The phrase "young talent" took on new meaning at the recent Dubai World Fashion Week, when Vidhi Karva, 9, presented her debut collection on the runway.
Although still studying at Indus International School in Pune, India, Karva sent out a collection of eveningwear that focused on shimmer and volume in jewel tones. The designer even walked the runway with one of her models, showing off one of her own designs.
Showcasing her collection as part of the International Kids / Teens Fashion Runway, Karva was introduced by event organisers Vivz Fashion School as the "youngest fashion designer in the world".
Her tender years meant that while the ideas are all Karva's, she had to enlist the help of her mother to bring them to realisation. "It was my dream to be a designer, and right now I imagine the designs, and my mother helps with giving them shape on paper," she explains.
The event was Karva's debut as a designer, and the launch of her label, Vidha Karva Couture. Buoyed by the positive response, the girl now has her sights set wider afield.
"It was a big turning point for me and I received great feedback. Now, I will start to work on my next collection, and am excited to take the line to London and Milan as well," Karva says.
Despite her global ambitions, the budding talent is keen to highlight important issues, as well as help promote Indian expertise. "I would like to promote sustainable and Indian fabrics through my designs," she says.
As well as helping her with the work, Karva credits her mother as the inspiration behind her foray into fashion. "My mom has been my inspiration. She used to make nice dresses for me and I got inspired to become a designer," she says.
She lists Hannah Montana, Jennifer Aniston and Sonam Kapoor as her style muses, and professed that she would love to one day dress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Self-taught to date, Karva admits that she still had a lot to learn, and that any knowledge has been largely gleaned online. "I will sign up for a course, but whatever I have learnt to date is via YouTube," she explains.