India has a plethora of talent when it comes to fashion designing. The apparel industry in India is booming with trendsetting designs and creations. It is the fastest-growing fashion destination in the world. The reason behind this growth is the plethora of talented designers we have in India.
Initially, we only had a handful of fashion designers we knew by name. But at present, many are ruling the fashion industry with their breathtaking creations. They have put India on the global fashion map and revolutionized the industry.
Below is a list of 10 top fashion designers of India responsible for bringing Indian art, craft, history and fashion to the international forefront.
“Every bride is a story I write, each one different, each one new.”
This man needs no introduction; his work speaks for itself. Sabyasachi is one of the top fashion designers of India, popular for dressing up celebrity couples on their D-day. His larger-than-life creations are appreciated and loved all across the world. Sabyasachi keeps the heart and soul of Indian traditions and culture at the crux of his creations. His every design is deeply rooted and inspired by Indian art, culture, tradition, and history. Fashion designer Sabyasachi’s designs are an epitome of elegance and magnificence.
“Cool has become formulaic. You can walk into stores today, and it's all there: Anyone can buy what's perceived as cool.”
Designer Ritu Kumar is one of the longest-reigning and best fashion designers of India. She started her journey as a fashion designer in the 1960s from a tiny studio and has never looked back since. She launched her own “Label” with her son in 2002 and now is one of the biggest brands. Natural fabrics, traditional printing, and weaving techniques make her designs unique and appreciated. Designer Ritu Kumar has dressed various celebrities like Princess Diana, Priyanka Chopra Jones, Lara Dutta, Madhuri Dixit Nene, and many more. She was regarded with the Padma Shri Award and France’s Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres for her contributions to fashion, textiles and craftsmanship.
“What works for our Indian crafts is the mix of craftsmanship, culture and a touch of modernity.”
Fashion designer Manish Malhotra is one of the best costume designers in India. He is perfect in the art of expressing a movie character with his designs. His designs are a big part of how a movie character comes alive on screen and is perceived. Be it Poo from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…, Miss Chandni Chopra from Main Hoon Na, Zaara Hayaat Khan from Veer-Zaara, or Shantipriya from Om Shanti Om, each character he designed for blew the audience with their sense of style. It is no wonder that he is the choice for a designer for almost every movie. Fashion designer Manish Malhotra has also designed for Hollywood celebrities such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Reese Witherspoon, Kylie Minogue, Jermaine Jackson, and wife Halima and also for the late ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson.
“Art, architecture, interiors, history, travel and maharajas... My inspiration comes from many things.”
The top fashion designer of India Tarun Tahiliani with his wife Sailaja Tahiliani opened India’s first multi-designer boutique titled ‘Ensemble’ in 1987. The boutique started in Mumbai featuring five designers and now has retail chains all over Mumbai and Delhi. Tahiliani then started with a bridal line that was an instant success amongst the brides-to-be. He is the first Indian designer to showcase his works at Milan Fashion Week. His designs are distinguished with elements of Italian pattern cutting and Indian craftsmanship mixed with modern technologies. His designs find congruence in Indian aesthetics and contemporary, chic, and international style. Fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani has dressed Hollywood stars like Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, and Elizabeth Hurley. His most iconic and remembered fashion creation includes British heiress Jemima Goldsmith’s bridal gown for her wedding to Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan in 1995.
Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla
“Design is more than a profession. We instead see the regeneration of Beauty as something of a religion.”
The duo Sandeep Khosla and Abu Jani are the top designers of India. With a legacy of more than 30 years in the fashion industry, they are a popular choice of many Bollywood families. Their creations display a dominant usage of whites and off-whites and exude royalty. Their collections are renowned for reinventing the traditional Indian art of chikankari
“It didn’t dent my spirit. I found a fighter emerge in me.”
The youngest and the quirkiest Masaba Gupta is one of the top designers in India in present times. Her designs reflect her inspiration for Indian and South African heritage. The usage of bold colours, unique designs, and prints make her creations stand out from the rest. Her creations such as pocket saree, denim saree, and polka-dot jumpsuits were an instant hit in the industry. She has mastered the art of fusion wear and creating designs that are modern yet traditional at the same time. Her eccentric and eclectic design style made her one of the most famous fashion designers of India.
“Indian fashion has to buck up. We cannot compete with a Chanel or an Armani. The only way we can survive is by offering something from our rich crafts and doing global designs with an Indian twist.”
Anamika Khanna is one of the most famous fashion designers of India and a personal favourite of Bollywood's fashion child Sonam Kapoor. Her unique sense of styling and distinct creations created ripples in the fashion industry. The fashion enthusiasts went gaga over her very famous idea of using a cape over an Indian outfit and dhoti saree. Anamika Khanna was India’s first designer to present her label at the Paris Fashion Week a decade ago
“Understated elegance, it’s important for weddings to be tasteful yet opulent.”
Rohit Bal started his fashion journey back in 1990 when he launched his favourite menswear fashion label ‘Rohit Bal.' One of the best fashion designers in India, he is well-known for blending Indian and modern designs to create breathtaking outfits. His creations evolved with time according to the psyche and energy of the ongoing fashion trends. His wide clientele now includes popular names such as Uma Thurman, Pamela Anderson, Anna Kournikova, Naomi Campbell, etc.
"Power doesn't come from clothes it comes from within. The whole idea of power-dressing is botched up."
Anita Dongre is one of India’s top fashion designers responsible for accurately planning her labels to cater to all kinds of audiences. Brands such as House of Anita Dongre and Anita Dongre Pink City are her brainchild. She recently launched a sustainable and luxury pret label under the name Anita Dongre Grassroot. She is the first female designer to design dresses for office wear. Anita Dongre is truly a dreamer and an achiever.
“Fashion is not constant, style is.”
Bollywood’s favourite fashion designer Neeta Lulla has designed for almost 300 movies and is remembered mainly for her iconic costumes designed for Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Devdas. With her focus on bridal designs, her label is a perfect blend of contemporary and ethnic. Named ‘The Czarina of Indian Fashion,’ Neeta Lulla has won several accolades for her costumes in movies. One of the most famous fashion designers of India, her creations are recognized all over the world.