If you haven’t heard about Sanyukta Shrestha before she is a London based Nepalese bridal wear designer who has been regarded as a fast rising star of the industry having been awarded The Best Perfect Wedding Newcomer Award 2011 & Bridal Innovation Award 2011. She is the driving force behind the industry’s future as seen by the British media and the industry alike.
Born in Nepal, she has been awarded best designer several times in Nepal and international beauty pageants, since the year she started her design journey at the age of 17. A graduate of London College of Fashion, she has worked in bridal and retail industry in the UK for 5 years before setting up her own label. With her beautiful approach on ethical designs, she has brought a breath of fresh air, passion and distinct styling to the British bridal industry.
Her aim is for a new vision for bridal wear, one that combines an eco-friendly approach with the hand-crafted luxury, expected of the most desirable bridal collections & millinery; the whole collection is driven by a ‘LOVE GREEN-BELIEVE IN ETHICS’ ethos. Most of the natural fibres used in the bridal collections are skilfully hand spun and hand loomed by village women in Nepal.
Through blending sustainability with her ethical beliefs, Sanyukta intends to create opportunities for women in this area of the world, by merging and turning their traditional skills into delicate fabrics and exquisite designs. Sanyukta’s bridal collections goes beyond the one special occasion and are valued as collectable pieces of sustainably hand-made, hand woven and hand crafted products. From luxurious silk wedding gowns to exquisite bridal millinery each style within this collection follows ecologically green guidelines, with fabrics from ethical and fair trade certified manufacturers.
Sanyukta Shrestha’s launch of her first eponymous bridal collection in the 2011 White Gallery London created a stir in the wedding industry. Recognition for her work has come from features in leading magazines Conde Nast Brides, You and Your Wedding, Wedding UK, Perfect Wedding, Bridal Buyer, Attire Bridal and also from international press like Vogue Sposa, Sposa Bella and Fashion TV.
Sanyukta Shrestha couture wedding gown Pippa from 2013 collection has been now preserved in Fashion Museum, Bath as a unique piece of art.
She has also been honoured with Highly Commended Brand Leader in Design at Source Awards 2012, The Global Awards for Sustainable Fashion.
Sanyukta Shrestha collections are currently stocked in luxury Bridal Boutiques in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Recently Sanyukta Shrestha team hosted a launch event to introduce press and industry to the new flagship store ‘Behuli‘. Behuli means bride in Nepalese and I am so glad that she picked that name for her store showing her Nepalese heritage.
Behuli is an extension of Sanyukta’s ethos ‘Beauty with a conscience’ focusing on providing luxury bridal wear that is individual and ethical.
The event was attended by many notable people in bridal fashion industry from leading bridal Editors, Fashion directors & stylists, to wedding planners, Photographers & bridal boutiques owners.
“I believe in individuality and I enjoy bringing out inner beauty, a reflection of personality of woman who wears my design. For me feeling good is equally important as looking good. My desire has been always to create beautiful designs that are luxurious, indulgent, individual and equally sustainable. Through following ecologically green guidelines for all our production process using only eco fabrics that are sourced from trusted suppliers and hand weaved through the traditional skills of Nepalese village women, we are trying to ensure that the whole creative process of our gowns is ethical and natural. It is ultimately all about creating ‘beauty with a conscience’. – Sanyukta Shrestha
To know her better please read the following interview from myrepublica.com.
After the Best Wedding Newcomer Award 2011, Bridal Innovation Award 2011 and Highly Commended Brand Leader at the Source Award 2012, your wedding gown has now made it into The Fashion House. How do you feel?
“This is surely one of the happiest moments of my life as a designer. It’s so great to be recognized for doing work that you truly believe in. It is a wonderful feeling and I feel honored. It inspires and encourages me to work even harder to create better work.
What is SOURCE Awards and how important is this award for you?
The SOURCE Awards are Global Awards for Sustainable Fashion, which celebrate and focus the spotlight on the most innovative, inspirational businesses, individuals, and initiatives in the fashion industry, globally. This award is very special as it is dedicated to forward thinking fashion that aims to inspire and change the industry. It is an honor to be named Brand Leader as with all of our work we hope to encourage others as well to move towards sustainable fashion as a future plan.
You are a fast rising star in the bridal industry in the UK. How did you land up designing wedding dresses?
I find bridal the most intriguing part of the Fashion industry. In my whole design career, my desire was always to bring out the personality and individuality of every person who wears my design. To bring out the inner beauty of the bride on the most special day of her life is very fulfilling.
How big the wedding dress market is there and how are your dresses doing?
It’s a huge industry here in the UK. We are very lucky to be in the company of incredibly talented international and national designers who are working together for the industry. I still feel a little bit like Alice in the wonderland. However, it’s a journey that is challenging and inspiring me every day. Our brides are not just limited to UK and Ireland, awareness is growing gradually in surrounding European countries and Canada too.
Yours is a one of a kind sustainable bridal brand. How did you define sustainable fashion? And what are sustainable eco-friendly fabrics?
For me sustainable fashion is all about having heart, good thoughts and tying to do good deeds. In a simple word it’s a ‘fashion for humankind. ’ You have to think of every consequence, every choice that may affect people and our planet. Eco Fabrics are hemp, organic cotton, organic silk, soya, milk to name few.
Explain your ethos – ‘Love green – believe in ethics’.
The Love Green – Believe in Ethics ethos comes from the desire to create beautiful designs that are sustainable, eco friendly and hand crafted. Through using only eco fabrics that are sourced from trusted suppliers and hand weaved through the traditional skills of Nepalese village women we are trying to ensure that the whole creative process of our gowns is ethical and natural. It is ultimately all about creating ‘beauty with a conscience’.
How do you collect fabrics you use? Do you use Nepali fabrics also?
Most fabrics we use are from Nepal, like organic cotton, bamboo, silk, soya, Nettle, hemp etc. Some others are sourced locally in the UK. While new innovative technology fabrics like milk and bamboo silk lace comes from Italy.
How you do you feel owning your own label Sanyukta Shrestha?
Very happy and very privileged!
You started as an official designer in Miss Nepal in 1998? Do you have any plans to do something back home?
First collection I created was for Miss Nepal Beauty Pageant in 1998. Nepal has always been part of my design inspiration and the production process. Yes, I love to design for beautiful Nepalese women of all ages.
The inspiration behind Pippa dress came to Sanyukta organically when she moved to new house. She explains, “I discovered these 30 years old of history caught up under the floorboards. Refusing to simply discard these pieces of antiquity I decided to aid another metamorphosis by reincarnating these aged papers into a dreamy romantic wedding dress for my collection that is inspired by Wallis Simpson.”
Including issues from the 1982 to 1983, from publications such as The Standard, The Daily Mail, Sunday Mail, The Weekly News, The Daily Express, The Sun and Motorcycle News, Pippa’s perfectly aged paper took the catwalk to truly represent the journey that any up-cycled product can take from ordinary to extraordinary. The Pippa gown gives new meaning to an old world style that takes the vintage to the next level. Aided by Nepalese hand loomed organic cotton and finished with nearly three thousand Swarovski Crystals to ensure that she really dazzles the world, the Pippa gown was launched at White gallery London Battersea Evolution, May 2012. With stunningly extravagant design and such an unusual history the finale of Pippa shocked and awed the audience. With the industry and press alike recognising Pippa as an incredible piece of art as well as statement on the importance of eco-friendly fashion the gown is unique, dramatic and showed a real story that gives a sense of history.
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