From dressing the First Ladies of States to Hollywood A-listers, Indian-origin designers have made a mark for themselves in the global fashion arena. They may have left Indian shores long back, but these designers have a common Indian thread running through their design sensibilities. Here’s what makes them global fashion’s favoured ones.
Ashish Gupta, Delhi-born, London-based
Achievements: Showed at London Fashion Week many times and recently collaborated with Topshop to produce a range
Celeb clients: Madonna, Victoria Beckham, Katy Perry
Ashish schooled at St Columbas before moving to UK to study design. He quietly began making clothes for friends until being spotted by fashion boutique Browns Focus’s buyer who gave him his first order in 2001. After that he regularly showcases at London fashion week. With his mix of western and eastern influences, Ashish is known for his sequinned garments and sportswear.
Saloni Lodha, India-born, UK-based
Achievements: Launched her label Saloni at London Fashion Week, 2007. Retails at Barneys, Sauce and Le Mill, Mumbai
Celeb clients: Emma Watson, Naomi Watts, Alexis Bledel
Lodha, 30, hails from Nasik. After studying graphic design in Mumbai, Lodha shifted base to Hong Kong. She set up tiny pop-up shops to sell her dresses made of Indian brocade, silk and cotton. She moved to London and launched the Saloni label. Today her flirty, feminine dresses are retailed at some of the world’s leading boutiques.
Naeem Khan, Mumbai-born, US-based
Achievements: Inducted as member of Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), 2008. His dresses have featured in Sex and the City.
Celeb clients: Michelle Obama, Eva Longoria
Khan, 53, is known for his intricate embroidery. His father ran textile workshops in Mumbai specialising in handiwork, which inclined Khan towards fashion. He launched his label Naeem Khan in 2003 along with his wife Ranjana Khan, in New York. He showcased his collection — some great floral print dresses and gowns high on bling — at the New York Fashion Week, recently.
Rachel Roy, Indian-origin, US-based
Achievements: Has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was inducted as a member of the CFDA in 2007
Celeb clients: Michelle Obama, Lucy Liu
The 38-year-old designer, born to an Indian father, was raised in California. After graduation, she moved to New York to work as a stylist, where she turned an internship opportunity at Rocawear to her favour and introduced a classic, lean feminine clothing line. In 2005, she launched her own clothing line that aims at providing utilitarian fashion for modern women.
Prabal Gurung, studied in Delhi, NY-based
Achievements: Received Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, 2010. Chosen as the coveted design studio at CFDA 2010-12
Celeb clients: Michelle Obama, Demi Moore, Oprah Winfrey
The Nepalese-American came to Delhi to study at NIFT and appre-nticed under designer Manish Arora. He moved to New York in 1999 and interned with Donna Karan and studied at Parsons. He became the design director at Bill Blass, before he launched his label Prabal Gurung. He regularly showcases at NYFW and is known for his glamorous gowns.
Bibhu Mohapatra, Indian-origin, US-based
Achievements: In June 2010 Bibhu was elected as member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, CFDA
Celeb clients: Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Sienna Miller
Indian origin, Bibhu, 40, completed his masters in economics from Utah State University and moved to New York in 1996 to enroll in the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1999 he became the design director of fashion label J. Mendel. He launched his label in 2008 under his own name, and has regularly presented several collections at the New York Fashion Week.
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