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Migmar Tsering – Introducing 'Miggy', Our Very Own Tibetan Designer

You have a very interesting life story – India, London and now New York. Could you fill us more on how it all happened?

I guess you can say one of the lucky few when it comes to the issue of study. Well, I was selected at the age of nine from Bylakuppe, South India to study abroad in the UK. I was lucky to be brought up under a special organization that provided education overseas for the poor. So I grew up with kids from countries like India, Nepal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Thailand and the West Bank. I learned a lot about their culture and background. I took on Fashion Design and Business at the London College of Fashion. After completion, I was taken up by Komodo, a London-based Fashion Company. During my five years there, I learned a lot in the real world of the rag trade. Together with the owner of Komodo, I launched the ‘Tibet Dreams' label, which sold internationally for five years. Two years ago opened the first Tibet store in London.

I am always inspired by Tibet. I use a lot of Tibetan art for my prints, embroideries and patchworks. I work with few factories where old methods or techniques are still used to produce the fabric (while respecting the environment) and where the business helps generate the local economy.

Is there a particular age group that you clothes are aimed for and why is that so?

My designs, from the beginning, have always been aimed at people who are conscious about where their products come from and who is involved in making them. I have had people of all ages interested in my designs, and both men and women. You recently opened a show in New York for the Tibetan community. As one of the first Tibetan fashion designers, tell us some of the challenges that you face? And, also, tell us some about the reception of your ideas from the community?

It was the first show in New York that I have done and was especially aimed at the Tibetan community. The feedback was great. And so was the turnout. I have done, on previous occasions, fashion shows in Canada, England, Switzerland and India. It's always a pleasure to display my work in front of our own people to encourage them and also to show them that there are designs out there that we can wear to show what we believe in. Strong, subtle or funny, and yet still fashionable. It's always a challenge to be as creative, but above all it’s fun and exciting to see what I can come up with next.Tell us about the inspiration for your work and the kind of materials you work with and also where these clothes are made

I am always inspired by Tibet. I use a lot of Tibetan art for my prints, embroideries and patchworks. I work with few factories where old methods or techniques are still used to produce the fabric (while respecting the environment) and where the business helps generate the local economy. I have always used natural fabric like hemp, cotton, linen and wool. I don't target a certain age group.

A lot of our readers would like to know where they could go to buy your clothes. Could you tell them where they are available and the price range they are looking at?

My designs are currently sold in Pema New York and Tibet Boutique. I will also be launching a new web site, pemanewyork.com, very soon where people can purchase goods from wherever they may be.

Also, interestingly, the football team that you have been involved. Something on that?

Along with the Fashion Show it was great to invite the UK Tibet soccer team for the first time to play with the Boston and New York Tibet teams. Once again it’s wonderful to be able to invite Tibetans from different community across the globe to join hands and enjoy each other’s company.

Pema New York will be forthcoming at www.pemanewyork.com