Not all designers are born, bred or reside in New York, Paris or Milan. Some of the most renowned designers had humble beginnings in places such as Haynesville, LA (Geoffrey Beene), Vicksburg, MS (Patrick Kelly), Amite, LA (Billy Reid), but the common denominator for them all is their passion for their craft and their drive to create beautiful fashions.
Same is true for Birmingham resident Sandhya Gard who was named Top Designer at Fashion Week New Orleans this past March. Before settling down in Birmingham, AL, Sandhya polished her skills at International design studios training at Alexander McQueen, learning various pattern cutting techniques; to hand embroidery craft, and vintage knitting-lace making at the Gucci factory in Italy. She is a graduate from the London College of Fashion, specializing in women’s wear. Bold color combined with contrasting textures, elements and hand craftsmanship define Sandhya fashion aesthetic.
Fashion Week New Orleans, recently wrapping its fourth year (March 18-22) took place at New Orleans Board of Trade. The five-day fashion fete featured designers from throughout the Southern region, as well as select retailers to showcase their fashions on the runway in front of an audience of buyers, media, industry professionals and fashion aficionados. One of the highlights of the week long fashion celebration is the emerging design competition. The Top Design Competition shines the spotlight on a new generation of emerging designers in an exciting fashion competition with a highly coveted prize package. As Fashion Week New Orleans 2014 Top Design Winner; Sandyha Garg, received retail placement in Hemline Boutique, a Brother "Project Runway" sewing machine compliments of AllBrands.com, a featured in Amelie G Magazine, a professional photo shoot with photographer Gustavo Escanelle, a mentoring/consultation with the World Trade Center on business development, resourcing and manufacturing, along with a number of other prizes. Garg also is invited to return to Fashion Week New Orleans 2015 as a featured designer to showcase her newest collection. A total prize package value over $2,500.
Garg described her experience as an amazing opportunity, which she knows will help take her career to the next level. “The opportunity to work personally with a retailer such as Hemline Boutique is priceless. One of the most challenges steps for an up-and coming designer is getting your inventory in a brick and mortar store front. This opportunity will strength me as a designer and help me grow.”
Garg has received accolades in the past for her outstanding design aesthetic and construction, including Hindu’s, USHA-NIFT Award for Best Garment Construction, Finalist for B Focus Talent Search a Brown's London Print Competition and Finalist for Textile Institute, Design Means Business Exhibition, London, England.
Judging the Top Design Competition were Yvonne Leaks, a faculty member in the department of Textile Science, Apparel Design and Merchandising at LSU for 32 years, Harold Clarke, award winning couture designer, Veronica Cho, graduate from Parsons School of Design, and Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, Academic Program Coordinator over the fashion programs at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur.
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