Today, I want to generate employment and better work opportunities for my staff. But what has not changed as a designer is the desire to always look for the purest non-influenced designs within me and realize it in the best possible way.
I am a non-conformist and a dreamer. I question things a lot. I can find beauty in the mundane. I strive to find meaning in everything. I design for the woman who is chic but snug, ambitious but warm, funny but poised, avant-garde but graceful.
(Photo Credit: Pinterest)
What has been the biggest challenge in your life and how has it shaped you as a person, designer and entrepreneur.
The changing dynamics of some personal relationships have shaped me the most. I was not someone who could embrace change but eventually I learnt the importance of letting go.
Even in my professional life, when something doesn't shape up the way I want it to, after the initial disappointment, I do try and look at the hidden opportunity the failure presents.
What message do you have for other women who want to succeed at their own calling?
As a kid, if I got scared before going on stage for elocution, my parents told me that the ones who are in the audience are probably wondering how you have the courage to be on stage.
So my message would be to face your fears as there is no one who is not scared or does not have doubts. There may be negativity around you but do not let it get inside you.
And lastly, there are no failures or mistakes, these are lessons in disguise.
What are the three things which lead to the triumph of your brand?
If I believe in something, I do not look for approvals. History is witness to the fact that new ideas are always first rejected, then opposed and then gradually accepted. I think I have sort of faced that (and still do) with my clothing. And my brand is gradually reaching phase three.
The belief I have in my products: Whether I generate great sales or I don’t, whether the appreciation from critiques/retailers/clients is in abundance or scarce, I always believe in my products. It is not arrogance. I am my biggest critique. Hence, I’m also sometimes unhappy with designs that fare well. So I do not sway from my ideas or designs. This has given my brand the identity it enjoys today.
My persistence; I am a mix of the rabbit and the tortoise. Sometimes I move fast (to achieve), sometimes I rest (to reflect) and sometimes I move slow and steady (for consistency). But I know I’m not part of a race and that I need to move for myself. That gives me hope that my brand has a future.