Prabal Gurung Celebrates the Beauty of Color Through Fashion

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In a sea of fashion designers that prefer to play it safe, Prabal Gurung isn’t afraid to use his platform for activism.

The Nepali-American designer is a master of making political statements through his exquisite and colorful designs.

Nicky Hilton in a crystal-embellished Prabal Gurung sequined gown at the 2021 Footwear News Achievement AwardsNicky Hilton Rothschild in a crystal-embellished Prabal Gurung sequined gown at the 2021 Footwear News Achievement Awards at Casa Cipriani on November 30, 2021, in New York City (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

He’s on a mission to empower women and POC throughout America and beyond, and he’s doing it with a supreme level of grace.

Learn all about the inspiring work of Prabal Gurung below!

Putting Nepal On The Fashion Map

Although Prabal is grateful for the opportunities that the USA has given him, his homeland of Nepal will forever remain in his heart.

The designer has stated that he’s proud of his Nepali upbringing and is honored to be an inspiration for his fellow compatriots.

The Nepalese-American fashion designer Prabal Gurung launched his line in 2009 at New York Fashion WeekThe Nepalese-American fashion designer Prabal Gurung launched his line in 2009 at New York Fashion Week (Credit: Ron Adar / Shutterstock)

Prabal Gurung is one of the few world-renowned Nepali citizens and has used his brand and platform to put Nepal and its culture on the fashion map.

Born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Prabal also lived in India, London, and Australia before eventually settling in New York in 1999.

He studied fashion at New Delhi’s Institute of Fashion Technology, where he worked for the prestigious Indian designer Manish Arora.

Camila Morrone in a Prabal Gurung Pre-Fall 2019 twist front satin gown posing with fashion designer Prabal Gurung at 2019 CFDA Fashion AwardsCamila Morrone in a Prabal Gurung Pre-Fall 2019 twist front satin gown posing with fashion designer Prabal Gurung at 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards held at the Brooklyn Museum of Art June 3, 2019, in New York City (Credit: Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock)

Prabal continued his education at the famous Parsons Institute in New York, where he interned for Donna Karan.

He worked for more iconic New York brands, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Blass, before launching his eponymous label in 2009.

Stylist of the World’s Most Powerful Women

The fashion world immediately fell in love with Prabal Gurung’s show-stopping designs.

The designer is famous for his use of vibrant colors, classically feminine silhouettes, and soft details such as ruffles, pleats, and floral prints.

Models walk the runway at the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week Models walk the runway at the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2019, in New York City (Credit: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock)

Prabal is dedicated to making women look beautiful. He isn’t influenced by trends or coolness, instead favoring timeless shapes that make it easier for women to get dressed.

Prabal has always been drawn to powerful women who exude poise, elegance, and sophistication. He has described his label as “a luxury brand with soul.”

A model shows off her feet in sandals at the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion WeekA model shows off her feet in sandals at the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2019, in New York City (Credit: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock)

Initially inspired by the strong women in his family, Prabal has dressed some of the world’s most prominent female leaders.

From influential political figures such as Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris to A-list celebrities including Hilary Rhoda, Michelle Monaghan, and Diane Kruger, Prabal’s list of clients is nothing short of spectacular.

A model shows off her feet in fringe sandals as part of the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion WeekA model shows off her feet in fringe sandals as part of the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2019, in New York City (Credit: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock)

Prabal has always maintained strong ties to his South Asian heritage and has also dressed Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone.

Blending Fashion and Activism

Prabal is famous for using his designs to convey his passion for social justice, inclusivity, and diversity.

One of the most famous examples is his Spring 2020 “Who Gets To Be American?” collection.

Fashion designer Prabal Gurung, who received the Icon Award for Social Impact, and The Diary of a Teenage Girl's Bel PowleyFashion designer Prabal Gurung, who received the Icon Award for Social Impact, and The Diary of a Teenage Girl’s Bel Powley attend the 29th FN Achievement Awards at IAC Headquarters on December 2, 2015, in New York City (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

As an Asian American immigrant, Prabal has experienced his fair share of prejudices within the fashion industry. He now uses his platform to advocate for causes he’s passionate about.

The designer is determined to redefine American style through the eyes of a POC. He believes that the industry has showcased style through a white lens for far too long.

Prabal Gurung’s brand ethos is ‘stronger in color’, as he knows that the world is a better, stronger, and more beautiful place when diversity is celebrated.

Candice Swanepoel in Prabal Gurung posing with the fashion designer at the Tony AwardsCandice Swanepoel in Prabal Gurung posing with the fashion designer at the Tony Awards held at Radio City Music Hall June 11, 2017, in New York City (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

A rarity among fashion designers, Prabal thinks fashion and politics don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

He uses activism as a way to address human issues because injustices like racism and divisiveness impact everybody.

The designer and activist boasts an impressive history of charity work.

Prabal created the Shikshya Foundation to help empower and educate Nepali women and children shortly after launching his label.

Zac Posen (L) and Prabal Gurung attend the Anna Wintour Costume Center Grand OpeningZac Posen (L) and Prabal Gurung attend the Anna Wintour Costume Center Grand Opening at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014, in New York City (Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock)

The Nepalese-American fashion designer also created a relief fund for victims of Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake. In recent years, Prabal has been a vocal member of the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements.

He helped organize a black and Asian solidarity march in New York and is a founder of the Slaysians, a group of fellow Asian American designers and stylists that are working to combat racism and exclusion within the fashion industry.

Selectively Secretive

Despite being vocal about social injustices, Prabal can be described as a private person when it comes to matters of the heart.

The designer has identified himself as queer in interviews and has shared that he’s been in long-term relationships, but has never revealed names.

Emily Ratajkowski poses with Prabal Gurung at the 2016 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of ArtEmily Ratajkowski in a Prabal Gurung gown, Tamara Mellon shoes, and Tiffany & Co. jewelry poses with Prabal Gurung at the 2016 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016, in New York City (Credit: Sky Cinema / Shutterstock)

Prabal’s secretive nature has led to a lot of online speculation about his personal life and relationship status.

Several gossip magazines have made assumptions about companions based on Prabal’s Instagram feed, but the designer has always denied them.

Where To Buy Prabal Gurung

Do you want to embrace your femininity while supporting one of the most talented Asian designers of our generation?

Prabal Gurung’s clothing will make you feel powerful, confident, and sophisticated.

Plus, 90% of Prabal Gurung garments are manufactured in New York to uphold the designer’s high-quality standards and support the local economy.

Where to buy Prabal Gurung designs

1. Prabal Gurung Official Site
2. Saks Fifth Avenue
3. Bergdorf Goodman
4. Shopbop

Scroll down to see celebrities wearing clothing and shoes by Prabal Gurung, a Singapore-born Nepali fashion designer based in New York City

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