1. Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Known for his ‘international styling with an Indian soul’ and his bridal couture, Sabyasachi is a brand that exudes luxury that is rooted in Indian traditions. One of the most talented designers of the Indian Fashion Industry, he had won the Femina British Council Award for Most Outstanding Young Designer in India in 2001 and at the Mercedes Benz Asia Fashion Week in 2003, right after he had graduated from college. He has recently collaborated with H&M to bring out a wardrobe of ‘whimsical and fluid silhouettes that bring relaxed sophistication to everyday life’.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, films like Guzaarish, Paa, English Vinglish.
2. Manish Malhotra
One of the biggest stalwarts of Indian fashion, Manish Malhotra and Bollywood go hand in hand. Known for his luxurious and elegant style and his wedding trousseaus for eminent Indian families, he has revolutionized fashion in the film industry. This is one designer who started off by designing for Sridevi and went on to design for Michael Jackson on his trip to India. This king of couture is behind the drool-worthy trousseaus and lehengas.
Bollywood connect: Designed costumes for Sridevi, Juhi Chawla, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt in movies like SOTY, Om Shanti Om, Ae Dil Hain Mushkil, Mohabbatein, and Dostana.
3. Ritu Kumar
Beginning forty years ago in a small village near Calcutta, Ritu Kumar was the pioneer of boutiques in India. Her label Ritu Kumar is Contemporary, Traditional, and Progressive. One of the biggest labels in India, she has clothed leading actresses, Miss World and Miss Universe pageants, and the Indian glitterati. She was awarded the ‘Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award’ for her contribution in the field of fashion.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Lara Dutta.
4. Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla
Also known as ‘the boys’ in the fashion scenario, this power duo has broken ground in the Indian Fashion Industry. Their clientele range from the Bachchans and the Ambanis to Beyonce. They blend tradition and heritage with a modern aesthetic. They are known extensively for their work with Chikankari and Zardozi.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sridevi, and Tabu
5. JJ Valaya
A founding member of the Fashion Design Council of India, JJ Valaya was the first couture label to have a solo show in India in 1994. He fuses traditional crafts with modern-day hot couture making his style chic and alluring. Valaya’s work is mostly inspired by the royal era fashion of Rajasthan. He has 2 apparel lines Couture and Diffusion, and product labels named Studio Valaya and Valaya Home.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Kangana Ranaut, and Sonakshi Sinha.
6. Tarun Tahiliani
The first fashion designer to start a multi-designer store in India, Tarun Tahiliani had created a revolution in the Indian fashion scenario. Blending Italian pattern cutting with Indian artistry with an edge provided by digital textile printing is his signature style. His own label is known as Ahilian. He is famous for his eccentric collection of wedding trousseau.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Hrithik Roshan, Dia Mirza, Katrina Kaif, Dia Mirza, Madhuri Dixit, and Sonam Kapoor.
7. Rohit Bal
Time magazine had once called him “India’s master of fabric and fantasy”. His designs are luxurious and decadent. In 1990, he had created his first fashion line which was a collection of traditional designer wear for men. His clientele not only includes the Indian glitterati but also the likes of Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, and Cindy Crawford.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, and Priyanka Chopra.
8. Manish Arora
Manish Arora is one of the most loved designers in the fashion industry, both here and abroad. Known for the use of vibrant colours and kitsch motifs, he made his mark by fusing contemporary aesthetics and Indian heritage. He has also collaborated with MAC for a wide range of very vibrant beauty products.
Bollywood connect: Designed for Sonam Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranveer Singh, and Kajol.
If all these fashion designers have inspired you to venture into the world of fashion, here are a few things that you can do:
- Complete a degree program like diploma in fashion design
- Get enough hands-on experience
- Learn the nitty-gritty of the fashion business
- Develop a stunning portfolio
- Always be up-to-date with trends
India is already a country of cultural vibrancy that has been made more colourful and fashionable by these fashion designers.