An advocate of Fashion For Good, senior Indian designer, Anita Dongre, talks to Emirates Woman about cementing her position in the Middle East with the same trailblazing, ethical values.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like?
I am an early riser and like to start my day with meditation and centering myself. Then I go for a walk amidst nature, getting some morning sun to energise myself for the day. I also work out on the reformer in my home thrice a week.
What was the catalyst for launching your own brand?
I’ve always loved fashion since I was 15 years old. Growing up in Rajasthan I was surrounded by so many exquisite crafts and beautiful textiles, there was inspiration all around me.
How would you describe the Anita Dongre design aesthetic and philosophy?
Contemporary and India-proud. Fashion for Good is a core philosophy of the house. We design consciously and work towards women empowerment and animal welfare.
After almost three successful decades in the industry, what is the key goal for you?
While the passion remains the same, the goal now is to grow mindfully and focus on our mission of social sustainability and animal welfare.
What has been the biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?
The pandemic was a tough one, especially as a leader. We all came together as a team though and took it one day at a time till we came out on the other side.
Sustainability is a pivotal part of your brand DNA. How do you incorporate this into the business?
It’s a part of everything we do. We work out of an energy-efficient headquarters, we compost, recycle plastic and all our packaging is made with environmentally kind materials. There’s still a long way to go, but the intentionis to keep moving in the right direction.
Indian craftsmanship is the backbone of your designs, how do you blend traditional techniques with contemporary fashion?
Honestly, it comes very naturally to me. Showcasing heritage crafts in contemporary silhouettes is my passion and way of bringing the old in the new. Creatively it all starts with inspiration. It could be a book, a bird, a postcard I’ve come across in my travels. That’s the inception point. I then work very closely with my team over many months of iterations and the collection emerges.
Your brand has gained popularity both in India and internationally. How do you adapt your designs to cater to different markets and cultural sensibilities?
Our sensibilities have been well received internationally without much need for adaptation. But yes, it’s always been an exciting process to understand cultural nuances and design for the women of the region.
What have been the key milestones to date?
It was a very proud moment for us to be the first Indian brand to have a flagship store in the heart of New York. We are also the first Indian designer to havea store in Dubai Mall. It’s been a fulfilling journey putting India and Anita Dongre on the global map.
With your recent launch in Dubai, what is your vision for the brand in the UAE?
The vision is always to be closer to our customer and showcase the work of our master artisans across the Middle East. Our contemporary yet modest aesthetic and light, effortless handcrafted silhouettes are what define and differentiate us.
This is The Trailblazers Issue – to you, what does it take to be a trailblazer?
Staying authentic, staying passionate and staying mindful.
September – The Trailblazers Issue with Amira Sajwani – Download Now
– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram