Until being short-listed for the LVMH Prize, it’s fair to say that Tina (below left) and Nikita Sutradhar, the Indian designers behind Miuniku, were unknown in the industry to all but their teachers and classmates at London College of Fashion, from which they both graduated last July. It’s been a short road from total obscurity in Mumbai, where the sisters are based, to the innermost sanctum of Paris fashion last month for the semifinals. “Nikita was looking for jobs on the LVMH Web site and then she found the application for the LVMH Prize so she was like, ‘Why not?’” said Tina, noting that she and Nikita were both job-hunting after graduation while working on Miuniku on the side.
The two collections under their belts were designed as part of the London College of Fashion curriculum, and they used their thesis lineup of sporty shapes and bold colors to enter the competition. It’s also being sold for fall to their first (and, as yet, only) retailer, Cement in Tokyo.
Going forward, the designers plan to stay in Mumbai, where knowing the language and production landscape gives them an advantage in manufacturing, while opening a studio in London. Asked what drove their initial interest in fashion design, Tina said she saw it on TV. “When I was 11, I was watching the Miss World pageant. That’s the first time I actually saw so many contestants wearing lovely dresses.”