Anita Dongre Curated

Award-winning Fashion Designer

CURATED BY :  


  • What inspires you to create creative designs?

    Rajasthan. She evokes memories of dancing peacocks, majestic elephants, sleeping on the terrace while monkeys prance around and the beautiful songs of the birds in summer. Every time I am there, I see something and feel something new that rejuvenates my creativity.

  • Tell us about your early years in Rajasthan.

    Some of the fondest childhood memories are of summer vacations at my grandparents’ home in Jaipur. My grandmother would take me to the Hawa Mahal market, where I would try my hand at making lac bangles with the local artisans and watch the elegantly dressed Rajasthani women in awe. I loved the way they mixed and matched their vibrant cholis and lehengas. This was my first brush with fashion. Back in the ’90s, fashion designing wasn’t considered a real profession, and in a traditional family like mine, this might have been the reason I was even given permission to set up my first workshop. This was essentially two sewing machines in my bedroom balcony where my sister, Meena and I designed for friends and local boutiques. Seeing my unrelenting passion and determination to make this work, my father eventually gave in and supported me in setting up a small factory. 

  • What motivated you to keep moving ahead?

    I love fashion, which for me, is also an emotion. I feel truly satisfied when I see women feeling good about themselves in my clothes. This is what I started out to do, is something I believe in even today and keeps me motivated immensely. 

  • Do you ever get tired of designing?

    When you love your work, it’s never too much. I learnt to get organised and build great teams that believed in my vision. Creativity can never be constant, which is why handling so many things keeps me on the edge and enthusiastic. I also try to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I do yoga, eat healthy and try to spend as much time as I can amid nature.

  • Nature also plays an important role in your designs. Will you please elaborate on its role in details?

    I have always been very inspired by nature. It re-energises and invigorates me. Birds and nature completely relax me. I am not a very social person and all my holidays are spent in wildlife sanctuaries.

  • What does a day in the life of Anita Dongre look like?

    I love to start the day with a nice long walk and watch the sun rise. I am at my desk by 9 am and I delve into work, which takes up my entire day. It’s a blessing that my design space (in Rabale, Maharashtra) is nestled amidst green hills and has a picturesque view. After a day full of meetings and brainstorming sessions, my evenings are reserved for dinner with family and some playtime with my dog.

  • What does luxury mean to you?

    A lot of people think that luxury is synonymous to being expensive; however, for me luxury is something that makes me feel good; it could be anything from getting a good night’s sleep and having time to spend with family to timeless Indian crafts that are perfected over generations, allowing a sense of uniqueness to the wearer.

  • How is Indian fashion perceived internationally?

    Consumers in New York love the soul and life that radiates from native crafts. They understand the vitality of slow, handmade fashion. Handcrafted fashion that spans over decades and generations of expertise is valued there, and I can’t wait to share these beautiful artworks world over.

  • What sets a woman from Gujarat apart from a woman in New York?

    Be it a woman from a village in Gujarat or a city like New York, they are all fighting for equality in every sphere of life. The #MeToo protest could resonate anywhere in the world because women are fighting a long and hard battle against sexual discrimination and inequality. We all need to stand together, in order to bring about a change in society.

  • Given the opportunity, which international designer would you like to collaborate with and why?

    I admire Stella McCartney as she is a vegetarian and a crusader for sustainable fashion. I would love to collaborate with her. 

  • Do you think the demand for instant gratification directly affects the sustainability model?

    I don’t think it does. The challenge with sustainable crafts or clothing, however, is that they can only be produced in small batches. Sustainability is about making a conscious choice in manufacturing processes that reduces, if not eliminates, the waste produced. It can’t be compared with a prêt collection since they take around four to six months to be produced. Hence, when customers buy these garments they should also value these pieces and cherish them for a long time. 

  • What’s the best and least exciting part of running HOAD?

    The most exciting part of my job is being able to go in and create something new every day. The part that I find cumbersome is dealing with administrative issues, especially when it’s a large organisation such as mine. 

  • Who do you see running HOAD in the future?

    We are a company that nurtures talent across all positions. So, when the time comes, I am sure the right talent will take over. 

  • What advice would you like to offer your son Yash, now that he has joined the business?

    Learn from my mistakes so that you don’t repeat them. You are, however, bound to make your own mistakes and learn from them. Be disciplined and work hard because there’s no substitute for it. 

  • What’s next on your list?

    It’s about time we started appreciating the beauty of Indian craftsmanship. It goes without saying that sustainability is the need of the hour. We are already experiencing the effects of decades of neglect; it isn’t going to get any better with time, so it is important that we adopt more sustainable practices as an industry. Also, in addition to the positive environmental impact, the entire process also provides employment to women in the villages, thereby economically empowering them at the same time. We still have a long way to go, but we are certainly on the right track. My plans include celebrating craftsmanship in the best way we can and trying to find a way to being a kinder, completely sustainable brand.

  • What was the first outfit that you designed?

    It was a one-shoulder top with a skirt and styled with a beautiful kamarbandh. I had designed, cut, stitched and even modelled it for my annual show in design college. 

  • What is that one fashion trend you wish to start here?

    This season, I would really like to start a trend of big summer hats to protect from the harsh sun. Plus, they really look stylish. 

  • A trend that should be banned forever?

    I feel very strongly for animals so any fashion to do with animal skin or fur should be banned forever. 

  • How would you describe your signature style?

    Effortless luxury. Whether it’s putting pockets in lehengas, creating a cacophony of prints or reimagining weaves and embroideries from thousands of years ago, I design clothes for the practical but aesthetically inclines of the woman of today. To me, fashion must reflect a woman’s holistic persona—her deeply-rooted values and modern sensibilities. The key purpose of fashion is wearability, and comfort is just as important as design aesthetics.

  • What does branding mean?

    Branding is a promise to the consumer, the finer details that set one brand apart from all others and makes it memorable. When a person walks into any Anita Dongre store in the world, from the welcoming floral fragrance, the Rajasthan-inspired decor, the subtle music, the bespoke services and of course the quality and design of the collections—everything speaks one language to give a complete experience.

  • What is your advice to young designers?

    Work hard, make bold decisions, trust your gut and don’t let anyone dim your sparkle .

  • Did you have a mentor?

    It is not a person but the essence of the modern indian woman that drives me to create new collections for her. That ideal is both muse and mentor for me.

  • How do you manage five brands?

    Each brand was started with a purpose and was built over time. I have invested in developing each one with its unique identity. While AND and Global Desi address the everyday needs of a woman’s wardrobe, Anita Dongre bridal couture and Pinkcity jewellery are for special occasions. Grassroot, my most recent brand, is the culmination of my craft-inspired design aesthetic and the fashion-forward philosophy of sustainable practices. It helps to have our headquarters housing all the brands under one roof, in a space that continues to inspire me. Our ergonomically-built workspace is nestled amidst the lush green hills of Navi Mumbai.

  • At what point did you decide to diversify the brand?

    When I started AND, I wanted to fill the void of affordable and smart western wear for independent women. There was a clear wardrobe need for work and social life. Back then, international high street brands were only available to the frequent fliers who went shopping overseas. As the brand grew, I wanted to address more and more of a woman’s wardrobe needs. And finally, Grassroot was born out of the need to bring unique Indian crafts into mainstream fashion.

  • Did you always want to be a designer?

    Ever since I was a child I wanted to become a designer. From my early teens, I knew I wanted to get in to the fashion industry. I had that clarity at a very young age. As a kid, I used to spend a lot of time in my grandmother's house, in Jaipur, and was completely enamoured by the beauty of Rajasthan, the colourful markets, the architecture, the people et al. That place ignited a creative spark me in me, and I decided, that designing would be my chosen path. I always dreamt of the labels I have created and much more. I think it came naturally to me, so I always knew that my love for design and fashion would someday make me what I am today.

  • Tell us about your first stint with fashion designing.

    It happened right after I graduated from SNDT College, Mumbai. I started supplying ready to wear Indian ensembles to small boutiques and stores in the city. That was my first stint as a designer, before I eventually branched out, on my own.

  • How did you finally start your own business?

    About 14 to 15 years ago I created a collection of clothes which I really liked. The collection catered to the growing population of young women who had started working and were open to experimenting with western outfits. But none of the shops I supplied to would accept it. I got so angry that I decided, I will do this myself, and that's how I started my own company. 

  • Were there a lot of glitches you had to face when you started out your brand?

    Back in the 90s, fashion designing wasn't considered a serious profession, and I faced my fair share of opposition from family members. But I was determined. I started a small workshop in my bedroom balcony with the support of my sister, and started designing for friends and supplying to boutiques. Seeing my unrelenting passion, my father relented, and offered me an interest payable loan to start a small factory of my own and ever since there has been no looking back.

  • How have you evolved as a designer?

    Creativity is about constantly reinventing and innovating yourself and your creations, while keeping your design philosophy intact. So with each season my label evolves whilst retaining my signature design aesthetic. The strong Rajasthani influence in my designs will always shine through my collections, beautifully juxtaposed with the vibrancy of current trends.

  • What according to you is your design aesthetic?

    Understated elegance and offering the consumer "accessible luxury" would be my forte. My signature label Anita Dongre, which offers bridal, couture, prêt, menswear and jewellery, is bound by a common thread of sophisticated elegance sans decorative detailing. I love all things Indian, and being inspired by Rajasthan, my collection sees the use of lots of Indian weaves and techniques, with gota patti being a signature element.

  • With a flood of designers in India, how do you stand out?

    I think every designer has their own design aesthetic that makes them stand out. My USP has been to make fashion affordable. Right from the day I began way back in 1999, I have always wanted to create for the common Indian woman stylish designer garments.

  • There is so much young blood out there designing garments and yet everyone from the youth to the middle aged prefers you. How does that make you feel?

    It feels good to be a commercial success! I have the dual pleasure of satisfying my creative designer ability as well as being a successful retailer. What more can I ask for? It's a blessing to be able to dress people, give them fashion, and make women feel good about themselves. I am going to work till the end. What I would like to leave behind is a fantastic fashion house that believes in the value system we have. 

  • Everyone knows and loves your brands. How did you grow the company into the establishment that it is today?

    To be successful, creatively and commercially, you need be organised, focused on meeting your long term goals, and run your fashion label like one would run a corporate business. The business of fashion is so dynamic, with new trends and styles cropping up every few weeks now, that you need to be a step ahead in the game. We live in the age of ‘fast fashion' and what truly worked for me, was my vision to have a ready-to-wear label, back in 1999, when most other designers were concentrating on bespoke bridal wear. Thanks to a dedicated team of professionals, I successfully ran two high fashion ready-to-wear labels, before I ventured into bridal wear, and eventually jewellery. Now all my creative energies are solely focussed on designing for my signature label, while thanks to a great business model, the other two brands are managed by a team of professionals. 

  • Being a woman professional, how do you balance work and home?

    I'd say it's the ability to multi-task, to wear many hats and enjoy that. At the end of the day it's important to enjoy what you do. I would get completely, totally bored doing the same thing day after day. Part of the reason I do so many new things is so I don't get bored. I need to keep my life stimulating and exciting. I like to put myself to the test time and again.

  • What according to you is the way to make it big as a fashion entrepreneur?

    I'd say first find what you love. Figure that out and then find a way to do it. Everyone has something they're good at and that they feel passionate about. Find it and do it.

  • What are your tips for women entrepreneurs trying to make it in big a competitive world?

    Stay focused and follow your dream. There are no short cuts to success. There are opportunities galore. If you have a vision and a fire in your belly, the world can be your oyster. And as a woman in India, we have a lot of family support. That's not something that's as common in the West, and we shouldn't be afraid to lean on the support we have. 

  • What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in India?

    You have to be passionate, driven and always remember that there is no shortcut to success. Creativity is a work in progress, so continue to enhance it and never confine it.

  • What is the greatest obstacle you have faced in achieving the success you desire? How do you overcome it?

    I think for an entrepreneur everyday is a challenge. Everyday throws up new challenges. Even today at this stage I face challenges daily but I think you just have to learn to deal with them.

  • Do you think a glass ceiling really exists in today’s competitive world?

    No, I don't believe so. It is the age of equality; there are women heading every sphere and profession. Women have arrived; opportunities that were denied earlier have opened up now and women have proved themselves!

  • What lies ahead for you in the future?

    Following the success, of our first Global Desi store in Mauritius, we recently launched a flagship store in Mauritius. This is a milestone for And Designs India Ltd as we reach the 150 exclusive store mark. Secondly, my vision to promote and revive Indian textiles and craft is taking shape, under my initiative, Grassroot. In the last year, we opened three Anita Dongre stores, one at DLF Emporio and one in Khan Market, New Delhi, along with an Anita Dongre flagship store in Kolkata. On my wishlist, is to take my jewellery line, ‘Pinkcity' to international shores, and  I am currently scouting for appropriate markets overseas. Lastly, I want to move the brand headquarters to a bigger facility in Rabale, Navi Mumbai. That has been a dream project for me. It's a 1, 80,000 sq ft property with three buildings designed in an eco-friendly fashion. The idea was to centralise the production process for all brands in the company (AND/ Global Desi/ Anita Dongre), and with our headquarters at Rabale, it would make us the first Indian fashion house, to have its own centralised production hub.

  • Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?

    Ever since I was a child I wanted to become a designer. My childhood years spent at my grandmother’s home in Rajasthan, which led to a divine connect that I started sharing with that place, the people, the culture; the rich heritage inspired me and still continues to do so. I think it came naturally to me, so I always knew that my love for design and fashion would someday make me what I am today .

  • What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer? What inspires you when you are creating your designs?

    My favourite part is the process of designing. I find inspiration in almost everything - travelling, music, books, but one of my strongest sources of inspiration is Rajasthan. My early memories of Rajasthan are that of my summer holidays that were spent at my grandmother’s palatial house in Jaipur, and since then the place has occupied a very special space in my mind and heart, I’ve always been fascinated with the detailing of the architectural splendour of the state and still try to incorporate some of its elements in my creations.

  • What was your inspiration behind ‘AND’?

    When AND was launched, back in 1998 there was a trend for women to get their outfits tailored. I wanted to give them a ready to wear brand where they could visit and pick up trendy, fashionable yet affordable pieces right off the shelves. I wanted to make AND their go to fashion brand - a brand for real women like us, which would be an expression of each woman’s personality and not just a fashion trend. My vision was to make AND a part of every woman’s wardrobe .

  • What was the thought behind ‘Global Desi’?

    Global Desi is in a way a reflection of me in my 20s when I used to dress in boho chic dresses, colourful skirts and bangles. So in a way the brand recaptures the bohemian-gypsy in me in my 20s and is symbolic of the new age woman who wants clothes that articulate her individuality. It’s for a girl for all seasons - it’s fun, vibrant, and adventurous and is a colourful expression of the wearer’s personality!

  • Who are the celebrities you would love to dress up and why?

    I don’t really design with any specific celebrity in mind but it’s always a good feeling to see a celeb don your creation for some occasion or the other. Though I feel actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone represent the modern Indian woman- they are global Indians embodying an Indian essence with an international appeal – much like my bridal muse, who is a modern urban girl who whilst challenging convention loves all things traditional, speaks her mind, is free spirited and adventurous!

  • What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

    There is a lot of scope and opportunities for aspiring designers today. You have to be passionate, driven and always remember that there is no shortcut to success. Creativity is a work in progress, so continue to enhance it and never confine it .

  • A fashion tip you would like to give?

    Don’t over accessorize and do select colours that suit your skin tone. A simple elegant look is forever classy.

  • You are a pioneer in Eco Fashion. Tell us something about the GRASSROOT project?

    My label – GRASSROOT encourages the use of textiles that are eco friendly. India’s heritage is extremely rich and our craftsmen are tremendously skilled and I strongly believe that machines cannot substitute this skill. It is my endeavour to revive handcrafts and the skills of our worthy craftsman through GRASSROOT along with being environment friendly. GRASSROOT only uses natural and vegetable dyes and these dyes do not cause any industrial effluence. The waste products are also re-used in the form of manure.

  • What is Anita Dongre’s bride going to be in the wedding season?

    Anita Dongres bride is always going to be somebody who has a lot of fun at her own wedding, so she’s going to continue doing that. And this season she will be wearing one of my beautiful bright colours from flaming oranges to bright pinks to the classic reds and yeah, she’s going to look gorgeous!

  • Apart from the wedding lehenga what is that one striking feature that catches Anita Dongre’s attention in a bride?

    Uhm, I think for my non-wedding wear occasion wear it’s my prints, it’s the style the design you can recognize an Anita Dongre design: It’s always elegant.

  • What would be the perfect attire for a runaway bride, if somebody wants to elope, what should be her, like what would come in really handy?

    A bride on the move? A bride that elopes: COMFORT. We don’t know where she’s going to go and how much and how quickly and what form of transport.

  • What would you suggest, what would be the apt Anita Dongre lehenga for somebody who’s eloping?

    My lehengas are very light, you can dance in them you can elope in them you can do everything in them!

  • How are millennial brides different from the ones we had 10-20 years back?

    I think today’s bride knows exactly what she wants, she’s on social media, she’s already got a screenshot of the picture of the lehenga she’s going to wear, pretty much walks into the store and is looking for it, and wanting to come in and try it on. She pretty much knows it by now.

  • Suggest one colour a bride can blindly go for if she’s in a state of confusion.

    If she’s in a state of confusion, the one colour I would say is: Gold.

  • Since Destination Weddings are so IN what should guests pack up so there’s no excess baggage at the airport, like the essential ones?

    I think she should pack light, since it’s a destination wedding it all depends upon the weather but she’s to Keep it light, don’t want to be taking kilos and kilos of luggage to a destination wedding. I think destination wedding should be lighter, simpler less heavy wedding wear.

  • Who would be that One Bollywood bride who you would want to doll up on her wedding day?

    I love all the girls in Bollywood! They’re all beautiful, and it would be an honour for any one of them to wear me, I mean I don’t have a favourite.

  • What are the 3 things a bride should never do on her big day?

    On her big day? I think everything should be organized for her big day much in advance, she should be like supremely organised with every little detail. I think on her big day she just needs to get up late and look her fabulous best!

  • What made you enter a market segment that has been so saturated?

    When I began 30 years ago, it was a whole new world for me. I loved creating beautiful designs; and the industry welcomed me with open arms. Today, there may be too many players in the industry because it has now come of age and every young girl today wants to become a designer. So yes, today it may have reached a saturation point, but back then we had an open canvas. I think the Indian woman has evolved and understands fashion and a designer’s unique sense of style, which allows us designers to have a place of our own.

  • Tell us more about your journey.

    I think I have the same hunger today that I had 30 years ago. I feel the same way today as I did when I was driven to fight with my parents to set up my two sewing machines in my balcony. It was the same hunger that urged me to design clothes for my college assignments. I felt the same passion when I made my first collection and showcased it a local stores for the first time.

  • Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?

    Ever since I was a child I wanted to become a designer. My childhood years spent at my grandmother’s home in Rajasthan, which led to a divine connect that I started sharing with that place, the people, the culture; the rich heritage inspired me and still continues to do so. I think it came naturally to me, so I always knew that my love for design and fashion would someday make me what I am today

  • What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer? What inspires you when you are creating your designs?

    My favourite part is the process of designing. I find inspiration in almost everything - travelling, music, books, but one of my strongest sources of inspiration is Rajasthan. My early memories of Rajasthan are that of my summer holidays that were spent at my grandmother’s palatial house in Jaipur, and since then the place has occupied a very special space in my mind and heart, I’ve always been fascinated with the detailing of the architectural splendour of the state and still try to incorporate some of its elements in my creations.

  • What was your inspiration behind ‘AND’?

    When AND was launched, back in 1998 there was a trend for women to get their outfits tailored. I wanted to give them a ready to wear brand where they could visit and pick up trendy, fashionable yet affordable pieces right off the shelves. I wanted to make AND their go to fashion brand - a brand for real women like us, which would be an expression of each woman’s personality and not just a fashion trend. My vision was to make AND a part of every woman’s wardrobe

  • What was the thought behind ‘Global Desi’?

    Global Desi is in a way a reflection of me in my 20s when I used to dress in boho chic dresses, colourful skirts and bangles. So in a way the brand recaptures the bohemian-gypsy in me in my 20s and is symbolic of the new age woman who wants clothes that articulate her individuality. It’s for a girl for all seasons - it’s fun, vibrant, and adventurous and is a colourful expression of the wearer’s personality!

  • Who are the celebrities you would love to dress up and why?

    I don’t really design with any specific celebrity in mind but it’s always a good feeling to see a celeb don your creation for some occasion or the other. Though I feel actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone represent the modern Indian woman- they are global Indians embodying an Indian essence with an international appeal – much like my bridal muse, who is a modern urban girl who whilst challenging convention loves all things traditional, speaks her mind, is free spirited and adventurous!

  • What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

    There is a lot of scope and opportunities for aspiring designers today. You have to be passionate, driven and always remember that there is no shortcut to success. Creativity is a work in progress, so continue to enhance it and never confine it

  • You are a pioneer in Eco Fashion. Tell us something about the GRASSROOT project?

    My label – GRASSROOT encourages the use of textiles that are eco friendly. India’s heritage is extremely rich and our craftsmen are tremendously skilled and I strongly believe that machines cannot substitute this skill. It is my endeavour to revive handcrafts and the skills of our worthy craftsman through GRASSROOT along with being environment friendly. GRASSROOT only uses natural and vegetable dyes and these dyes do not cause any industrial effluence. The waste products are also re-used in the form of manure.

  • Tell us about your first stint with fashion designing.

    It happened right after I graduated from SNDT College, Mumbai. I started supplying ready to wear Indian ensembles to small boutiques and stores in the city. That was my first stint as a designer, before I eventually branched out, on my own.

  • How did you finally start your own business?

    About 14 to 15 years ago I created a collection of clothes which I really liked. The collection catered to the growing population of young women who had started working and were open to experimenting with western outfits. But none of the shops I supplied to would accept it. I got so angry that I decided, I will do this myself, and that's how I started my own company.

  • But it wasn't so easy. Were there a lot of glitches you had to face when you started out?

    Back in the 90s, fashion designing wasn't considered a serious profession, and I faced my fair share of opposition from family members. But I was determined. I started a small workshop in my bedroom balcony with the support of my sister, and started designing for friends and supplying to boutiques. Seeing my unrelenting passion, my father relented, and offered me an interest payable loan to start a small factory of my own and ever since there has been no looking back.

  • How have you evolved as a designer?

    Creativity is about constantly reinventing and innovating yourself and your creations, while keeping your design philosophy intact. So with each season my label evolves whilst retaining my signature design aesthetic. The strong Rajasthani influence in my designs will always shine through my collections, beautifully juxtaposed with the vibrancy of current trends.

  • What according to you is your design aesthetic?

    Understated elegance and offering the consumer "accessible luxury" would be my forte. My signature label Anita Dongre, which offers bridal, couture, prêt, menswear and jewellery, is bound by a common thread of sophisticated elegance sans decorative detailing. I love all things Indian, and being inspired by Rajasthan, my collection sees the use of lots of Indian weaves and techniques, with gota patti being a signature element.

  • With a flood of designers in India, how do you stand out?

    I think every designer has their own design aesthetic that makes them stand out. My USP has been to make fashion affordable. Right from the day I began way back in 1999, I have always wanted to create for the common Indian woman stylish designer garments.

  • There is so much young blood out there designing garments and yet everyone from the youth to the middle aged prefers you. How does that make you feel?

    It feels good to be a commercial success! I have the dual pleasure of satisfying my creative designer ability as well as being a successful retailer. What more can I ask for? It's a blessing to be able to dress people, give them fashion, and make women feel good about themselves. I am going to work till the end. What I would like to leave behind is a fantastic fashion house that believes in the value system we have.

  • Everyone knows and loves your brands. How did you grow the company into the establishment that it is today?

    To be successful, creatively and commercially, you need be organised, focused on meeting your long term goals, and run your fashion label like one would run a corporate business. The business of fashion is so dynamic, with new trends and styles cropping up every few weeks now, that you need to be a step ahead in the game. We live in the age of ‘fast fashion' and what truly worked for me, was my vision to have a ready-to-wear label, back in 1999, when most other designers were concentrating on bespoke bridal wear. Thanks to a dedicated team of professionals, I successfully ran two high fashion ready-to-wear labels, before I ventured into bridal wear, and eventually jewellery. Now all my creative energies are solely focussed on designing for my signature label, while thanks to a great business model, the other two brands are managed by a team of professionals

  • Being a woman professional, how do you balance work and home?

    I'd say it's the ability to multi-task, to wear many hats and enjoy that. At the end of the day it's important to enjoy what you do. I would get completely, totally bored doing the same thing day after day. Part of the reason I do so many new things is so I don't get bored. I need to keep my life stimulating and exciting. I like to put myself to the test time and again.

  • What is your style statement?

    It's simple and elegant. If I like a certain style, I'm likely to own it in 5 different colours.

  • What according to you is the way to make it big as a fashion entrepreneur?

    I'd say first find what you love. Figure that out and then find a way to do it. Everyone has something they're good at and that they feel passionate about. Find it and do it.

  • What are your tips for women entrepreneurs trying to make it in big a competitive world?

    Stay focused and follow your dream. There are no short cuts to success. There are opportunities galore. If you have a vision and a fire in your belly, the world can be your oyster. And as a woman in India, we have a lot of family support. That's not something that's as common in the West, and we shouldn't be afraid to lean on the support we have.

  • What do you think are the keys to professional and business success for women in India?

    You have to be passionate, driven and always remember that there is no shortcut to success. Creativity is a work in progress, so continue to enhance it and never confine it.

  • What is the greatest obstacle you have faced in achieving the success you desire? How do you overcome it?

    Ithink for an entrepreneur everyday is a challenge. Everyday throws up new challenges. Even today at this stage I face challenges daily but I think you just have to learn to deal with them.

  • Do you think a glass ceiling really exists in today's competitive world?

    No, I don't believe so. It is the age of equality; there are women heading every sphere and profession. Women have arrived; opportunities that were denied earlier have opened up now and women have proved themselves!

  • On her idea of sustainability

    Sustainability for me is a lifestyle where you give back to the planet more than you take away from it. The biggest question is what are we leaving for the next generation? Today’s consumption patterns signal at a very unmindful way of living. My roots are in Jaipur and I had a very simple upbringing. Earlier, in my family clothes were passed down from one generation to the next. While growing up, my mother and aunts used to collect old clothes and barter with the vendors for utensils. As a country and an economy, we practiced sustainability to a large extent. We need to return to a simpler pace of life – the simpler you are the more sustainable you are. It is just that with the advent of material success an imbalance is created. If you notice, countries which are materially successful are the ones which are facing more sustainability issues. If you travel to the villages of India, they are completely sustainable and luckily for us, 80 percent of India is sustainable. The moment big businesses come in, the focus is on profitability. You can consume but you have to do it very mindfully. Material progress has made us more unsustainable. Even though I am in the business of fashion and it is about human consumption, I still feel fashion should become more responsible.

  • Views On working with craftsmen on Anita Dongre Grassroot

    One of my main aims behind launching Anita Dongre Grassroot in 2015 was to work with local craftsman and assimilate them in the main fashion force. It all started with me collaborating with Ahmedabad-based Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), an NGO which works with artisans from all over India. The idea was not just to employ these talented craftsmen but to make them a part of a bigger idea. Today, I am working with these craftsmen on my bridal couture lines as well. Through Grassroot, I want to educate the younger consumers about handmade and hand-spun. The idea is to create very easy, no-fuss kind of pieces, clothes that everyone wants to keep them in their wardrobe forever. I also want to ensure that the database of crafts that we as Indians have comes to into use, therefore I am ensuring in every possible way to loop in crafts in my work.

  • Views on incorporating aspects of sustainability in her business

    Today, through the Anita Dongre Foundation we have economic empowerment programs with a few villages near Mumbai ensuring tribal women get employed. My aim is also to take work in villages, though it is a tough task. Taking work to villages is one of the ways you can stop migration to cities and develop villages as sustainable units. Besides this, we are looking at every fabric we buy. In terms of fabric innovation, we have looped in Tencel fibres as our collaboration with the Lenzing Group. The fibres originate from the renewable raw material wood created by the natural process of photosynthesis. We ensure that whatever amount of water we take from the lake, we give it back and it much purer than its original form. So, we have processing plants where they purify the water and put it back.In 2018, as a part of our Earth Day celebration, we planted 25,000 trees in the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan. Besides this, our headquarters in Mumbai have been designed keeping energy conservation and reducing carbon footprint in mind

  • Views on association with Sustainable Apparel coalition

    Because we do not have a single governing body to promote sustainability, we chose to become a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a global alliance of retailers, brands, and suppliers, which aims to create products which have no unnecessary environmental impacts and have a positive impact on people and communities. The way it works for us is that they have all their sustainability parametres in place and we have to file reports documenting our efforts every month. It includes details on a variety of subjects, from what fabrics are beneficial for the environment, which are biodegradable which are not. So it is a body we can trust and whatever research we do, it is further shared with all other members of the organisation.

  • Views On Indian fashion and sustainability

    We are very young as a fashion industry in India, but we have a much larger textile industry, way bigger and expansive than fashion. Our efforts should be to take textile, craft clusters, and people associated with them further, retain what we have while ensuring that more weavers and craftsmen get jobs. From dyeing of the fabrics to ensure that textile mills are located near the waterbeds, what are doing in terms of recoiling the water? Everything has to be carefully observed and assessed. One of the best sustainable models to follow are our villages, from composting their waste to convert it into manure to collecting the seasonal water, everything is an example of sustainability. It has a lot to do with educating the youth. On that front, CMCA is one such organization which has taken lead in imparting knowledge about social hygiene and sustainability.