Interview: Alumnae Tina and Nikita Sutradhar of MIUNIKU, LVMH Special Prize winners
Since graduating from BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear in 2013, sisters Tina and Nikita Sutradhar have made a dream debut into the fashion industry with their Mumbai-based label MIUNIKU. Claiming the Innovation Award for their final collection at the LCF BA13 Catwalk Show was just the beginning of a spectacular run of success that has seen them lift the ISKO™ Denim Diffusion Award, reach the semi-finals of the H&M Design Awards 2014, and be awarded a Special Prize in the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
The sibling design duo were selected by some of the biggest names in fashion to take the LVMH Special Prize, including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, Kenzo’s creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, and LVMH executives Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie and Pierre-Yves Roussel. The award comes with a €100,000 prize fund and a year of mentoring from LVMH.
We caught up with Tina and Nikita to find out how it feels to win and what’s next in the sparkling story of MIUNIKU…
How does it feel to be awarded the LVMH Special Prize alongside Hood By Air, coming just second to Thomas Tait, who you previously interned with?
It feels quite amazing! We don’t really have the words to express it. It’s quite surreal! Interning at Thomas’s really gave us confidence to do our college projects better. We are so happy that Thomas won the main prize. His work is absolutely brilliant and it feels like a family win, to have won second to him alongside Hood By Air.
What was the LVMH finalists judging panel like?
We were like, ‘Are we dreaming?’! This was the first time that all of the judges were together in the same room. But as daunting as it may sound, they were really nice and easy to talk to.
Why do you think you have had so much success so quickly after graduating from LCF?
We are really thankful to God for this. We are also ever so grateful to LCF. Everything from the tutorials with Rob Phillips, Liliana Sanguino, James Pegg and the guest tutors, to the way the units were designed, helped us to shape our brand identity. To get a chance to see your collection on the runway is quite amazing and the Showtime platform really opened doors for us!
What will you do with the €100,000 prize fund? And what do you hope to learn from the year of mentoring?
We will use the prize fund for the business. So everything from making the next collection, to presenting it, moving to London, renting a studio space, etc. We really value the mentoring as well, we hope to learn how to go about the business and it will help us to make sure we are on the right track.
Tell us about your work environment: where is your work space and what is it like?
At the moment we are working from home in Mumbai. So we use our dining table for cutting and there are 2 sewing machines and an iron. When we move to London we will set up a proper studio to work from.
How many people are working in your company and how do you produce your collections?
As of now it’s just the two of us and we will be hiring two local seamstresses to help us out.
How would you describe your brand aesthetic? Does your brand have a particular philosophy?
Our brand aesthetic is a balance between clean lines and graphic details. A mix of minimal and maximal elements. We don’t have a particular brand philosophy, but making well-finished garments with good design value is our priority.
What do your family think of your brand and your amazing success?
They are really happy! Many people thought it was a waste of money to go abroad and study fashion instead of studying to be a doctor or engineer. It was difficult for my parents to fund our whole study, but this is what we have always wanted to do and they have always been supportive! So they are absolutely ecstatic and really excited.
What’s next for MIUNIKU?
Our next step is to make our SS15 collection. We are planning a small presentation in Paris and we are also invited to show our next collection in Dubai in the end of October as a part of the Vogue Italia Dubai Fashion Experience. So we are really, really excited about what lies ahead!
Thanks Tina and Nikita! We can’t wait to hear about your next success!
- MIUNIKU on LCF News
- Tina and Nikita Sutradhar alumni profile
- BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear
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