Weave interviews the designer who created a line, inspired by Indian Maharajas for a true ‘King’ – the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He has also been the only Indian fashion designer to display his collection at the United Nations headquarters. Abdul Halder, a dream creator, weaver and specialist in his field discusses his life, future plans and why he loves doing Bridal wear.
The birth of a genius…
Abdul Halder was born in the city of joy – Kolkata, India. He was brought up in Kanpur and in his formative years itself, had always wished to be a fashion designer. He started designing at the age of 19. He received professional education in his field at the Pearl Academy of Fashion and it is after graduating from there that his true ambitions came to life.
The professional journey…
After completing his education, Abdul Halder worked as a designer for Deja Vu under Sanjay Malhotra and then moved to Milan in 2003. Internationally he worked for Italian fashion house, SB Italia and took in the fashion and cultural atmosphere. During the second half of 2006 he returned to India to establish himself professionally at Lakme Fashion Week in October in the Generation Next category of designers. “I presented a range of white weddings gowns in my first show at Lakme Fashion week – bridal wear is a very strong passion for me.” Also having won an award frm Hindustan Times for the youngest achiever in fashion design he went on to present collections for 11 seasons at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week and Lakme Fashion Week. It is during this period that he got an opportunity to present his collection at the United Nations headquarters in New York during July 2008. “When I was presenting my collection at the UN there were 175 country delegates present there. I was so nervous. It was like I was breathing my last breath.” But this wasn’t the only exciting and nerve wrecking moment in his life. Another milestone in his life that propelled him to fame was designing for the late ‘King of Pop,’ Michael Jackson. “The opportunity to design a collection for Mr. Jackson came through his pianist Miss Roberta Swedien, a legendary classical musician. She assigned my team and me the task for designing a whole range inspired by Indian Maharajas’ for him. Along with designing the collection we had also sent him a lot of Indian gifts for his daughter Paris and son Prince.”
How safe is too safe? Being too commercial can mess with creativity… “I’m a business man and my previous experiment during my launch in the Indian scenario didn’t fare as well as I expected to. When I presented my first collection in India at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2006, my collection consisted of white wedding gowns. This theme didn’t go down well with the market.” Abdul didn’t give up even then and tried to use his experimental sense of design on the ramp for a second time. “My second collection was called ‘Mafia Street’ and whereas the men’s collection was a success the womenswear one didn’t go down too well. It was when I started my bridal wear and trousseau line that the Indian fashion industry started accepting my designs. It was a money turner for my business then.” Whilst the consumer rules the roost in our fashion industry the designers don’t compromise on creativity they just experiment with their own techniques and directions.
Upcoming collections are… “I am currently working on the theme of a Victorian inspired look for my trousseau collection and also on westernwear for women and men in the formal and semi-formal categories to suit different occasions.” This year we are looking forward to his new line at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion week for Spring-Summer 2011. “I am designing a new prêt dress line for WLIFW this year and I plan to continue re-inventing my trousseau line for LFW.