Being a woman in the cutthroat world of business isn’t easy—being a successful woman in the world of fashion, even more so. However, a new generation of female entrepreneurs has been turning the tide by drawing up their own seat at the table. From high fashion to high street, look around and you’ll find successful women rewriting the rulebook everywhere—and this Women’s Day, it is time to celebrate their accomplishments. In case it wasn’t clear already, consider this your reminder: the future is female.
As the quintessential multi-hyphenate, designer Anita Dongre has the fashion spectrum covered. Today, the House of Anita Dongre houses her signature couture label, contemporary label AND, the boho-chic offering Global Desi, the sustainable ethos of Grassroot by Anita Dongre as well as Pink City, a jadau jewellery label. Through it all, she remains committed to her mission statement of female welfare by empowering rural women to achieve economic independence by upskilling their talents.
It is difficult to find something to say about entrepreneur Falguni Nayar that hasn’t been said before. Having concluded 2021 with a sensational IPO debut, she also marked her foray into the self-made billionaires club with an estimated net worth of $6.5 billion. Originally starting out as a beauty e-commerce portal, her empire has since expanded into the sartorial domain with its successful venture, Nykaa Fashion.
Having made her runway debut at the age of 19, designer Masaba Gupta’s star has also risen upwards ever since. Her maximalist prints and signature cow motif can today be found splashed on hit Netflix series, Masaba Masaba, and she’s also done beauty collaborations with e-commerce giant, Nykaa. Having opened up about the struggles with racism that she faced during her formative years, she now serves as a vocal advocate for several causes on the Indian fashion landscape.
Not just a pretty face—Pernia Qureshi has been scripting history on her own as the successful name at the helm of a fashion empire, Pernia’s Pop Up Shop. Having discovered the breadth of talent available in the country while designing the costumes for Aisha, she decided to put together an online multi-designer boutique. At a time when the e-commerce landscape in the country was nascent, she developed a luxury shopping experience for the fashion-forward. It has since been acquired by Purple Style Labs. But Pernia’s entrepreneurial spirit hasn’t died. She’s since launched two other brands: Saritoria, an online space where people can shop for the favourite pre-owned South Asian designers. And two, Gur Organics, a homegrown label that uses sustainable and recycled fabics.
The Label Life
Founded by Preeta Sukhtankar, The Label Life has developed a unique business model by uniting Malaika Arora, Susanne Khan and Bipasha Basu as its celebrity style editors. The result is a roster of elevated essentials curated by some of the best-dressed names in the industry. Produced entirely using homegrown craftsmen and Indian resources, the success of the label can be found in the fact that it has attracted multiple rounds of lucrative funding from the industry’s key players.
Concluding night at Lakmé Fashion Week is generally reserved for the industry’s brightest stars—Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra and Tarun Tahiliani are repeat candidates. It is a testament to Ruchika Sachdeva’s business savvy that she managed to launch the most coveted spot in the fashion week calendar within the first decade of launching her label, Bodice. Its meteroic rise through the ranks has been underscored by the ethical ethos woven within the label that focuses on upcycling and end-to-end sustainability.
How does an Indian jewellery label manage to count Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga and Rihanna as repeat customers? Just ask Suhani Parekh, who has catapulted her homegrown label to dizzying highs within the span of a few years. Today, the designer’s minimalist aesthetic is expressed in the form of an architectural take on jewellery that is loved by celebrities and everyday women, alike.