The second largest producer of cotton and a city acclaimed for its remarkable textiles, India has birthed its fair share of world renowned designers and labels. While Mumbai and Delhi are more than often the first two fashion capitals that come to mind, the economic boom in the 90’s brought the establishment of fashion as an industry across the country ever since. With a burgeoning population of budding designers, India boasts their very own fashion weeks such as India Fashion Week in Delhi and Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. There is also Indian Runway Week which supports the promising development of their fashion industry. Inaugurated in 2013, it focuses on being a platform for young emerging designers who tend to fall behind the big names at Fashion Week.
The abundant access to resources more or less explains the number of distinguished names that have made their mark in the fashion world. From the legendary Ritu Kumar to the up and coming Masaba Gupta, these talents have effortlessly merged tradition with futuristic aesthetics into flattering silouettes. Another name to note is Bibhu Mohapatra, whose designs have been seen even on the likes of Michelle Obama.
A land of variety in every sense, India actually has had a longstanding tradition of broidery back in the day and certainly doesn’t lose out in terms of its vast array fabrics as well as its regional handloom techniques that distinguishes the cultural identity of each state. This article takes you on an interesting virtual fabric tour of India that you might want to weave (pun intended!) into your itinerary if you happen to visit these states. To dabble more into the world of Indian weaves, this article will serve you well.
Of the many talked about cities in the Indian fashion industry, below is a small curated list of gems found in some to suit every shopper.
1 Janpath Market, Connaught Place
Popular with tourists and locals since 1950s, its a good place for bargaining. Prices start at 100 rupees, what a steal!
2 Santushti Shopping Complex, Chanakyapuri
Close to Janpath with many unique contemporary pieces. A rainbow of handspan khaki tops, also filled with accessories and home products.
Noteworthy shops: Kapas, Ensemble, Lotus Eaters, Ogaan
3 Shahpur Jat
A little shopping village of winding narrow lanes blending Indian and Western cultures
Main fashion street: Dada Jungi House with shops like Kardo, Olivia Dar, ethical brands like Yes Oui Care
4 Gallery 29 Sunder Nagar
3 Rajasthan Fabrics & Arts
4 Saurashtra Impex
1 Ganesh Handicraft Emporium
Frequented by the likes of Tory Burch and Sarah Burton, you’re bound to find a gem here.
Not a shop per se, but the brand’s factory is located in Amritsar while it is headquartered in Netherlands. Ran by a couple, Akshat and Varvara, it is very much a family owned business as the Indian operations is managed by Akshat’s brother. A name in the niche of shirtmaking, they have a 140 strong army of professional cutters, embroiders and trainees of which there is a 60-40 men to women ratio. No one below 18, and mostly men at the stations, 100 Hands is a far cry from the stereotypical image of fast fashion and child labour when you read your label “Made in India”.