The eight people and brands of Nepali origin on WOW’s first ever Global Nepal’s Fashion Icon list are united not just by their heritage but for their signature fashion statement that makes them celebrated at home and on the global stage. WOW went on a voyage around the world to seek out those who best exemplify this role.
The Nepali-American luxury fashion designer Prabal Gurung launched his line in 2009 at New York Fashion Week. The designer’s line is now sold in over 20 countries, is featured in fashion’s top publications, and regularly worn by those in the public eye. The designer has Michelle Obama, the Duchess of Cambridge, Sarah Jessica Parker and Anne Hathway in his circle of influence.
Anjali Lama burst onto India’s fashion scene in 2017 when the transgender model from Nepal walked for Lakmé Fashion Week. Anjali is the first transgender model from the subcontinent and among only a handful worldwide. She has had a remarkable journey in the world of fashion and beauty, and it seems like there’s no stopping her stellar career graph. Anjali has been featured in international brand campaigns like Calvin Klein, MAC Cosmetics, etc.
Varsha Thapa is the most internationally successful Nepali model based in New York. Varsha started her career in 2011 and in just a few years, she has established the kind of resume that most models only dream about. She’s done Paris Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, Lakme Fashion Week; she’s been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar; and her clients include Dolce & Gabbana, Nike, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Bottega Veneta, Mugler and of course, Prabal Gurung.
Nepali artist and jewelry designer Arpana Rayamajhi is a style hero. Arpana possesses a colourfully chic Instagram feed and an equally vibrant line of accessories inspired by her birthplace, certainly serves as a creative style envoy for the country. Whether donning an all over rainbow-bright printed Madras ensemble, layering a black Moto jacket with intricately beaded and feathered necklaces, or posting throwback images to her account of Nepali women festooned with gilded septum rings and strands upon strands of jewelry, Arpana showcases not only her command of colour but a striking balance of ethnic traditions and Western urban style.
KASA Nepal is the only Nepali brand which has set the Guinness World Record for holding the highest altitude fashion show ever on land at 5,500 metres at the scenic Gokyo Lake located alongside Nepal’s longest glacier, the Ngozumba. The fashion show featured numerous international supermodels and Nepali models, all of whom wore designs by Ramila Nemkul, Creative Head and Founder of Kasa. The first Mt Everest Fashion Runway was held in 2020 at Kala Pattar (5,643m) and was hailed by the Guinness Book as the world’s highest fashion show with models and participants from 18 countries. In a few years KASA has established itself as an international fashion brand based in Kathmandu.
Mishu Shrestha, the creative head behind Mishus, is one of the most sought-after fashion designers in Nepal who has reached many global platforms. After completing her diploma from Milan, Mishu started her fashion brand, Mishus in Kathmandu in 2012. She has designed outfits for many celebrities including Hollywood actress Katianna Ley. Her designer gowns were showcased during the Cannes Festival in 2018. She is most known for her cashmere gowns.
Tara Oriental is an industry leader when it comes to cashmere design, manufacturing and statement collection of knit and woven wear. Anin Rajbhandari, Proprietor of Tara Orientals stood by the quality of his products and survived the slump in 1990s when Nepal’s pashmina industry went spiraling down. During that period hundreds of companies shut down unable to compete with mass produced imitation pashmina from India and China. However, Anin knew that keeping quality control yielded long-term benefits, and intelligent branding ensured the market. Today, Tara Oriental has a history of more than 20 years and is known as a luxury knit brand worldwide. More recently, their creation was donned by Kamala Harris during her oath taking ceremony as Vice President of the United States.
Pastel Beauty by Lemi
The latest enter to the global fashion icon is Lemi Tamang with her makeup brand Pastel Beauty by Lemi. A makeup artiste with a huge fan following on scial media, Lemi is recognized for her creativity and professionalism. She has also been featured on the cover of WOW magazine and is seen as a role model by many aspiring to enter the glamour field. Her trajectory has taken a new dimension with the launch of Pastel Beauty by Lemi which has sold out editions and has people on the waiting list to buy her lip colours.
K-TOWN’S TOP FASHIONISTAS
Arhant Shrestha has a distinct style. He uses a unique mix of vibrant colours in styling, especially for men. Arhant also happens to be the nephew of Prabal Gurung.
When a woman says her favourite look is a crisp men’s shirt and a great pair of trousers, you know she’s mastered a level of sophistication that most of us can only try to achieve. Ashlesha Rana is an independent makeup artiste with a great style arsenal
Influencer & Stylist
As a menswear influencer, Rehan Shrestha finds Instagram a powerful platform for influence. Rehan’s love for fashion often leads him to stand out. His fusion style is praised by many. He was also one of the models for Mt Everest Fashion Runway organised by Kasa Nepal.
Managing Director Kathmandu Marriott Hotel
Besides his great corporate fashion looks, Gaurav Agrawal has also merged activewear and loungewear into daily wardrobe efficiently. He recently launched an active wear clothing brand called FitKat. Gaurav rules the room with his distinct demeanor, suave looks and passion for work, life and play.
There’s a thought process that runs clearly behind the fashion designer and Siwangi Pradhan’s own style and wardrobe are a testament to this approach. For Siwangi fashion is her true calling.
5 Makeup Artists To Know
• Shradha Maskey
• Suman Lama
• Suni Magar
• Itchya Karki
• Sanu Gurung
5 Fashion Designers To Know
• Tenzin Tseten Bhutia
• Manish Rai
• Yubi Thapa
• Anu Shrestha
• Sabin Dhungana
5 Fashion Photographers To Know
• Pawan Joshi
• Milan Lama
• Suzan Shrestha
• Sanjog Rai
• Supran Shrestha
5 Fashion Stylists To Know
• Sadhana Ranabhat
• Puran Joshi
• Rhea Pradhan
• Styled by MP
• Rajshree RL Rana
WOW picked a handful of fashion enthusiasts and asked them to share about their curated look.
Look: This was at the launch event of the new VOLKSWAGEN TAIGUN in Chitwan. I wanted my outfit to be very smart yet powerful since it was for an automobile event. I did not have much time to prepare for the event but my sister helped me to come up with this outfit.
HMUA: Shradha Maskey
Look: Perfect fusion of ethnicity with a touch of modernity, perfect fit for this festive and wedding season.
Fashion Model & Miss Eco International 2020-21
Look: The highlight of this look is the long black leather coat which is from my own startup “sulit”. I have paired it with a grunge black shorts and boots to accentuate the entire look.
Actor & Model
Look: This is my every day fall look layered with a brown long coat and a white plain button down shirt. A good watch and accessorising is a must. Not to forget a good pair of glasses to finish the look.
Look: I would call the look spring calling. For this outfit I have chosen a blue striped beach shirt and white chinos, layering it with camel jacket which is a blend of bomber and aviator style.
Miss Nepal International, 2019
Look: I am a huge fan of skater skirt trend. It makes you feel cute. And after wearing it on my head I am a Korean girl about to go to a Blackpink concert.
PARAKRAM SJB RANA
Digital Content Creator
Look: This outfit by Kasa which was styled by Basant Buda is dapper and the colour scheme is just perfect. This look made me feel like I was ready to take over the world. There is something so fierce and powerful about this ensemble.
Photographer: Pawan Joshi
Co founder, MP Luxury Bridal & Co-creator, Styled by MP
Look: This look is kind of my rendition of what I would like to wear for a Dior show back in 2019-20.