Mona and Pali, the sister duo from Bengal, have placed Kolkata on the national map, with their passion for designing. Though they initially went into different professions, they soon gave in to their inner desire, a natural aesthetic urge, and opted out of their respective careers to pursue their dream with total dedication and determination. They started from home in 1985 at the request of their friends, who had persuaded them to design their clothes, which they executed competently and successfully.
In 1987, they flagged off their boutique ‘Monapali’ in Kolkata making their dream a reality. They moved on to become stalwarts of the Indian Fashion industry, retailing through their outlets in New Delhi (Hauz Khas Village), Ahmedabad and other prominent stores all over India.
Their clothes range from casuals to heavy formals, and are an eclectic mix of design elements- most of which are inspirations from the ethnic cultural roots of India. An unconventional mix of mediums makes the designs distinctly Monapali – be it in textures, textiles, print or embroidery. They revived Kantha, Folk (Madhubani, Warli, Patta Chitrai) tribal motifs and the Alpana from the realms of obscurity and elevated it to the status of haute couture culture. For them each collection is a challenge, and they work with whatever has triggered, intrigued and excited their creativity.
They represented India in China in the ‘Festival of India’ in 1994 and the Bridal summit- Asia Pacific in 1999, in New Delhi. Quiet, reticent and self-effacing, they are considered by fashion pundits as the ‘Silent Contributors’ to the revival of simplicity on the catwalk.
Two names who have taken Indian fashion industry to great heights are Shantanu and Nikhil. They are labeled, both on the young global and trendy Indian markets of garments. Shantanu has done his MBA from University of Toledo, Ohio, USA and Nikhil has passed from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Fashion & Merchandise) Los Angeles. The two brothers are in the business of manufacturing Indian ethnic garments of high quality. They founded their new brand label in 1998 which is called ‘Shantanu and Nikhil’. This business of designing and entrepreneurship are not new for their family. Shantanu had the feeling that Indian fashion industry had no professionalism thought it has all the ingredients of like creativity, fabrics of huge variety, a treasure of ‘kashidkari’, which can prosper in this industry.
Shantanu easily understood the market and it wants and the various elaborations involved in their effective product marketing due to his degree in management. Nikhil has always been creative and his fashion design program in Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, California has helped him to hone his skills. Nikhil has been awarded with many prestigious awards and scholarships. Nikhil was even invited to design a collection for “Georgio Beverly Hills” in Los Angeles”. The designer brothers are focused on simple yet sophisticated designs. Their superb and unique designs have attracted many bollywood stars and famous sports personalities .They have their two signature stores in the prime locations of New Delhi and their label is also internationally famous. They have also taken parts in many Lakme Fashion Shows
Ritu Beri: From Mumbai to London.
One of the leading female fashion designers in India is Ritu Beri, a name known to all fashion alerts. In the year 1987, Ritu completed her graduation from the Delhi University. During this interval which followed she was motivated to do something and she started designing outfits for herself and later created clothes for her friends. Ritu was quite a creative person from childhood and in the year 1988, she took admission in the National Institute of Fashion Technology, which has a F.I.T, New York affiliation and had just opened in Delhi. Ritu was in the first batch which had 25 students. In 1991, she started to design for Liberty, Regent Street, London.
Ritu Beri is immensely talented and this gave her the most favorable opportunity to get training with Francois Lesage, master creator and embroiderer, in Paris. The year 1995 marked for Ritu for her launching of the brand ‘SANSKRITI’. She had divided her collection into 4 sequences and her creations were the outcome of the vivacious Indian cultural heritage. The only Indian fashion designers to be featured in promostyl’s magazine ‘Acustyl’ which forecasts fashion trends worldwide is Ritu Beri. She has written a personal fashion book, ‘101 Ways to Look Good’. Ritu has introduced her new unique line of animal styled products range called ‘Caring means sharing’. The collection comprises T-shirts, caps, stuffed toys, jugs, notepads, posters, postcards, pens and key chains. Ritu is the first and the only Indian designer to present her creations at “la semaine de la haute couture” in Paris.