After successfully pulling through the regional round and competing against 12 menswear and womenswear finalists selected from across the globe, Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice has emerged victorious for the womenswear title, winning the covetable International Woolmark Prize. This win adds yet another Indian name to the list of designers — Rahul Mishra won in 2014, and Suket Dhir (menswear) in 2015 — who have already gained global recognition for their work, benchmarking Indian designs as among the best in the world.
Ruchika, who takes away the prize money of AU$200,000 (approximately Rs 1 crore), is more than excited on her win: “This is a huge opportunity to expand on what I do and keep doing it, and to get the chance to work with these retailers (like Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford and mytheresa.com) is incredible."
The winning looks by Bodice. Picture courtesy: Morgan O’Donovan/The Woolmark Company
The designer's work was praised for its technique and manufacturing process by a jury that included notable names like Livia Firth, founder of Eco Age Ltd; Philip Lim, womenswear designer; and Sarah Mower, fashion critic and columnist. Taking forward her grandmother's vision of upcycling, Ruchika addressed the problematic issue of consumer waste in fashion through her sustainably and holistically-designed collection that brought together weavers, naturally-sourced colours by Bio-Dye, and renewably-sourced buttons made of coconut shell, seashell and wood. Philip Lim took in all the details of Ruchika's winning collection, and was of the opinion that it was completely thoughtful. "From the ingredients and dyes used all the way to the application and everything in between, her collection really represents a modern woman," he said.
Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice, Matthew Miller and DYNE. Picture courtesy: The Woolmark Company
The menswear title was awarded to Matthew Miller from the British Isles, while USA’s DYNE won the inaugural Innovation Award. Apart from their cash prize and opportunity to be stocked at leading department stores and boutiques around the world, Bodice and Matthew will win a Woolmark certification for their collection and also continue to receive mentoring from industry experts.
Catch the winning collections at the British Fashion Council's London show rooms at Tranoi Week in Paris from January 18-23.