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The Incredible Story Of Vaishali Shadangule, The First Indian Woman Designer To Make It To Paris Fashion Week

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When you mix talent, hard work, and passion together, you get what is an ideal recipe for success. It is that magical potion that brings all your dreams to life. And if you’re a woman then you need more and perhaps there’s more of a struggle but when the passion is raw, fabulous things can happen. Like for designer Vaishali Shadangule who ran away from her home to chase her dreams.

Recently, Vaishali Shadangule became the first Indian woman designer to got a coveted spot in the upcoming Paris Fashion Week. She is the second Indian designer after Rahul Mishra to partake in this fashion festival. And the first ever woman. 

Her journey towards becoming a global designer didn’t start overnight. It all started when she ran away from her hometown in Madhya Pradesh in 1997. But before she got completely into designing, she started off as a gym trainer and created an amateur portfolio while at it. She not only trained her clients but also gave them tips and styled them. It was then that she found her eureka moment. She said in her interview with Huffington Post, “I started recommending dressing styles to my clients, and found that people loved my ideas on what suited them best. That sealed the deal on my career and I started designing clothes for them.”

From there on, there was no looking back. She took a bank loan to open a small boutique in Malad, Mumbai, and enrolled in a fashion designing course in Delhi. And her business in Mumbai really took off. All the while, it was the support of her husband who took care of their barely 2-year-old daughter, that helped her ensure that her business was stable. 

Around 2001, is when she started her well-known brand, Vaishali S. It wasn’t until 2011, when she participated in the Wills India Lifestyle Fashion Week, that people started noticing her unique sense of aesthetic. Her clothes, though modern and sustainable, have their roots in her hometown in Madhya Pradesh. She actively focused on using Chanderi – which was initially only used in sarees – to make dresses. After that, she has showcased her collection in New York Fashion Week and is now all set for Paris Fashion Week.

In one of her Instagram posts, she with regards to Paris Fashion Week, “Pressure steaming up in the last three weeks, working incessantly at finishing the collection for the great event in Paris. Each pre-collection is a moment of excitement and anxiety of what is finally going to take shape. This one though has been special. Conditions have made the logistics even more complicated, which resulted in great focus and commitment. Now working at the last details. Can’t wait to show you my first Haute Couture Collection!”

 

Her ability as a designer to create modern, sustainable clothes while still exploring  her roots is what makes her stand out from the crowd. Her struggle to bring Indian hand-weaving traditions to the mainstream is an inspiration for a lot of young designers out there. She is not only fulfilling her dream but giving employment and hope to many other designers to follow their calling.

It is her passion for designing, her skill set, and the hard work that has made her a global icon. Being the first Indian woman designer, she has proved that there is not a lot that women cannot do if they set their mind to it. 

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