When most people in North America think of top fashion labels, the first names that probably come to mind are something along the lines of Valentino, Chanel and Prada.
But millions of people on the other side of the Atlantic think of Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi and Masaba. These are just some of the top Indian designers whose extravagant, fabulous outfits are sought after by South Asians around the world.
Bollywood’s rich and famous always look beautiful, and these designers are a big reason why.
Check out some of India’s favourite fashion designers and their jaw-dropping, gorgeous designs.
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Malhotra is one of India’s best loved fashion designer. Not only does he make costumes for Bollywood’s leading ladies and men but he also designs for Hollywood stars such as Reese Witherspoon and supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Manish is known largely for creating extravagant, traditional Indian clothing with bold colours.
Another beloved Indian designer, Sabyasachi is known for his dramatic outfits, which are largely inspired by his hometown, Kolkata, India. His creations generally use dark, earthy colours, but he doesn’t shy away from adding a pop of colour or modern twists to his gorgeous creations once in a while.
Masaba Gupta is the daughter of famous Indian actress, Neena Gupta. Not only is she one of India’s top designers, but also the country's youngest, at 25 years old. Gupta's a favourite with Bollywood’s younger crowd for her modern twists on traditional Indian clothing. She’s also known for incorporating Hindi and Tamil scripts into her designs.
After working at Elle and Harper’s Bazaar in New York, India-native Qureshi moved back to Delhi in 2008. Pernia started a fashion website called Pernia’s Pop Up Shop, where she sells clothes from all of India’s famous designers, including herself. Qureshi’s own line is largely western clothing with some modern Indian outfits.
A young designer, Thampi is known for putting a Western twist in his Indian clothing, which often feature quirky patterns. Like most popular Indian designers, his clothes are regularly featured in Bollywood movies and are often seen at events.
Singhal is known for her contemporary Indian and Western designs, ranging from casual cotton shirts to traditional bridal. Although her label is based out of New York, her work is much loved in India and especially among Bollywood actresses.
Known for his work in the Indian fashion industry since 1987, Tahiliani is another Bollywood favourite. Actresses such as Shilpa Shetty often walk the runway at his shows and wear his quintessential Indian outfits at award ceremonies and in movies.
Lulla’s been in the Indian fashion industry for decades and has designed costumes for some of Bollywood’s most iconic films, such as "Devdas." She’s known for her traditional Indian clothing including sarees and shararas, but she also designs modern, sleek Indian clothing.
Because of the overwhelming response from our readers around the world, here are some new additions to our list of fierce Indian designers. There are hundreds of incredibly talented individuals in the Indian fashion industry, not limited to these few names. Here are some reader favourites that deserve honourable mention.
Anamika Khanna: Khanna is easily one of the most loved designers in Bollywood, with actresses constantly wearing her traditional, yet edgy, looks down the red carpet. She’s also the designer behind this infamous look actress Sonam Kapoor wore to the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.
Rohit Bal: Another one of India’s veteran designers, Bal has been in the industry since the '80s. His designs are regularly worn by Bollywood actresses like Deepika Padukone. His designs largely consist of extravagant Indian clothing with dramatic patterns and earthy colours.
Ritu Kumar: Kumar is one of India’s most respected fashion designers. At 69, she’s still got the edge she needs to compete with emerging names in the industry. With multiple clothing lines and brands, she offers a wide variety of fashion, from traditional Indian bridal outfits to Western dresses.
Manish Arora: Arora is known for his eccentric combinations of Western and Indian clothing, that somehow work together perfectly. There is never a dull colour or outfit in Arora’s collections, which are worn by Bollywood fashion icons such as Kangana Ranaut. Arora also launched a much-loved jewelry collection in 2012.