Fashion Designer, Anita Dongre, AND & Global Desi
A trailblazer, Anita Dongre has been at the forefront of Indian fashion for over 20 years, having created one of the most successful fashion houses in India that directly employs 2700 people. Launched in 1995, born out of the need to create and cater to the fashion choices of an Indian woman at a time where not many brands existed, today the House of Anita Dongre proudly boasts of a multi-dimensional portfolio. The fashion house has 4 brands with distinct ideologies - AND (sophisticated formal and evening wear for women), Global Desi (India inspired young and colourful boho chic fashion for women), Anita Dongre Bridal Couture (offering luxury bespoke bridal, couture and ready-to-wear) and Anita Dongre Fine Jewellery, Pinkcity.
A connoisseur of craftsmanship, Anita Dongre’s designs showcase Indian aesthetics for the global woman of today, keeping comfort at it's core. Internationally her designs have been worn and appreciated by noteworthy women such as Kate Middleton, Hillary Clinton, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Sophie Trudeau to name a few.
A vegetarian and animal-lover, she lives her personal philosophy through conscious efforts as a fashion designer. She designs sustainable, cruelty-free clothing and accessories, thereby representing fashion with a conscience. Through her Anita Dongre Grassroot initiative she has helped revive dying crafts and provide opportunity to hundreds of artisans in the rural villages of India in the comfort of their homes. She has helped set up various units in areas with unskilled work force and provided them with vocational training of sewing and stitching. Nestled in the quaint hills of Navi Mumbai, the House of Anita Dongre headquarters have been ergonomically designed to optimise the use of natural light, have a compost pit as well as recycle their water.
For Anita, the business of fashion should be conducted the way it was always meant to be—looking towards the future, practicing and building processes that are sustainable, respectful of the people involved and environmentally conscious.
Fashion Designer, Anamika Khanna
Anamika’s tryst with design and style began with the Damania Fashion Award in1995 which jumpstarted her career, and saw the beginning of the label AnamikaKhanna. With color, craft and texture as her forte, trousseau wear is naturally her areaof specialization. Her look is global with ethnic Indian craft as her mainstay.
The year 2007 came with an invitation to showcase the brand at the Paris FashionWeek, the first for any Indian designer. She retails through her flagship store inKolkata, Carma and Ogaan (New Delhi), Ensemble and Kimaya (Mumbai),Evoluzione (Chennai) and Elahe (Hyderabad).
Dr. Alka Nishar
Dr. Alka Nishar is the Founder of AZA Fashions Pvt Ltd., a retail business for hi- fashion garments and accessories, which she started in 2005. She has opened multi- designer stores, AZA, in Mumbai and Delhi, showcasing the creations of India’s most talented and leading designers. The first store catering exclusively to men, AZA MEN, has also opened in Mumbai. Under her leadership, AZA is on a high growth trajectory and Dr. Nishar’s ambition is to establish AZA stores in major cities in India and abroad.
Dr. Darlie O’ Koshy
Director General/CEO, IAM
Dr. Darlie O’ Koshy is currently the Director General and CEO of Institute of Apparel Management (IAM - www.iamindia.in) with its main campus in Gurgaon-NCR and Apparel Training and Design Centre Network (including 25 ATDC Community Colleges and over 150 ATDC-SMART Peripatetic Centers/Skill Camps) under the aegis of AEPC (www.atdcindia.co.in).
Dr. Darlie O’ Koshy, a PhD from IIT Delhi and rank holder in MBA, headed National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (Ministry of Commerce, GOI) as Director for two terms of office (2000-2009) prior to which he was the founding Chairperson of Fashion Management Studies at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (Ministry of Textiles, GOI) from 1987-2000. Dr. Koshy received the Delhi IIT Alumni Award for contribution of National Development in 2008. He was also conferred with the “Star of Italian Solidarity” one of the highest civilian awards of the Government of Italy. Dr. Koshy is the author of three significant books; Effective Export Marketing of Apparel to US, EU and Japan, Garment Exports: Winning Strategies and the much acclaimed Indian Design Edge.
President Group Apparel, Raymond
Gaurav Mahajan is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and NIFT Delhi with over twenty years of experience in organized retail. He is currently President Group Apparel at Raymond Group. The group’s apparel portfolio comprises Park Avenue, ColourPlus, Parx and Raymond ready-to- wear. He is looking to aggressively scale its existing brands and also venture into newer categories with an objective of establishing Raymond as the leading house of lifestyle brands in the country.
Prior to joining Raymond Group, Mahajan was Chief Operating Officer at Trent (Westside). The highlight of his career has been his contribution to the nurturing of Westside from a single store operation to the largest store chain in India with 80+ stores. With Westside since inception, he has worked in various functional areas, including Buying, Merchandising, Sourcing and Supply Chain Management. He has also done assignments with brands such as Star India Bazaar, Littlewoods and Proline.
Head of Fashion, IMG Reliance
Jaspreet Chandok is the Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance with a wealth of experience across fashion, retail, marketing and events. During his tenure with ITC Ltd, he has managed multiple seasons of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week and the Wills Signature ‘Ramp to Rack’ initiative with leading Indian designers. He has also headed the Wills Lifestyle Retail network with 120 stores spread across 45 cities. An alumnus from IIM Kozhikode, he began his career by starting up a non-profit events organization. As Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance, he is responsible for managing and providing a strategic direction to the Lakmé Fashion Week as well as use his retail experience to provide guidance to young designers to scale up their businesses.
Fashion Designer, Manish Malhotra
Manish Malhotra’s areas of creativity span the broad spheres of Bollywood design, styling, diffusion and the everlasting bridal and couture. His diffusion couture label MANISH MALHOTRA has become a hot seller since its launch in 2004 and currently retails across Bombay, Delhi and Dubai among other cities. The label is a hot favorite when it comes to dressing up India’s most beautiful and glamorous women and stylish men in Bollywood many more who swear by the designer’s acumen. He has also styled and designed for brides and bridegrooms all over the world, giving them something out-of- the-world for their big day.
Having designed for about 100 films and being the winner of the first Filmfare award for costumes for the movie Rangeela he has been felicitated with nearly 34 awards. Not only is he the most coveted designer in Bollywood, he has also styled Michael Jackson and his brother Jermaine Jackson and wife Halima, Van Damme, Reese Witherspoon in Mira Nair’s Vanity Fair and Kylie Minogue. He has carved a niche for himself in the South Indian film industry too, by styling the look of superstar Rajnikanth for the blockbuster film Sivaji and Robot. Besides films and fashion, Manish has also been associated with styling the entire look for Shahrukh Khan’s IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders and styling up market leisure properties both in India and New York.
Ms. Mehernaaz Dhondy is the Editor of Grazia India at Worldwide Media Private Limited (WWM). Ms. Dhondy is forever engaged in the task of showcasing “fashion…as it happens” to the young readers of this increasingly popular magazine. She was Deputy Editor at fashion glossy ELLE. Overall, Ms. Dhondy has more than ten years of journalistic experience in Indian media on the fashion side.
Columnist, Mumbai Mirror
Namrata Zakaria is a seasoned fashion writer and noted observer of lifestyle, society and cultural trends. Her first column, Flair and Square, was published weekly in The Indian Express newspaper for fourteen years. The column moved to Mumbai Mirror, The Times of India, in 2015, and is now called Let Them Eat Cake. Zakaria is especially known for her insider’s take on fashion and luxury in India. Her writing is appreciated for shaping opinions, busting myths and making or breaking reputations.
Fashion Designer, Narendra Kumar
One of India’s leading designers, Nari had been offered Fashion Editor for the international ELLE magazine. He has also taught design, pattern making and draping and fashion history at NIFT. During the recent show at Prêt a Porter, Paris, Nari was well appreciated by the czar of international fashion, Claude Montana himself.
Editor, Harper’s Bazaar
A graduate from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, Nonita started her career as a Trainee Journalist with India Today. She went on to become the Editor-in- Chief of ELLE India for nearly thirteen years where she influenced fashion, beauty and lifestyle; her ideas and initiatives shaped careers and launched trends. Nonita has held prestigious consultancy assignments with Godrej Consumer Products and, most recently, with FDCI. With over two decades of experience in print media and television, Nonita has worked with Business World, UTV, BiTV, and Man’s World. Nonita was also a regular columnist at The Indian Express, Economic Times, Forbes Life, and our own DailyO.
The torchbearer of ‘Business of Fashion’ in India, Pradeep Hirani is the Founder of India’s biggest luxury fashion house KIMAYA. With 24 stores, spread over one lakh sq. ft. of luxury retail space across India and the Middle East, KIMAYA was the first fashion house to successfully scale up the Indian designer wear industry. As a testimony, KIMAYA is the only ISO: 9001 certified fashion house in the country. It has won the Star Luxury Retailer of the Year Award for three years in a row. With a portfolio of over 200 designers available under one roof, KIMAYA is the biggest buyer at all Indian fashion weeks and a regular invitee to many international fashion weeks.
Mr. Hirani is revered for many innovations in the industry, be it the launch of new multi-designer bridge-to- luxury brand KARMIK, or the new designer e-commerce sites www.kimaya.in, www.karmik.in, www.designerack.com etc. For his unflagging efforts KIMAYA has become the first Indian fashion house to receive a Foreign Private Equity investment from Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy, to be channelized towards growth of the Indian fashion industry.
With over two decades of experience in publishing and editing, Priya Tanna in her role as the Editor of Vogue India has been instrumental in putting together the world’s fashion bible, personalized for the Indian woman, since its launch in 2007.
A renowned name in the Indian fashion industry, Priya has extensive experience in the field of media. Her previous trysts as an Editor were with various publications including the popular lifestyle supplement DNA After Hours, Rouge, the former women’s supplement from the Times of India, and Time and Style magazine from The Times Group. Apart from these, Priya was also the launch Editor of Femina Girl.
Head – Lakmé Innovation
Ashwath Swaminathan is the head of Lakmé Innovation at Hindustan Unilever Ltd. He is responsible for leading the innovation and growth agenda on Lakmé’s product portfolio of colour cosmetics and skincare. He has 14years of experience in marketing and has worked across tea, coffee and beauty in the last 12+ years he has been with HUL.
Fashion Designer, Rohit Bal and Balance by Rohit Bal
Rohit Bal is intensely concerned with design as an art form. The designer draws on history, fantasy and folklore to create masterpieces that are desired by discerning aficionados around the globe. Rohit has a deep understanding of the psyche of the fashion space and it reflects in his collections that are intelligent, studied, imaginative and completely innovative yet always relevant and awe-inspiring.
The celebrated designer graduated from the famed St. Stephens College in New Delhi with a degree in History. He then worked in his brother’s export company for a few years, learning the ropes. In 1990, he created his traditional menswear designer line and there was no looking back. Rohit Bal’s sense of aesthetic is finely honed. His work is handcrafted to perfection. He is recognized for meticulous attention to detail. The label Balance by Rohit Bal is a prêt offering from the designer. It has been an unqualified success. Rohit Bal today has a significant presence in the cities of India. He is considered a maverick talent who never disappoints. He has been showered with awards and accolades throughout his career. Among others, he has received the Shiromani Award and the Best Menswear Designer at the inaugural India Fashion Award.
Fashion Designer, Sabyasachi Mukherjee
The man needs no introduction. His journey from a Gen Next designer to being a global fashion figure is enviable. He has successfully showcased at almost all the prestigious fashion platforms; New York Fashion Week, Olympus Fashion Week, Paris, Milan etc. His collection is stocked at high-end designer stores in India and abroad.
The princess of Kathiwada, Sangita’s brainchild, Melange was one of the first multi designer stores to be set up in Mumbai, in 1993, and still retains its status as a “desired” fashion destination. It has been providing its niche global and local clientele fashionable garments and accessories that are conceptualized by a ‘green’ philosophy, characterized by eccentricity and meticulous finesse. Using the medium of fashion and Melange as a platform, she has drawn attention to environmental causes and heritage conservation. With her commitment to incorporate the latest design with the most ancient handicrafts, she went on to establish the non-profit Morarka Centre for Crafts at the NCPA. She continues her dedication to art by serving on the Advisory Council for Aesthetics and Style of OSIAN’S Connoisseurs of Art Pvt. Ltd, besides being an important shareholder.