The vibrant world of fashion and the evolving dynamics of luxury labels keep us on our toes. With technology on the rise, millennia’s a new target in the market and shifting consumer perspectives, the fashion and luxury industry are now, constantly in the process of evolving to adapt. The landscape of brands is no longer masked by geographical borders, giving rise to diversity at either end of the functionality and purchasing spectrum.
Women of Indian origin have become a prominent part of this diversity in the fashion industry and have taken up important roles in driving it. Let’s take a look below at the most influential women of Indian heritage around the globe taking the world of fashion business by storm:
A career with major fashion lables in brand strategizing for over 20 years and at a global scale, Tina Bhojwani is currently the President of Dolce & Gabbana North America. The humble Georgetown University graduate opens up about her work life in an email to Forbes Magazine –
“I would say that it is a simple formula of hard work and passion that has gotten me to where I am today,” she says. “To add, I think I have been very fortunate to have worked with and for incredible people in the industry who believed in me.”
Besides being a top executive with Dolce and Gabbana she is a force of nature running her own wellness tea brand with her brother, called Prince Teas. Although, an all rounded business woman, Bhojwani has remained connected to her roots, co-authoring a book titles To India With Love that revolves around the lives of victims of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
From dressing the royals, Kate Middleton to the former first lady Michelle Obama, to Anne Hathaway and Deepika Padukone adorning her pieces, Saloni Lodha has taken the world of fashion by bright colors and bold prints. Born in the charming city of Nashik, western India, she grew up in a Jain household going on to pursue a degree in Graphic Design from Mumbai and onto taking inspiration from her roots turning them into global fashion shapers. Creating a niche unlike any other for her, Lodha’s designs are a prodigy of textiles, with flowing gowns to comfortable everyday-wear to tailored pants and fitted blouses, she has it all covered.
Staying true to her home ground, she creates a seamless blend of western tailoring drawing influences from the fashion streets in Mumbai seeking hand crafted embroideries and flamboyant saris. Lodha often indulges in artisanal workshops in local India. “It took me back to my childhood,” she says to Financial Times about her creative journey to India, “I knew I could bring all of this heritage together in my own way.” she tells Financial Times in regards to the Rajasthani influences in her design. Based out of London, headquartered in the UK with design, sales and every operational aspect functioning, and residing in Hong Kong, she is globetrotter always on the move, taking bits of India through her fashion, wherever she goes!
“I am very grateful to wake and do what I love every day” tells the Senior Vice President, Fashion Director of Saks Fifth Avenue, Roopal Patel to Forbes. Forecasting trends, formulating brand messages whilst curating exceptional designers and collections, is all part of the profile that shapes Patel’s professional profile. With a keen interest in fashion in from her early days, this leading lady of fashion is a NYU Stern School of Business graduate that formerly founded an eponymous creative consultancy. Roopal Patel Consulting primarily focused on brand development, awareness and communication strategies.
Her experience with Neiman Marcus’ Senior Accessory Market Editor and Bergdorf Goodman’s Senior Fashion Director along with being Moda Operandi’s Fashion Director, all led her to eventually live the ultimate fashion dream of becoming a top tier executive with Saks Fifth Avenue. Patel’s position in the fashion industry has served inspiration to many, making her an ideal mentor to up and coming designers in Council of Fashion Designers of America’s, “Fashion Incubator”.
In the tell all interview with Forbes, she goes on to say “The minute I realized I wanted to be a part of fashion and this industry, I just went for it. I am so happy that I did. I get to see beauty every day and be a part of one of the most dynamic industries in the world. That is what keeps me moving forward.”
Neelam Kaur Gill
Born in Coventry, currently based out of London, this 23 year old Sikh Indian model, has sashayed her way down a tremendous number of runways. Neelam Kaur Gill has opened up about bullying, racism in the industry, dealing with depression and how she overcame body confidence issues via her Youtube Chanel. The face of L’Oreal, features in British Vogue, Vogue Arabia and Vogue India, this unconventional model is a part of campaigns with diverse brands like Balmain and Adidas. Gracing the cover of Elle Magazine and having met with Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust Event, this confident model has traveled the world for her projects.
“I didn’t even tell people in high school that I was interested in modeling, or that I’d been scouted,” Gill tells Elle Magazine, “because when people found out, they were like, ‘What? Her?!’. Overcoming her struggles, Gill began her career by signing with Next Model Management a firm based in New York. She made her iconic debut with Burberry’s fashion show during London Fashion Week and went on to become the first Indian model to be a part of Burberry’s campaign. Working with high street fashion brands like Ambercrombie & Fitch, Gill has walked the runway for Kanye West’s show at Fashion Week. She has brands like Dior added to her portfolio and Suki Waterhouse – for which wore saris for a special campaign for British Airways at Heathrow Airport.
Born in India, bred in the United States, this Rutgers University student currently studying Marketing and Spanish, Chavvi Verg became Miss New Jersey USA 2017 and went on to place First Runner-Up at the Miss USA competition in May 2017. Her interests lie in public speaking, getting acquainted with new languages and focusing her attention on health and wellness.
A certified ISSA personal trainer, Verg aims to persuade people to look after their mental and physical wellbeing. Verg is a strong advocate of women empowerment through education and continues to work towards the same cause. She has also featured in a music video, in billboard campaigns, magazines and several publications and commercials. “Dream BIG. The only limits that exist are the ones you create in your head. Be sincere, give it your all, and never lose grit” is the motto she lives by and encourages other to do the same!
All in all, women of Indian origin across the world have made their mark on the fashion and luxury landscape. Breaking stereotypes and overcoming societal norms, they have shaped the industry to serve as inspiration for all women that aspire to become a part of this evolving and dynamic realm.