India’s Top 7 Fashion Designers
It’s easy to just put on a boring old t-shirt and jeans and leave the house, but it’s not what makes heads turn. Intricate patterns, rich colours, elegant silhouettes, those are what give fashion a new meaning. You’ve probably seen Sabyasachi’s lehengas and Masaba’s fusion wear, but today we tell you a bit about the minds behind these stunning designs – the fashion designers who turned their vision into reality.
1. Manish Malhotra
We’ll start with the country’s most celebrated designer- Manish Malhotra. This London-born and Mumbai-raised icon is one of the most renowned Indian designers, and has designed for celebrities such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Priyanka Chopra, Kajol, Reese Witherspoon, and even Michael Jackson!
Malhotra ventured into runway fashion designing in 1998, and launched Reverie- Manish Malhotra, and in 2005, launch his couture label Manish Malhotra.
Over his career, he’s become one of the most influential fashion designers in Bollywood, and is credited with modernizing Bollywood costume design.
He’s won 47 of the 49 awards he’s been nominated for, including the Filmfare Special Jury Award, Guild Award for Best Costume Design, and IIFA Award for Best Costume Design, and with good reason - who wouldn’t want to wear his stunning designs?
2. Sabyasachi Mukherjee
The lavish blouses and gorgeous jewelry, the regal photoshoots and designs - it’s Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Sabyasachi, based in Kolkata, founded his label of the same name after graduating from NIFT in 1999. It didn’t take him long to become renowned on a world stage, winning the 2001 Femina British Council award for Most Outstanding Young Designer in India. He’s famous for his exquisite lehengas, which are popular amongst brides, and has designed outfits for some our favourite couples - Anushka and Virat, Deepika and Ranveer, and Priyanka and Nick.
He’s been involved in several revival initiatives, for the weavers of Murshidabad, textiles from Dastkarin amongst several other places, and the revival of cotton Banarasi sarees in pure khadi.
He’s the only designer to be a part of all, Milan, London, as well as New York Fashion Week.
3. Ritu Kumar
Ritu Kumar is one of the most reputed and senior fashion designers in the Indian fashion industry, who created a beautiful style that blended Indian tradition with modern elegance.
Her business began in Kolkata as two small tables where she used hand-block printing techniques, and is today one of India’s biggest brands with 27 stores nationwide.
Her designs have been worn by Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit and even the late Princess of Wales, Diana.
In 2012, she was awarded the Achievement Award at the L’oreal Paris Demina Women’s Awards, and in 2013, she was given the prestigious Padma Shri award by the Indian Government.
4. Masaba Gupta
She may be a newcomer to the industry relative to several other renowned designers, but she’s still a formidable force. She’s known for the use of bright colours, contrasts and for her mastery of fusion wear. She launched her label, Masaba in 2009 after graduating from SNDT Women’s University, and made her debut at Lakme Fashion Week’s show for new and upcoming fashion designers.
Masaba’s signature style - quirky prints, bold colours, feminine silhouettes - was a hit, and her designs have been worn by several stars.
Masaba Masaba, a Netflix show based on her life premiered in August 2020.
5. Rohit Bal
This Delhi-based designer started his career in 1986 with his brother, and then started an independent company in 1990. He’s known for his synthesis of Indian and modern designs, and his notable using of peacock and lotus motifs, which are now popular in modern Indian clothing. After graduating from St. Stephen’s college, he got a degree in design from NIFT.
Today, this top designer has stores in all major cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Chennai.
6. Neeta Lulla
Neeta Lulla is a fashion and costume designer who rose to fame after she designed costumes for the film Devdas, where her clothes were worn by Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit. Since then, she’s designed amazing costumes for over 300 movies, as well as for Aishwarya Rai’s wedding.
She got married extremely young in an attempt to evade higher studies, but was pushed by her in-laws to get a degree and start a career, so she began garnering an interest for fashion. Eventually, she enrolled at SNDT University in Mumbai. Neeta saved money by making egg sandwiches and eventually had enough to get her first sewing machine.
Today, however, she’s one of the most famous Indian designers, and even runs a design school. Today, she’s a true testament to how far a person can go and how much they can achieve!
7. Anita Dongre
Anita was born into a traditional house, where women weren’t expected to have careers, but in spite of this, life had a plan for her.
From a young age, she saw women in her house creating clothes with fabric, and was intrigued by it. So, she went to SNDT University, where she studied design and fashion, and started a small business with her sister. Today, she’s one of the best-known fashion designers in the country.
Her company, AND Designs India Ltd has four labels under it, including the iconic brand Global Desi, which brings unique twists to Indian ethnic wear.
She’s also launched a jewelry line, and unlike several other designers, all her products are cruelty free - which only adds to their beauty!
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Tishya Doraiswamy, Content Writer @ Skyshot Arts and Entertainment