Fashion and Clothing have been an integral part of our lives; be it celebrity styles, occasion wear or just your daily conundrum of dressing up to show up. We spend most of our time pondering over the 2 major Fs – Fashion (and food). How has fashion evolved over time? And how it can be used as a force to make a change? Let us take notes from these women who have been pioneers in their own way in making the fashion industry what it is today.
1# Anita Dongre
She is a name that conjures a litany of titles – entrepreneur, designer, humanitarian, PETA activist, to name a few. She has been a beacon of inspiration for budding designers for over decades and continues to do so with her multifaceted roles in the industry. Anita Dongre makes the top of our list of Women Designers who have molded the fashion industry with the innumerable feathers on her hat. She has successfully established design houses at par with global labels over the years. She promotes sustainable fashion and vegan living, while playing a very important role in boosting the traditional small scale artisans. We can go on and on about her achievements and all for the right reasons.
2# Neeta Lulla
The Czarina of Fashion industry is no stranger to praises for exceptional work and designs. She has styled innumerable movies and dressed the royalty of Bollywood. She is not just your regular designer and stylist but she believes in using her work as a mode of social activism and boosting awareness. Her collections in the recent years have promoted the importance of acknowledging gender based violence. Neeta Lulla has been and will always be a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry.
3# Ritu Kumar
Ritu Kumar is one the most revered designers in the Indian Fashion Industry. Her designs focus on natural fabrics and traditional prints and weaving techniques, keeping the essence of Indian heritage alive in the modern world. She has put the traditional Indian saree on the map with her unique styles. Having being awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian Government, Ritu Kumar has spread the reach of Indian wear far and wide into the global market.
Anavila believes in thoughtful creation which leads to meaningful and sustainable fashion. The materials used in her designs are chosen responsibly and create happy work communities that strongly focus on design and detail. She has redefined comfort, luxury and elegance for today’s woman. With countless feathers on her hat, Anavila has simplified the saree giving it a contemporary avatar for the modern woman.
Masaba paved the path for Indian Fashion Industry into the new age with her revolutionary and inspiring designs. It may seem as if she was handed everything on a silver platter but over the period of time Masaba has earned the respect and awe with her impeccable design ethos and innovation. Having being appointed as Fashion Director for Satya Paul, she was probably the youngest Director in the history of the organisation. Known for quirky prints, with feminine drapes and silhouettes, Masaba prefers to use organic fabrics with classic weaves, patchwork and all in vibrant colours.
6# Rina Dhaka
Rina Dhaka has always striven to make a difference while doing what she does best. Over the years she has partnered with several Non profit organizations to give back to the community by raising funds to support the welfare of the girl child. Her designs have been showcased at The Louvre in Paris and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. A firm supporter of the MakeInIndia initiative, she is working to help identify villages known for their traditional textile works.
Kavita Bhartia applies a design philosophy that amalgamates traditional Indian craftsmanship techniques with innovative western silhouettes ,to create a look which is enigmatic and distinctive. She started Ogaan – a multi designer store in 1989, marking a revolution in the Indian Haute Couture. She has been instrumental in launching and publishing the Indian edition of world’s largest selling fashion magazine ‘Elle’
Karishma is the brains behind the label Ka-sha where their goal is to embrace fashion at all levels of the process from design, to sourcing, to production and distribution techniques. Her label Ka-sha ‘s zero waste endeavor called Heart to Haat thrives on ideas of waste management using their skills as designers to recycle and up-cycle to create functional products that re-interpret materials based on current needs. Karishma has been featured in Forbes India coverage for 30 individuals under 30
9# Kriti Tula
A trained apparel designer, Kriti has won many awards and accolades for her work in upcyled and ethical fashion and is the creative genius behind Doodlage. With her experience and environment consciousness, she has initiated her label to address the flaws of the clothing industry and reduce the harmful effects of fast fashion. She strives to make fashion as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
10# Padmaja Krishnan
Padmaja set up her studio with three ambitions: firstly, to observe and reflect in her designs the relationship between human behavior and clothing; secondly, to integrate the work of traditionally skilled artisans with modern design practice; thirdly, to combine sustainability and social responsibility with humor and delight. At her studio she creates “non-conformative, quirky and peaceful” clothing, accessories and handcrafted products.
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