There is a bustle in the rooms sectioned off as changing areas. A large group of models congregates near tables filled with brightly colored skirts, crop tops, scarves, and jewelry. In the center, several assistants hurry to follow the directives given by a man standing in the middle; the teal and gold lehenga for this one, the red zari saree for that one. Everyone rushes to follow his instructions, while the models assist each other with minor adjustments to their hair and outfits.
That man is Prashant Goyal, and he is about to debut his 2020 Couture Wedding Collection at the EPN Fashion Week Glitz and Glam Runway Extravaganza in New York City. With over 25 models presenting his designs, he’s making sure that everything from the pleats of the scarves to the jewelry selection is perfect.
His meticulousness is neither unnoticed nor unappreciated. The room is filled with diplomats, politicians, and community leaders, and as each of the models walk the runway, the crowd murmurs at the beauty of the designs. The bridal gowns are rich in both hue and textures, hand-embroidered in brightly colored silk, gold and silver threads with Swarovski crystal and gemstones hand-stitched into the designs. As the models move, the light bounces off the heavy silk fabric, the richness of the material almost seems to radiate from the gorgeously unique designs.
This was by no means the first fashion show for Heritage India Fashions. Since opening their Manhattan store in 2017, Prashant and his wife and business partner, Ruchi, have taken their vision to bring the rich culture and heritage of India to New York and worked full force to make it a reality. After over three years of hard work, they now being able to boast of a million customers globally, their hard work has reaped its benefits, and their designs can be found worn by Hollywood and Bollywood stars, politicians, and dignitaries from the around the world.
Their store has everything from casual Indian wear, to ornate lehengas, sarees, and anarkalis for women and formal sherwanis and kurtas men for weddings and Indian parties. But their designs found their footing in Indo-Western fusions, focusing specifically on traditional Indian wear but incorporating western cuts and styles, creating unique formal designs that could be worn for corporate jobs and formal events alike. While Prashant and Ruchi both seek to maintain and honor their own Indian Heritage, they work towards the goal of bringing the richness and vitality of beautiful Indian wear to people of all cultures. Besides the intricate designs, the selection of fabrics used sets apart Heritage India Fashions. They have a vast collection of velvets, silks, and cotton fabrics from the 18th century, the 1920s and 1930s, all of which are kept in their office in Delhi. For the older, rarer fabrics, Prashant creates unique, one-of-a-kind designs that cannot be found anywhere else. He uses these, along with silks and organic fabrics, to create designs that are a fusion of western influence and traditional India formal wear to create beautiful, trendy clothes that appeal to his wide client base, who come to them for a guaranteed statement design.
Prashant takes his inspiration from the colorful villages he visits in his travels, the detailed designs found in the Victorian era, and beauty found in nature and art. Ruchi, who studied at the University of Dehli, has an extensive background in the business of textiles and manufacturing, is the lead designer of all of the company’s crochet fabrics. Prashant and Ruchi have also created their own vegetable-dyed Khaadi, a hand-woven organic cotton clothing. Together, Prashant and Ruchi have created several thousands of unique designs, Prashant has designed over 3,000, and Ruchi has designed over 400 herself, which includes her specialty crochet line of scarves, baby booties, hats, purses, and other accessories. Before beginning a new design, it can take months to source the proper fabric before it’s sent to their factory in Delhi. The factory employs eight skilled embroidery artisans, that execute their visions before they are sent to a staff that sews each piece by hand. Each formal piece is a unique design and can take the seamstress and tailors up to fifteen weeks to complete for the most elaborate pieces.
Heritage India Fashions has been featured in multiple publications, Model World Magazine, Style Magazine, Fashion Avenue Magazine, Fashion Magazine NYC, as well as scores of other publications and write-ups. Brand Ambassador and former Ukrainian Playmate of the Year, Lera Levinski has appeared in multiple global publications dressed designs by Heritage India Fashions, as has cover model and Miss India New York Renuka Joseph, actor and composer Samrat Chakrabarti, and humanitarian and community leader Meera Gandhi. In addition to designing, Heritage Indian Fashion has been in scores of fashion shows, including New York Fashion Week, The MTV Staying Alive Foundation, International Fashion and Arts week, and many others. Ruchi has taken over as the Lead Creative Stylist of the company, styling an extensive list of Hollywood and Bollywood stars, including Madonna, Priyanka Chopra, Daniel Craig, and Rachel Weisz, Lindsay Lohan, Zakir Hussian, Padma Lakshmi, Kenan Thompson, and Robert De Niro. Their clients have come to trust their ability to find the perfect outfit that not only enhances their own unique appearance but reflects their personality as well. Their stunning apparel can be seen worn on television shows, such as Madam Secretary, House of Cards, and Quantico, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange is the New Black, Disney productions, the film Eat Pray Love, which starred Julia Roberts. The couple has also designed and styled for several government officials, including Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.
Their tenacity, attention to detail, and passion for their work have made them rising stars in the fashion industry and the global leader in Indo-Western ethnic fashion. In the past 12 months alone, Heritage India Fashions has been given multiple awards. In February 2020 at the United Nations, Mayor Michele Delisfort of Union, New Jersey, presented Prashant was presented with the Highest Honor Award, a Resolution from Her Excellency for outstanding promotion of multiculturalism, arts, and cultural diversity. He was also presented with the Clock of Conscience and Peace, symbolizing outstanding service in the world by promoting multiculturalism, love and peace, and conscience by United Nations Ambassador Hugues Sanon. But their rise to the top doesn’t mean that they have forgotten about their roots or their community. Both Prashant and Ruchi both share the goal of using fair trade and eco-friendly, sustainable fabrics, and stress the importance of taking care of their workers, especially in an environment where poor working conditions pervade the clothing industry. In January of this year, Heritage India Fashions co-produced their first charity event with Kiss the Monkeys, Kiss the Mermaids. The event, hosted by Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe and American pageant queen Jennifer Murphy, was the first fashion show held FOA Schwarz, with the sole purpose of raising funds for the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. At the end of the event, Prashant was given The Evolutionist Award for Fashion Icon and Outstanding Business Leader. Prashant maintains that he could have never won these awards without his highly esteemed wife, Ruchi. “Without her support, her knowledge of textiles, and her creativity, I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without her. She is the backbone of our business.” Having already taken over New York City, there’s no doubt that this power couple is ready to take the next phase, expanding Indian culture, beauty, and designs throughout the United States.
-Nicole Bryan King
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