Bhutanese Designer to Watch: Wangpe Tashi
From colourfully designed satchels and slings to chic flared skirts, Wangpe Tashi is picking out the best traditional textile has to offer. While contributing her kira designs for our summer issue, the designer is also slowly prepping for a contemporary line of skirts, bags and dresses in probably the most fresh-colored palette selection we’ve ever seen.
by Chimi Wangmo
“I’m obsessed with colours and prints. I cannot stand a white wall or a plain outfit”, exclaims the young fashion designer, Wangpe Tashi. The 29 year old may just have started her design line with sling bags, pleats and flared skirts, but her experience in textile and design goes way back.
Together with her mother, Wangpe Tashi has been designing and selling kiras for years, often winning awards at the Royal Textile Academy design competition. “I grew up in a competitive creative family surrounded by creative people and guided by my dedicated and hardworking mother. I grew up watching her weave beautiful kiras. I must say the influence from my parents was huge who always encouraged me to be open-minded, honest, focused, and told me to follow my passion.”
After graduating in 2010, she tried numerous jobs but it was in 2013 that she found her true calling: designing kiras. Having had no formal training or experience, she learnt everything she could on-the-job.
Wangpe says that it was her keen interest in fabric, textile and fashion that kept her going in a profession that was often questioned with an uncertain future. But she also admits that she wasn’t looking into doing it full time. “While working with the textiles I realized how beautiful the journey of a kira is. Seeing all the motifs, colours, intricate patterns come together and materialize into a fabulous piece of textile is mesmerizing.”
Go behind the scene with Yeewong as we shoot the cover of Yeewong’s Summer 2017 issue in Dochula, Bhutan, in collaboration with Wangpe Tashi.