KAMSI Speaks with Former Project Runway Contestant, Sandhya Garg
KAMSI speaks with designer Sandhya Garg. You may have recognized her work from Season 13 of Project Runway and making her mark in New York Fashion Week. Sandhya is a designer to definitely keep your eye on. She puts her passion in her work and it shows. Read below to learn more about her story.
KAMSI Magazine: Tell me about yourself.
Sandhya Garg: My name is Sandhya Garg, I’m a fashion designer. I went to school in India for Fashion Design. While in London, I interned for Alexander McQueen. I’ve been in the U.S. for the past four years this January, so about three and a half years now. I launched my brand here and I was lucky enough to get selected for Project Runway: Season 13.
KM: What inspired you to design and make your own label?
SG: I’ve always been really creative, I used to design and sew clothes for my dolls when I was a little girl, so that developed into pursuing it as a career. So then, I decided I wanted to go to school for fashion and then I polished my skills. I refined my unique point of view and then my brands unique aesthetic, a singular thing for all the collection.
KM: I noticed that your brand is very unique, very well done too; and colorful. How does your brand set you apart from the rest?
SG: Thank you so much for the compliment. My clothing is about these unique stories so really sort of traveling, you know? There’s this unique architecture in a particular country and all this unique folklore about each and every country you travel to, there’s so much culture in the world, you know? When you travel, you want to get a sense of that beauty of that story, you know? You can buy a lot of souvenirs, but, you still do not capture what that city is about. So the brand is about celebrating the folklore. The very first collection I designed when I was in the U.S. was inspired from Morocco. They paint their doors blue to keep the 'evil eye' out and that was the whole idea; it was all about good luck and how we want to not have evil eye on us. So it was called Talisman. The second collection was inspired by Jaipur City in India. It was the beautiful cityscapes and the very famous palace there. It's about architecture; capturing the colors and the beauty. A lot of people who have been to India, who have been to a specific city, will just see a dress and know and they will be like, “oh I’ve been to that city.” Looking at this collection it's reminding me of that city, so that's the whole idea. The current fall collection is inspired from this art called Goa Art, it's a style of painting from a tribe in India.
KM: How did you feel when you first found out that you were going to be on Project Runway?
SG: It was actually really amazing to be on the show. The selection process was really exciting because for me it was, “let me just go give it a try” and, “I’m not sure if I’m the right person or if I will get selected.” I was just super excited; seeing Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn was so amazing to have been apart of this amazing experience. It's like a fashion design bootcamp.
KM: What was the most rewarding experience?
SG: I think just the fact that you are able to achieve so much and to be able to make those decisions about selecting your fabric on a budget. Its amazing to make those decisions and then actually come up with something super unique and you know that millions of people are watching on tv. Its really amazing, sometimes we only got 6-8 hours to make a dress and I think of the contestants and I am amazed that they were able to achieve that.
KM: What advice would you give an amateur designer that's trying to succeed?
SG: You need to have a really unique point of view and something really special because there are so many fashion designers out there, your voice will be lost if its not unique and loud enough and have a lot of confidence. Have a lot of patience, and you need to persevere; its not easy to launch a brand, make like 2-3 collections a year, push for press and sell it. It’s a lot of work. It’s not just the glamour part. The glamour part is just ten minutes at a fashion show. There’s a lot of hard work, sweat and tears that go into making a brand. So I would say you should go into this thinking this is for keeps and you have to put in your best.
KM: What do you have planned for the future?
SG: I'm doing 2-3 collections a year, I’m doing fashion shows, I’m selling my stuff. I'm building up step by step.
KM: What other fashion shows are you involved in?
SG: I'm in New York Fashion Week, I came with my Jaipur collection and this year I did a fashion show in Boston, I have plan’s to do a show in Alabama next year and New York Fashion Week again, and from there opportunities keep coming. I have my studio in Boston, so I keep having to open studios and then I’m planning to do more functional marketing things and pop up shops.
KM: One important thing people must now about you?
SG: I think the one thing that I would want people to know about me is that I’m really colorful and that I have the same strong aesthetic, which is just about having fun, this whole idea of live your life with these beautiful stories. There are a lot of things but I’ll just say one thing.
KM: Where can we find you?
SG: On my website, its www. sandhyagarg.com. I'm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.
Below are more pictures from Sandhya Garg's line.
Interview by Chinazo Enigwe
Transcribed by Tyreck Fuller
Edited by Deneia Washington