"Being selected by USA Network as one of the twelve recipients of the 2011 Character Approved Awards is one of the most honorable and unforgettable recognitions as a designer and as an individual," Gurung told WWD.
Winners are chosen based on their innovative perspectives and ability to influence world views. The awards recognize "game-changing innovators" in architecture, art, design, fashion, film, food, music, social good, technology, theatre and writing. To coincide with the awards, USA Network will air an hour-long special titled "Character Approved: Honoring 12 Cultural Traiblazers."
Gurung's portion of the program hits close to a subject that's been getting quite a bit of attention lately: bullying. The designer talks about being picked on as a child in Nepal for sketching and the one teacher who gave him the support to believe in himself. "To have a complete stranger, an outsider, come and tell you that it's OK to be who you are, it's extremely powerful."
This year's honorees also include Blake Mycoskie of Tom's Shoes, singer Janelle Monae, foursquare founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, chef Grant Achatz and author Nicole Krauss.
For more on USA Network's Character Approved Awards visit facebook.com/CharacterApproved and to see Prabal Gurung talking about "believing on who you are," visit youtube.com/watch?v=h4K8scn2iRE.
The special airs on USA Network on Tuesday, March 8 at 11/10c.