Indian fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh is one of the country’s most well-known exports. Unusually, Singh favours clean, contemporary silhouettes and avoids the blingy, heavily embellished ensembles of his fellow Indian designers. From the Royal Rajput family of Rajasthan, he is based in New Delhi. After graduating from NIFT Delhi in 1994, he spent a couple of years training with Italian menswear label Marzotto before launching his own label in 1997.
Singh’s father, a cardiologist, encouraged him to practice medicine, but he took a liking to fashion design from a young age. Reclusive and media-shy, the designer’s signature garments feature clean lines and painstaking details, all made of artisan textiles from his native India. Western media have taken to his brand, inviting him to show at Milan and Paris. His customers are not Bollywood stars, but always possess of a strong sense of individualism.
He was awarded designer of the year by GQ India in 2009 and by Elle magazine in 2007. In 2013, he was named a Woolmark Ambassador, helping promote the raw material there. It’s an apt appointment, as he has won acclaim for his work developing high-end textiles like cashmere with Indian mills and employing them in his designs. He is stocked in various upscale markets internationally and has five standalone boutiques sprinkled through India.