Womenswear designer Prabal Gurung opened up recently about his rise to industry darling status and go-to designer for the likes of Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rooney Mara, and even Kate Middleton. The 38 year old's Spring 2013 show (like the several the preceded it) was one of the most anticipated of the week. The front row consisted of the Russian Fashion Pack, Anna Dello Russo, Kate Bosworth, Jenna Lyons, Giovanna Battaglia, etc., and some even bigger names were on the runway.
How did Prabal get from unemployed designer (just a few years ago after leaving his design director position at Bill Blass in 2004) to this? He took the risk, and started his namesake line in 2009. He started small. He showed his first collection, which was "frugally produced in a free space with modeling agencies and hair and makeup people working for no pay," he told The Hollywood Reporter. Of his debut show, Gurung says: "The last hour, Bridget Foley of WWD and Cathy Horyn showed up. Two days later, my red dress with a Valentine bow on the shoulder was on the cover of WWD. That changed everything; everyone started calling."
Prabal Gurung is one of the biggest names in womenswear right now; he even has a huge Target collaboration to come. However, if you ever meet Prabal, you may be surprised by just how humble and gracious he is, especially for being such a boy-genius designer. In a very Prabal-way, he recently said: "With actresses, I'm competing with Dior, Gucci, Chanel -- they offer advertising deals and other perks. I can't offer anything but clothes. So whenever they choose to wear me -- well, it is still a shock."
To further our point about Prabal, we spoke to Dana Lorenz, the mastermind behind FENTON/FALLON jewelry, who collaborated with PG for Fall 2012. Lorenz is also a close friend of the designer. She said: "Prabal is very gracious and so professional, but we both are very real and honest and say it 'like it is.' I appreciate that in him and and I think he does in me. Despite our collaboration, Prabal has stood behind me as much as a friend and a person as he has as a wildly-talented designer." Nice guys don't always finish last.