Since the early 1980s, Indian fashion has been a constant and increasingly burgeoning industry, spearheaded by the likes of Satya Paul and Rohit Kohsla. India has consistently produced enormously talented designers who are adept at combining traditional Indian attire such as the sari with contemporary aesthetics. And while in the past these designers were confined to brick and mortar stores, the profusion of global communications in the last decade means there’s a higher demand for Indian sartorial elegance worldwide. Couple that with the ease with which you can create your own online store with providers like 1and1, and it’s no wonder that there are so many worthwhile Indian designers creating remarkable pieces. Below we’ll take a look at some noteworthy Indian fashion designers.
Born in London but raised in Mumbai, Manish Malhotra started his career in the fashion industry as a model, but by 1990 had transitioned into the world of costume design for Bollywood films. After styling over 1000 films, he has been credited with modernizing Bollywood costume design. In 1998 he rose to prominence in mainstream fashion with his high couture label, characterized by traditional Indian colors and fabrics. You can see some of his designs here.
Launched in 1999, Payal Singhal produces custom-made, contemporary and occasion designs as well as ready-to-wear bridal pieces. As the daughter of award-winning Dinesh Singhal, it’s no surprise that Payal pursued a career in a creative field such as fashion.
Based in New Delhi, Manish Arora has been part of the fashion world since 1997 when he launched his eponymous label. He achieved mainstream success at the 2005 London Fashion Week and at the Paris Fashion Week in 2007, after which he was invited to the French Federation of Pret-a-Porter. His clothes are renowned for their attention to detail and unique color palettes, often blending Indian heritage with playful, eye-popping, almost child-like contemporary designs. You can find his work featured in a number of respected fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He’s even known to have designed pieces for stars such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
Having attended both New Dehli’s National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) as well as the Parsons School of Design in New York, and having worked brands such as Marchesa, Bibhu Mohapatra and Prada, it’s safe to say that Kanika Goyal knew what she was doing when she established her own label in 2014. Having been described as one of India’s best up-and-coming designers, Goyal’s work is a combination of luxury and urban style.