Active professionally in fashion for more than five decades, Mrs. Gyani Shova Tuladhar is a trailblazing fashion designer, entrepreneur and academician. So instrumental have her efforts been in elevating the entire fashion sphere of Nepal that it would not be inappropriate to consider her as the Grande Dame of Nepali fashion.
Mrs. Tuladhar embarked on her remarkable fashion odyssey in the early 1970s with only a single scissor, cutting board, sewing machine, measuring tape and an iron when she established Namuna Silai after graduating from Zarapkar Tailoring College (Now Zarapkar Fashion College), Mumbai where she studied under an Indian Embassy scholarship. Namuna Silai is widely recognized as one of the country’s oldest designing/tailoring firm that has played a prominent role in uplift of the fashion scene in Nepal.
In 1997, she established Namuna Institute of Technology (NIT) which is probably Nepal’s first professional school to offer career and employment oriented short duration vocational courses in various aspects of fashion and clothing construction. Mrs. Tuladhar is also the visionary behind the establishment of Namuna College of Fashion Technology (NCFT) in 2002, which is Nepal’s first ever Fashion College and which introduced both the 3 years (6 semesters) and the 4 years (8 semesters) Bachelors programs in Fashion in the country in affiliation with Purbanchal University.
During the course of her career, she has designed for members of the former royal family, high ranking government officials, diplomats, movie stars and socialites. Nearly 100 Nepali movies have used her skills as a Costume Designer. She assisted the Costume Designer for the Hollywood film “The Night Train to Kathmandu” and was the Costume Designer for the French production “Yeti – The Call of the Abominable Snow Man.” She has designed for various Nepali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi joint venture films. She also designed uniforms for top banks, hotels, airlines, etcetera. Mrs. Tuladhar is also the first fashion designer from Nepal to showcase a collection at the SAARC Cultural Pageant held in Dhaka in 2000.
Her indelible contributions to the fields of fashion and fashion education in Nepal have been acknowledged with various prestigious awards and recognitions. She is one of the 25 Nepali women whose stories and achievements have been compiled in a book named “Celebrating Womenhood: Women Who Inspire Positive Change” which has been included in the Sociology Department of Liverpool John Moore University (LJMU), UK as part of its teaching curriculum in 2018.
She was bestowed with the Nepal Education Leadership Award 2017 by CMO Asia. She was nominated by Kantipur as one of the year’s “Top Personalities” under “Arts (Theatre/Painting/Fashion/Sculpture)” category in 2014. She received “The Best Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” award at the BOSS Top 10 Business Excellence Awards for the year 2004/2005 and the “Mahamaya” title/award at Celebrating Womanhood 2004.
Mrs. Tuladhar is a former member of the Academic Council of Purbanchal University, the Chairperson of Fashion Technology Subject Committee of the University and also a Consultant Expert at the Ministry of Commerce (Government of Nepal).