Bishwo Gautam, recognized as the first fashion designer in Nepal to have his own solo show in 2011, is earning his degree in Apparel Industry Management on the Los Angeles campus. He currently has two fashion lines, his eponymous Bishwo Gautam (BG) and Designer Collection.
Tell us a little about yourself: I was born in Shillong, India, to a family of business-minded people. I was a commerce student whose proclivity was in the creative fields. It was that proclivity that led me to enroll for a Bachelor degree at the Namuna College of Fashion Technology (affiliated with Purbanchal University) in Nepal. I am enthusiastic, dedicated and passionate to achieve my personal goals. Knowing that in life it is important to balance career, family, and friends, I have reached that goal. I love photography, film, travel, trying new foods, and exploring new and unusual places. I am a kind soul who always wants harmony in this world. I never hesitate to help needy people. I am married and the father of two sons.
Tell us about your fashion lines: I have two companies; one is Bishwo Gautam (BG) and the second is Designer Collection. Bishwo Gautam sells to celebrities and high-end people. It was launched at the Hotel Soaltee Crown Plaza, in Kathmandu Nepal in 2011. It consists of gowns, dresses, lehenga, and assorted tops and bottoms. BG ships its products all around the world. The Designer Collection is an economic brand like Zara and H&M. All the garments are distributed to the Nepali local market and some of the international market as well. The Designer Collection exports its garments to France, Spain, Canada, and USA since it was established (2007).
Tell us about your journey and what made you decide to study at FIDM? I completed my Bachelor degree in fashion designing at Namuna College of Fashion Technology, Nepal. Before I completed my degree, I started to work in fashion export companies as a checker, supervisor, assistant designer, merchandiser, and then ultimately to lead a senior fashion designer until 2007. Then I registered my own company, Designer Collection and started to work for myself. When I started my company, there were only five sewing machines, until in 2009 my company reached at 500 machines.
I succeeded in my apparel business. Then I launched my own label BG in 2011. After that, my life has changed. When I came into media through the BG line, I linked with media and celebrities. Then I realized how important it is to have an international degree and knowledge. I felt I needed to learn more about fashion, lifestyle, marketing, computer sketching and pattern making in order to be viewed as an international fashion designer. I can honestly say, I wanted to learn proper English fashion terms too.
Then I started to find out the best school in fashion. I went to Paris, Milan, Canada, and the USA before 2015. After visiting different countries for my further education, I decided to go to Parsons School of Design in New York last year. I went to New York and lived almost six months there. I gave up New York because its subways and weather suffocated me.
Then I found the best school – FIDM, where I found the major I desired. I came to FIDM and met Mr. David Pavone as my admissions advisor. He guided me on how to enroll in the college and get admitted. I want to give credit for being here at FIDM as a student to my advisor. It almost took a year before I actually started my classes, but my advisor never let me get confused or discouraged.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? My career goal will remain the same; to be an international fashion designer as well as to run my clothing companies back in my country. I hope FIDM helps me to achieve my goal as an international fashion personality in every angle. I strive to be a smart and confident person who will be viewed as a real leader.
What do you find inspiring about Los Angeles? Before I came here I knew Los Angeles to be a hub of fashion and celebrities. I am getting exactly what I came for. I know if I want to start my business here, I will be successful. I know there are so many opportunities waiting for me if I want to start my career here. I want to leave all those decisions to my future for now. I just want to focus only on my studies.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? I must say FIDM is the best school not for only fashion; it also helps you to build your entire professional personality. The courses are very good and as I am taking my classes, I have found that the IDEA center helps with anything I am confused about. The Director of the IDEA center Mrs. Schuver, takes care of everyone in a very polite way. I can sit in the lavish library, and research anything I am curious about. I enjoy the big spacious cafeteria, and the Student Activities room, and the receptionist in the lobby are always warm and welcoming to me. I am enjoying every day of my time here; I love FIDM and its atmosphere.
Anything else you’d like to share? Lastly, I wanted to share my opinion of life. Life is not a buyable gift at any cost. You get it once. Live it fully as much as you can. Put all negative thoughts, hurt feelings, and stereotypes in the box that you never open. Wear a big smile, show an attitude of gratitude, share love and respect, never hesitate to be present with your kindness, keep pursuing your goal and never give it up. You and your parents were not born at the same time so never compare and complain to them. Just believe in yourself. Believe that you can create your own luck. This is true of life.
One of Bishwo Gautam's latest designs
Bishwo Gautam's FIDM student work