Vijay Singh from India
"I've been involved in a number of artistic activities since childhood, and it was my highest desire to become a designer. My trademark is the golden block print patterns I create. I let them stand out in the clothes, like the sun.
"Initially, I began my career as a textile designer for home furnishings. But I was still very interested in fashion design. Luckily I got an opportunity to prove myself as a designer in an apparel company. The owner encouraged me to do what I did very well, and those were the designs that sold.
"Then I realized I could design on my own also, so I freelanced my designs for other firms. At the same time, I took on projects with schools as a costume designer for plays. A well-known director, Mr. Feisal Alkazi, gave me a wonderful platform for this, and it was such a good experience that it propelled me forward. My family stood behind me when I started working for myself. It really felt good. After all, it's about being independent.
"My sister has been my inspiration. She has always encouraged me and I couldn't have done it without her. Now I am working with her, creating my own designs under my signature. We design a whole range of apparel and very recently ventured into designing accessories. Our creations come from my own imagination and from knowing what people want."