Prabal Gurung on his new memoir, the Gold Gala and Asian Excellence

Prabal Gurung on his new memoir, the Gold Gala and Asian Excellence
Prabal Gurung on his new memoir, the Gold Gala and Asian Excellence

Fashion designer and entrepreneur Prabal Gurung’s days right now are all about galas. There’s the Met Gala and Gold House’s Gold Gala, and he’s putting the finishing touches on his book, which is due out next year. When he’s not understanding the likes of Vice President Kamala Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Michelle Yeoh and Quinta Brunson, he’s using his platform to advocate for causes he cares about. And he cares about Gold House. Gurung has been involved in it since its inception and serves as an executive board member and the creative director for the May 11 Gold Gala.

Variety sat down with Gurung to talk galas, books and celebrating Asian excellence.

What can we expect from the Gold Gala?

I’ve always been behind the scenes with [CEO and co-founder] Bing Chen and brainstorming what it looks like. I’m fortunate that I have access to the Met Galas of the world, so I understand how to make things exciting, fun, special, important and significant. When we talk about Asian representation, we talk about all Asians. There are people flying in from India, Taiwan, Shanghai and all over. It’s about people from their respective fields coming together to inspire.

Your fall/winter collection just launched, and you have the galas, but what else are you up to?

My full-time job is as an entrepreneur and I’m a fashion designer. Gold House is very important to me. Besides that, I have a table at the Met Gala and I’m in the middle of celebrity fittings. The next day, I’m getting Designer of the Year from the Accessories Council. I’ll be flying to LA for the Gold Gala and then I’m off to Bombay doing my collection. I’ve finished the final draft of my book and just sent that off to my editor. That will most likely come out in May of next year. I’ve got a few TV and film projects that I’m working on.

Is it a coffee table book or a memoir?

I’ve already done a coffee table book. When you’re in the spotlight, I’m always thinking about the whole process, a gritty human process to get somewhere it needs to be very real. So, it’s a memoir.

Well, you’ve had an amazing journey and career so far, but people forget or don’t know about your story.

When you’ve “arrived,” there’s also that feeling of “Am I doing enough?” “Is it enough?” We are burdened with that responsibility.

If you’re thinking about impact, it affects you. I need friends like Bing and the Gold Gala because it’s a reminder that you’re on the right path. Sometimes being the first one in that majority space can be a lonely struggle. So, what I think about is gratitude. Always.

Fashion as you know is predominantly a white person’s game. I’m the vice chairperson on the CFDA Council of Fashion Designers of America and have seen how it’s changed. What I realized was that there are two options: to be angry or to bring change. You can hold people accountable but do it with grace. My thing is let teach me as much as I can.

Change and revolution is always fragmented. I never thought all this stuff that we were talking about and everything that we’re doing was going to happen in my lifetime. It takes a while. As long as we are in the motion of change, it doesn’t have to be the biggest thing, but it’s the micro things that are important.

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