Ritu Kumar – The Designer Who Introduced Boutique’ Culture in India
Ritu Kumar is one of India’s flamboyant fashion designer often known to be credited to introduce the ’boutique’ culture in India. Today Ritu Kumar is the largest and most trusted designer-wear brand in India. Ritu’s outfits have been patronized by style icons such as late Princess Diana and Jemima Khan. Ritu Kumar’s designs reflects ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary style. Ritu’s knowledge of ancients designs, weaves and innovative use of it has created a new class. Today her designs are known for the colors, fabrics, intricate embroideries and a glorious rich Indian aesthetics.
Ritu Kumar is the face who gave old techniques a complete new avatar. Today she is seen as an established designer popular amongst the brides of rich & famous personalities. Having a piece from Ritu Kumar’s collection in the wedding trousseau, is a moment of pride for the Indian brides.
Ritu Kumar was born on 11 November 1944, in Amritsar and raised in Delhi. She started her career in 1969, with just two table & four hand block printers in a small village near Kolkata. Today her brand has grown to 35 retail stores spread all across India. She is the one who pioneered the term ‘Fashion’ in India and proved that handmade products can be as glamorous & profitable than those machine made products. Ritu Kumar as a brand has been admired and worn all over the world. Its patrons include Indian stars such as Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Dia Mirza to name a few and international celebrities such as the late Princess Diana, Mischa Barton, Anoushka Shankar.
Ritu Kumar has also been designing the wardrobes for Miss India contestants for their participation in international beauty pageants like ‘Miss Universe’, ‘Miss World’ and ‘Miss Asia’ since 1994.
Ritu Kumar has been awarded the Padma Shri Award 2013, the country’s fourth highest civilian award for her exceptional and distinguished service in the field of fashion, textile and craftsmanship.
Ritu Kumar’s forte lies in Indian traditional of textiles, clothes, motifs, prints, embroideries that are typical and so very well incorporated in her designs. Each of her design represent a heritage of India. However, she has also evolved another style for the young Indian buyer, a collection that in her words has “redefined traditional handwriting to meet the changing needs of the new generation.” The new collection has basic Indian motifs, prints and embroideries but with a western touch that suits young Indian stylists.