Top 5 Women Fashion Designers In India

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Fashion industry is no more male-dominated. Several women designers have emerged and have successfully left their mark in fashion design. They are talented, influential and have made it big in the industry. They are nationally and globally acclaimed for their innovative and refreshing styles and designs. They have blended Indian clothing heritage with western fashion culture and tailoring. They have made fashion an everyday affair.

Out of the numerous fashion women designers in India here is a list of some of the most popular ones:

  1. Ritu Kumar


Ritu Kumar is one of the finest and preeminent women fashion designers in India. Although born in Amritsar and did her schooling in Shimla, she has started her fashion career in Kolkata. She studied Art History in Briarcliff College in New York. With a background in museology from Asutosh College, Calcutta, her unique style depicts ancient Indian culture with a contemporary flavour. She has She has given an innovative twist to the old and conventional crafts related to textiles. She is the first woman to introduce the ‘boutique’ culture under her brand ‘Ritu’. She has started her business using two small tables and four hand-block printers in a small village near Kolkata. She had started with bridal wears and evening wears in 1960s and 1970s. In the next two decades she had influenced the international market. Today she has outlets in 14 cities of India. She has also opened branches in London, Paris and New York. In 1999 her company’s annual turnover was around 10 billion rupees, the highest of any fashion outlet. During the same year Christies published her book, Costumes and Textiles of Royal India, tracing the history of designs and textiles in India. She has used silk, leather and cotton to produce high fashion and multifaceted garments and accessories. She has breathed fresh life into many ancient skills and has marketed them so that they reach every part of the country. She has redeveloped the traditional handicraft with embroidery and textures and designs to meet the changing tastes and demands. There is a wide variety of western silhouettes involved with Indian motifs, prints and works. She has worked on natural fabrics with traditional weaving techniques. In 2002, along with her son Amrish, she launched ‘Label’, a sub-brand targeted at young Indian women with a fast-paced lifestyle. She has received the prestigious ‘Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini’ award for her contributions towards fashion. The French government has bestowed her with ‘chevalier des arts et des lettres’ (knight of the order of arts and letters). In 2013 she has been awarded the fourth highest civilian award of PadmaShri.



  1. Anamika Khanna


Anamika Khanna is one Indian woman designer who has been credited with her own international label, ‘Anamika’. Born in Jodhpur and studied in Kolkata, she is a Kolkata-based fashion designer. Without any formal training of fashion, she has carved out her own niche in the fashion industry. She has started off with Damania Award, way back in 1995. She has also entered the Damania Fashion Hall of Fame. She has been covered by the Business of Fashion (BOF) as the designer who has blended western silhouettes and tailoring with Indian textiles and crafts. She is the first Indian female designer to display her collections at the Paris Fashion Week held in 2007. After her participation in the London Fashion Week in 2010, she has bagged an exclusive contract by the British Retail Giant, Harrod’s. Along with three other designers, she has presented her Khadi collection at the fashion show launched by Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) in co-ordination with Gujarat State Khadi and Village Industries for Narendra Modi’s Made in India project. She has presented her bridal collection in Bridal Asia event held in Pakistan. She has collaborated with Bvlgari brand to launch them in New Delhi and did a private event with them in Singapore. She has been honoured with the Mdhurar Gaurav award by the Rajasthan Foundation, Kolkata Chapter and FICCIs Young Woman Achiever Award in 2006. She has also received the Exports Council Award, the Texcellence Award for Outstanding Boutique and the Kingfisher Designer of the Year Award in 2004. She has also been named as one of the fifty stylish fashion icons of the year by Elle magazine and Verve power. She has also raised funds for Tata Cancer Hospital’s children’s wing and for Akshay Patra foundation with a show in London. She has revisited the Maharashtrian traditional draping of saree. She has created the dhoti-pants out of the nine-yard fabric. She has introduced the tulip drape, the wave drape and the two pallu-in-dhoti drapes. She specialises in trousseau wear. She loves to design sarees. Her favourite colour is white.



  1. Neeta Lulla


Neeta Lulla is yet another Indian costume designer and fashion stylist, hailed as the ‘Czarina of Indian Fashion’. She has begun her career in bridal wedding dresses in 1985. She is one of the favourite costume designers of Indian film industry. She has worked with Jeanne Noorji, one of the prominent Indian choreographer in earlier times. She has worked in more than 300 films. Devdas (2002), the trend-setting Hindi film has made her inseparable with Bollywood after her beautiful costumes were worn by the actresses in the film. She has received four National awards for her costume designs in films. She has also been awarded the IIFA Best Costume Design Award twice. Her speciality is the ancient technique of tapestry, Paithani, combining many threads of different colours and incorporating gold and silver threads woven together to create a gorgeous piece of silk. At the Make in India initiative show in February 2016, she showcased Paithani embroidered jackets, dhotis, pants, long kurtas, sarong skirts and flowing lehengas. She is also inspired by nature and Indo-western fusion style. She has worked upon georgette, chiffon, net, cotton and silk fabrics. Frills, beads, shimmering threads, radiant and pastel colours are also few highlights of her collections. She has opened The Whistling Wood International Neeta School of Fashion in her home city Mumbai. 2016 collection named ‘#SheIsMe’ highlights her dislike towards gender-based violence. The collections debut in Lakme Fashion Week also focussed on gentleness and resilience against abuse through a dance recital. She is also internationally famous having done several shows in U.S., Canada, Monte Carlo and Rome.



  1. Ritu Beri


Ritu Beri is a New Delhi based internationally acclaimed  fashion designer. She has gone to the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, affiliated to F.I.T., New York in 1990. Her first collection as a student “Lavanya’ paved the way for a long and illustrious career ahead. She has also trained under the French embroidery expert, Francois Lesage. She launched her label in December 1990. She was the first Asian designer to head a French brand Jean-Louis Scherrer in March 2002. She is also famous for being the first Indian fashion designer to have presented a line in Paris. She was also the first Indian to be featured on Promostyl Magazine. She is an honorary patron in a charitable organization, Savera Association dealing with improving the lives of women. She was recently appointed as the advisor to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). She is also associated with Upgrading Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD). She has recently launched a non-profit organization, The Luxury League, to promote creativity and innovation in the luxury industry of India. Her clientele includes, former US president Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, the Swarovski family, famous Parisian socialites, and several Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities. She has been honoured with Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. She has been declared as the ‘Link Lady of India’ by Tag Heuer. She has also received the Inspirational Power Brands Glam Award. She has also published 5 books, out of which, Firefly: A Fairy Tale is the most expensive book on fashion with only 100 copies to be sold in India and at a price of 1 lakh. Her new label ‘Baby Beri’ deals in kids’ clothing. She has worked on Moghul motifs, silk and brocade materials and Indian rich culture. She has successfully put India on the global fashion map thanks to her luxe richness.



  1. Anita Dongre


Anita Dongre is a Mumbai-based Indian fashion designer who is noted for handcrafted luxury pret, bridal trousseau and menswear. She has been inspired by the delightful handicrafts from Rajasthan and remote Indian villages. She has achieved her fashion designing degree from Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic of SNDT college. Although born in a Sindhi conservative family, firmly believed in independence of women. Hence, she became an entrepreneur to fulfil her dream of being independent. Her six unique brands include Global Desi (ethnic wear), AND (western wear), Anita Dongre Grassroot (organic clothes), Anita Dongre (bridal, couture, pret and menswear), Anita Dongre Pink City (gold jadau jewellery) and Anita Dongre Timeless. Her design is based on the motto ‘Wear ability, comfort and inclusiveness’. She was the first Indian designer to introduce standard sizing for Indian women (UK size 8 to 18). She has adopted Charoti, a small village in Maharshtra to empower it to earn a livelihood. Her Grassroot label was launched to revive the dying arts of Indian textile industry. She is an avid supporter of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Hence, her fashion house does not deal in leather goods. She has also introduced cruelty-free accessories. Her collection has been showcased around 36 countries. Forbes India, Fortune India, Blackbook Magazine and Business today count her as one of the top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. She was featured on CNN’s Growing India series in 2015. She was recognised as the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by CMAI and Stree Shakti Woman Award by Kelvinator in 2014. She has also been awarded by PETA in 2013.

There are many other women designers in the country who are equally dexterous, efficient and praiseworthy. Their forte lies in their determination to digress from the stereotypical roles set for women in the country. They have been highly successful in both national and international fashion market. Their trendy, chic and variety of apparels and accessories are approved by global women in all age-groups.

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