The winner of the 2018 Woolmark prize, Ruchika Sachdeva has combined Indian craftsmanship with minimalist and androgynous designs to become the voice of a generation of women who seek sustainable fabrics and pared-down shapes.
Sachdeva began her career at the Pearl Academy in Delhi, but moved to London in 2007 to enrol at the London College of Fashion . During her studies, she interned at Vivienne Westwood and sourced fabrics from secondhand stores and made her own garments, which her friends started buying. Sachdeva returned to her native India in 2010, making her debut as a “Gen Next Designer” at Lakme Fashion Week.
Her label, Bodice, launched in 2011 and was showcased during the Autumn/Winter 2011 season at Lakme Fashion Week. Today, she employs 14 people in her sampling and production team in New Delhi. Her label was given a boost after winning the Vogue India Fashion Fund competition in 2014, providing her with over $35,000 to grow Bodice, as well as a sponsored solo show and mentorship from Vogue and an industry professional.
In 2018, she won the Woolmark prize with a collection of wool pieces, 80 percent of which were created across five regions in India. The collection also incorporated traditional techniques, courtesy of the local artisans she employed. The $156,000 prize money and year-long mentorship is set to grow her business even further — her collections are now stocked in Farfetch and MyTheresa.com.
Sachdeva is a social entrepreneur. In 2012, she was involved in a project with NGO Access Development Services, funded by the CSR segment of Citi, aiming to improve the incomes of primary producers and artisans. In 2014, she worked with local weavers in Varanasi for an ongoing project with e-commerce portal Indelust.