Meet the region's leading fashion designers Born and raised in India, Hong Kong-based fashion designer Prakruti Nanavati grew up surrounded by rich fabrics and fashion. Her great-grandfather founded the first textile mill in Surat, India, in 1943. Nanavati started taking courses in fashion design while studying at the School of Architecture in India. She started working part-time as a designer and eventually launched her own fashion label, Peeyaa, when she graduated in 2003. Have you always wanted to be a designer? I was creative even when I was still a student. At an early age, I realised that I could express myself through design. How did you set up the label? I launched my label with a team of eight employees. It was a gradual process. I had to look at various aspects of the business such as product design, manufacturing, workshops, marketing, sourcing fabrics and, above all, a good working atmosphere. It's taken more than two years, and I feel like this is just the beginning. What's the company structure? It's a simple structure with a limited number of people. I have workshops in India, where people from all over the country bring their distinct styles to the table. I have 30 to 35 employees. How many lines are there? I'm taking it slowly. I have an Indian bridal collection (made to order), a fusion collection and a traditional Indian line. I'm working on accessories now. What's the design philosophy? Comfort and class. Comfort brings confidence to carry the clothing well, and class retains the ethnicity of a design. I work with traditional materials such as pashmina and silk. Who are your customers? The collection is a combination of east and west. Therefore, I have customers from all over the world, including the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and India. What inspires you? My inner strength. What lies behind me and what lies ahead of me are unimportant compared with what lies within me. What does your current collection look like? The fabrics include silk, chiffon, georgette, crepe and brocade with ethnic cuts. They are embroidered with Swarovski crystals and beads. Where are your designs available? In India and Hong Kong (4/F Goldwin Heights, 2 Seymour Rd, Mid-Levels). I also sell my custom-made bridal wear in Europe and the US. Where do you want to expand? Europe. I'm already expanding in Asia. What's your motto? Every woman deserves nothing but the best.