A New Line with Robin Givhan and Prabal Gurung

With designs famously worn by former First Lady Michelle Obama, The Duchess of Cambridge, actresses Helen Mirren and Kerry Washington, fashion designer Prabal Gurung has become a preeminent player in the American fashion world. This fall marks the 10th anniversary of his award-winning womenswear line and the publication of a book about his career.
On Nov. 15, Gurung sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion Critic Robin Givhan to talk about his design philosophy and why he uses the runway as a platform for advocacy.
Highlights
Fashion designer Prabal Gurung said growing up he was fascinated by the confidence his mother exuded, and that feeling inspires his clothing line. ‘Cool fades, beauty remains. It’s timeless.’
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Fashion designer Prabal Gurung is known for celebrating feminism, inclusivity and diversity in his work. He says it’s always been important to him to use his popularity to bring awareness to important issues. ‘All that attention, all that stuff that is coming my way, just can’t be for myself. I have to use this platform for something other than myself.’
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When asked about whether he worries that he could fall prey to ‘cancel culture” because of his outspokenness, fashion designer Prabal Gurung said he’s never been afraid of confrontation. ‘At the end of the day, I always feel like the world is having a reckoning and awakening, finally, because of social media. Yes, there’s a lot of backlash in there, but also good things are happening.’
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Fashion designer Prabal Gurung said inclusivity is still an issue in the fashion industry that needs to be addressed because there’s no diversity in the people who are in charge. “In any industry that’s led by patriarchy, the conversation about diversity, visibility, inclusion is still a topic of conversation..we keep making mistakes because the decision-making table looks the same.”
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Prabal Gurung
Fashion Designer
Prabal Gurung launched his eponymous collection in February 2009 with a philosophy encompassing modern luxury, indelible style and an atute sense of glamour. Gurung was born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After beginning his design career in New Delhi, he moved to New York to finish his studies at Parsons The New School for Design. Upon graduating, Gurung spent two years with Cynthia Rowley’s design and production teams. Soon after, he was appointed design director at the iconic Bill Blass, a post he held for five years until launching his own collection, PRABAL GURUNG. A focus on quality and innovation has placed Gurung at the forefront of American fashion with designs worn by leading ladies including First Lady Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, to name a few.
Interviewed by Robin Ghivan
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