London-born and Mumbai-raised Manish Malhotra got his first foray into the world of fashion as a model, before becoming a Bollywood costume designer in 1990. He has since become one of the most recognizable names in Indian fashion. Over the course of his illustrious career, Malhotra has styled over 1000 films and is credited with redefining and modernizing Bollywood costume design, while his high couture label (launched in 1998) earned him a place in mainstream fashion. Known for his luxurious, contemporary style that fuses traditional Indian colors, fabrics, and embroidery, Malhotra is credited with helping bring Indian fashion cultures to the international stage.
Little did we know that the most sought-after Bollywood’s favorite designer started taking her life and education seriously only after she flunked in college while studying fashion designing course. Her biggest revelation was when she won the best designer award in college. And, it did not stop there. She is known to be the most awarded costume designer in Bollywood. Her first full-time designer role in Bollywood was for Sridevi in Lamhe. Having worked for almost 300 films in seven languages, she’s unstoppable. Other blockbuster films Neeta is associated with are Devdas, Jodha Akbar, and Kochadaiiyaan—where the emphasis was on costumes. Considering the effect costumes have on the screen canvas, she outdid herself every single time. Of Course, she’s all about prep-a-porter at Fashion Weeks as much as she is about creating the perfect silhouettes for period dramas. An ideal balance of contemporary and ethnic wear is what you get from her label.
Launched in 1969, Ritu Kumar’s label has grown from a tiny studio on the outskirts of Kolkata to one of India’s biggest brands with 27 stores dotted across the country. Through her use of fine Indian fabrics and the country’s most talented craftspeople, Kumar has sought to redefine age-old Indian traditions in the contemporary era, creating a style that is both rich in Indian aesthetics and modern sophistication. A true pioneer in Indian fashion, Kumar has been recognized with prestigious awards including France’s Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and India’s Padma Shri Award for her contributions to fashion, textiles, and craftsmanship.
I follow him everywhere possible (on social media, of course). AI am an ardent fan of his collection, vision, and definition of style. He is known for making thought-provoking statements. And the above quote from one of his interviews did that to me. When you see success stories like these and read about them, you know why they are where they are. It is the attitude more than anything else. Period!
Sabyasachi is a name that resonates with bridal wear in India. Every Indian bride wants to dress up in Sabyasachi, and that’s like taking your wedding to a whole new level. In fact, he has also been doing that for free, for brides who cannot afford his clothesline, through the popular TV show ‘Band, Baaja & Bride.’ He also started affordable, everyday wardrobe for women, and wants to be known for his diverse styles and not just for bridal wear. We are glad.
As the daughter of award-winning Dinesh Singhal and granddaughter of renowned Indian artist J.P. Singhal, it is perhaps not surprising that Payal Singhal would become a creative soul and first foray into fashion – she was awarded the Shoppers Stop Designer of the Year Award at the tender age of 15 – established her prodigious talent. Today, Singhal’s self-titled label – which she launched in 1999 and produces custom made-to-order designs alongside ready-to-wear bridal, contemporary and occasion design – is synonymous with confident, cultured South Asian style and boasts a flagship store in Mumbai and retail outlets in Hong Kong, the Middle East, India and the USA.