Indian fashion designers are coming into their own. Here is our pick of exciting new designers to watch.
1. Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama
Known for: minimalist touches
Priyanka’s work is “an appreciation of the minor details of everyday life”. She works with high-quality hand-woven weaves of pure Tassar, Eri Silks, cashmere, and pashminas. Her garments are handcrafted and made in India with utmost attention to tailoring and finishing techniques. A visionary in design and execution, Priyanka uses Zero Waste design principles to make her clothes.
2. J.J. Valaya
Known for: founding the Fashion Design Council of India
JJ was the first global brand ambassador of Swarovski. Not just a fashion designer, he’s also a fine art photographer who released his first book, Decoded Paradox in 2011. The House of Valaya is his own label which he founded with his brother, Tribhavan Jit Singh. Because of his brother’s suave business skills, JJ was able to retail his fashion and lifestyle products under three brands: JJ Valaya, Studio Valaya, and Valaya Home-Life.
3. Manish Arora
From: New Delhi
Known for: more is more philosophy
Manish is known for his craftsmanship and astute play of colors. His designs are inspired by his Indian heritage but with a contemporary vibe. He was first exhibited in London Fashion Week in 2005 and has then on gone from strength to strength, becoming a member of Pret a Porter the same year. He also served as Creative Director for iconic French fashion house Paco Rabanne.
4. Masaba Gupta
Known for: unconventional prints
Growing up with famous parents, her father is cricketer Viv Richards, and her mother the actress Neena Gupta; has propelled Masaba to follow her own career path. When she was 19, she applied for the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai with the support of another fashion designer Wendell Rodricks. She is known for her use of unconventional prints in feminine silhouettes.
5. Anamika Khanna
Known for: blending India’s craft tradition with global contours
Anamika was the first Indian female fashion designer who showcased her work at the Paris Fashion Week. She was also the first couturier to launch her own label, Ana Mika. Anamika has played an important role in reinventing traditional outfits in contemporary ways. Her works are worn by many Hollywood and Bollywood A-listers, as in the case above.
6. Manish Malhotra
Known for: designing for Bollywood’s leading ladies
Manish has designed for many of Bollywood’s leading ladies, known for his ability to envision a “look” for each character they represent. He has dressed Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi, Karisma Kappor, Kareena Kapoor, and Aishwarya Rai among others. Not only has he designed dresses for many Bollywood celebrities, he has also styled and designed costumes for Demi Moore, Kylie Minogue, Reese Witherspoon, Karolina Kurkova, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell.
7. Sonaakshi Rak
Known for: opulent evening wear
Sonaakshi’s label aims to create glamorous ensembles catering to women’s couture wear. She won the CMAI Apex National Award for the best upcoming designer of the year. She was also named as the Sari-gown specialist by Vogue India and rated as one of the top 25 young designers on Vogue’s radar.
8. Ritu Beri
From: New Delhi
Known for: her association with the explosive globalization of the Indian fashion industry
Ritu was a protege of famous French embroiderer, Francois Legase. She was the First Asian Designer to head a French fashion brand, Jean-Louis Scherrer, in March 2002. She recently launched The Luxury League, a not-for profit organization that aims to promote creativity and innovation in the luxury industry of India.
9. Pernia Qureshi
Known for: being a fashion entrepreneur
Pernia has worked as a stylist in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Conde Nast in New York and New Delhi. She created and launched Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, India’s first true fashion website that showcases over 100 designers and is available to the global clientele. Her book, Be Stylish with Pernia, was published by Random House Publishers in 2013.
10. Rohit Bal
From: New Delhi
Known for: using Indian history, fantasy, and folklore in his works
Rohit graduated from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi with an honors degree in history. Rohit’s designs draws on village crafts and traditional methods of design that India is so rich in, to the transient phenomenon of the subcontinent’s urban landscape; he brings them all to life in his spectacular yet original language.
Who is your favorite Indian fashion designer?