Designer Ruchika Sachdeva makes India proud, wins International Woolmark Prize

Ruchika Sachdeva of Bodice after winning the coveted award. (Source: The Woolmark Company) Photograph:( Others )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 11, 2018, 05.05 AM (IST)

Indian designer Ruchika Sachdeva won the womenswear 2017-2018 International Woolmark Prize held in Florence Wednesday.

She won the award for her label Bodice selected as the womenswear winner -- that addresses the issue of consumer waste in fashion with traditional techniques of recycling.

She has taken away the prize money of AU$200,000 (approximately Rs 1 crore) for her win. 

After her victory, Ruchika said in a statement, "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."

Ruchika explained the conceptualisation of her brand by getting inspired by her grandmother who used to upcycle saris into quilts.

In the statement, Ruchika talks about her collaboration with hand weavers, how she encouraged them to take an unorthodox approach to traditional techniques, producing an elegant collection honouring Australian Merino wool and Indian artisans. 

Ruchika for furthering her research in tackling consumer waste and finding appropriate recycling method, also worked with bio-dye in Sawantwadi, central India, which makes all its colours from natural sources.

In the statement, she explains how the colour palette of navy and forest green mixed with pink and green pastels contains natural dyes and are safe for the skin - a nod to the ancient practices of Ayurveda.

Completing the label's holistic approach, Bodice sourced buttons from renewable sources of coconut shell, seashell and wood.

The award was judged by a panel including Amber Valletta, Elizabeth Von Guttman, Emanuele Farneti, Julie Davies, Livia Firth, Liya Kebede, Miroslava Duma, Nonita Kalra, Phillip Lim, Riccardo Vannetti, Sarah Mower and Stuart McCullough along with representatives from the International Woolmark Prize retail partner network.

In the menswear category, Matthew Miller from the British Isles won, while the US-based DYNE was announced the winner of the inaugural Innovation Award.