Ritu Kumar Curated

Celebrated Indian Fashion Designer


  • How happy you are seeing people dressing up, specially in India, in short, common sense of dressing?

  • We see a lot of young people and women coming in political background. When you look at them, what do you feel about the kind of dressing they are doing?

  • As we all know you are a very responsible citizen of India, talking about girls and young women are seen being pointed out for not having proper dressing sense. Does that anyway disturb you that there should be control over how a person dresses?

  • From going back into the background from where you started, how do see fashion evolving?

  • We all know that you designed dresses for Miss India, how do you think is India accepted now internationally in the course of fashion?

  • With respect to today’s designers, do you feel the understanding of the textile and heritage of India are much more or do you think there are gaps?

  • What is your opinion about how royals would look into fashion versus how common people look into fashion?

  • According to you, what is real beauty for a woman?

  • What kind of woman do you want to look up for in our upcoming generations?

  • Do you feel patriarchy has taken a back seat somewhere to watch for what women are wearing or how women look at themselves through those prisms of patriarchism?

  • How do you think men are dressing? Are they happy dressing today?

  • As we all know that along with becoming an excellent designer, you are also a very good researcher. We all know that you have written a book on textiles of India. What made you come into this field along with designing?

  • Talking about Indian weddings and festivals, how do you really look at it? Do the people make it their own dress style fashion statement or do you see some kind of understanding there?

  • Tell us about your own inspirations or rather influences and experiences you develop by travelling or any other way which you use in your designs.

  • We know you are a magician with fabric. Tell us which one do you feel is a good fabric or the fabric you like to work on or with?

  • What are the projects and activities you are currently looking forward to?

  • Talk about the journey how you managed your personal life and then indulging yourself into the professional world and then coming up with your own brand?

  • What are your remaining dreams you still at this age want to trade on?

  • We sometimes feel that women are somewhere becoming trap in this world of how to be seen or looked at. How would you really look at the balance which should be maintained?

  • Tell us about your formula of good dressing for a girl.

  • What is your definition of sustainable luxury?

    Luxury is the appreciation and use of an ensemble, a saree or a coat, accessory which does not date or lose the aesthetic appeal of the workmanship, concept and can come up as a cherished item even after the time and space where and when it was made is far gone. It necessarily for me is the work done with a combine of mind and hand, with exquisitely worked fabrics and embellished materials. Each country and space have their own classical luxury definitions.

  • Do you stand true to the international concept of sustainable luxury?

    I do not know if there are two different concepts in national and international parlance. The product may differ, but the concept remains more or less the same for both places. It is timeless in styling a design with fine craftsmanship, exclusive, beautiful, and is expensive because of the quality and detailed workmanship.

  • How do you include sustainability in your designs?

    I put in a large amount of time in either working at collections or researching them. India has rich textiles traditions with multiple dimensions such as embroideries, weaving, printing and dyeing. It requires significant research to use traditional crafts and engage the craftsmen and women to preserve the culture, and yet create a collection that is current. Research involves looking at history and background of the traditional craft, folk to multicolour repertoires, understanding cultural patterns in the society, exploring various disciplines of the arts and crafts, and put endless resources and sustainable energy in my collection.

  • What opportunities do you see in engaging artisans, design and handwork?

    In the Indian context especially, luxury primarily engages the artisans of the textile craftsmanship. Some have a legacy of design and match it with the handwork which comes down many generations. We are very fortunate to have living crafts traditions and heritage that is one of largest in the world, and are valued too. We have in this country master craftspeople of the textile arts who still practice their crafts and produce luxury goods. Every state and region has its own traditional textiles art that are very rich and diverse. There is endless opportunity to engage diverse artisans and designs.

  • New generation artisans in India would not want to follow the age old tradition and move to urban areas, how does Ritu Kumar as a brand take care of this?

    All endeavour which is high skilled will have to move up in the price scale to make it attractive for the age-old traditions to continue. If the crafts are nurtured both economically and given their respect and due importance, tradition will continue; where that does not happen, it will not survive. We need support and policies that can preserve these age old traditions.

  • You have so many brands in the affordable luxury space, so many more in the super luxury space. You have them all at your disposal. How is that changing the scenario?

  • Dou you think India has followed patterns which dictate the fashion capitals of the world?

  • Will Indian fashion designers going to be able to gear themselves up to live up to the desire of making pieces which will portray the individuality of their customers as individuality is at the heart of fashion ?

  • Where lies the difference between a normal tailor and a fashion designer?

  • What do you think about Indian men in the field of fashion?

  • Tell us how India has made a mark in the field of textiles.

  • What do you think couture signifies to the people in India?

  • What has been the most important factor in the success of brand ‘Ritu Kumar’?

  • What has been the most satisfying moment in your career?

  • What would be your advice to fashion entrepreneurs?

  • What has been the biggest challenge in balancing your roles as a woman and as a business person?

  • How would you describe the Indian fashion industry today?

  • What is most satisfying about receiving the Padma Shri Award?

  • Your journey in the field of fashion is quite long. What are the major noticeable changes you discovered?

  • Tell us about the role you played in promoting Indian textiles.

  • Share with us your experience when you had put up an exhibition in Calcutta where you wanted to promote hand block printed sarees.

  • Your son gave up a very lucrative job in a bank to join you, would it be right to say that he diluted your brand?

  • Do you feel afraid of getting lost amidst all the names and brands in the fashion world today?

  • How do textiles play a role in featuring you differently from the other designers of the world?

  • Tell us your experience handling the wardrobes of Susmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai in 1994, when they were both competing for the Femina Miss India crown.

  • Which type of fabric do you love working with the most?

    I love the most to work on Ikkat Katan in Andhra Pradesh. 

  • What are your views on the current generation of young designers?

     Today's position in the fashion industry of India is very promising. However, for the success of life, the new generation will have to work a lot more and more research needs to be done.

  • Do you think that Indians today are attracted to Western fashion trends? What do you think is the reason for it?

    The fashion trend of country fashion is totally different from all over the world. Nobody matches anyone. And the main reason for this happening is that international businesses run the fashion industry all over the world. The fashion that we see around the world, most of it comes from France, Italy or America. In fact, there is nothing left in the world of fashion in the world now. In this situation, India still maintains uniqueness in the fashion world, which is undoubtedly worth appreciating.

  • You have been in the fashion world for more than 40 years. How has India’s fashion industry evolved?

    45 years ago when I came into this world, there have been widespread changes since then in the fashion world of India. For example, in modern times, the entire wedding ceremony has become very colorful. That was not the case before. As a result, designers get a lot more opportunity to design exclusive bridal outfits. In fact, every bride wants to wear dresses at all wedding ceremonies, which will be royal and honorable at the same time. Every bride wants to keep it memorable in that special day. A unique fashion statement is being made in India today. It is not possible to stay in the vicinity India's fashion industry is now free. In modern wardrobe, you will now get all traditional saris, such as cocktail sari, bridal saris, various salwar kamis, fancy earculli. Contemporary Western Outfit, with no conflict of interest in all this. Today, modern Westerners are choosing Western clothing for everyday use. Contemporary and stylish bridal clothing trend is showing more in girls. Here's one thing I want to say, on one hand it is better to keep pace with modern fashion trends, so keep one more thing in mind. Before choosing the trendy clothing to give more importance to the fashion, one thing must be on the mind ... If there is any mistake in the succulent decay, then the whole garment will become soil. 

  • What is the meaning, purpose, and value of craftsmanship in your products?

    I see myself as a catalyst as a designer. It gives energy and satisfaction to create a viable and meaningful product using traditional craftsmanship. 

  • What is the relationship between the consumer and the artisan’s work for your products?

    Indian traditions are a cultural phenomenon. Each region has rites of passage with sensitive choice of colours and crafts. As a designer, respecting those traditions and being sensitive to the needs of the consumer and the culture creates that relationship.

  • What are some challenges you face in engaging artisans in design and handwork?

    The social fabric of most countries make them more modern, and children of craftspeople find other means which are less laborious as career options. We have to adapt and evolve to bring change to these crafts. We need more support, and policies that nurture these rich art forms. We have to include modern methods of embroidery, weaving to translate into more mechanical methods that keep the intellectual property with these craftspeople, but also provide them tools to make it less laborious. 

  • New generation artisans in India would not want to follow the age old tradition and move to urban areas, how does Ritu Kumar as a brand take care of this?

    All endeavour which is high skilled will have to move up in the price scale to make it attractive for the age-old traditions to continue. If the crafts are nurtured both economically and given their respect and due importance, tradition will continue; where that does not happen, it will not survive. We need support and policies that can preserve these age old traditions. 

  • How do you view the impact you have made in the lives of the artisans and their families?

    Being a catalyst and adapting to the skill level of the artisans in essence creates wonderful opportunities for these artisans. With project like Kala Raksha, I am trying to revive and promote the art form through market-ready styling of the garment. This involves using the traditional art form while creating modern silhouettes and keeping end-use in perspective. There are several other similar projects in pipeline. 

  • How do you make sure to offer novel designs keeping the traditional designs alive?

    A commitment to the ethos of work, and also a commitment to the crafts of the country. It was difficult, but if there is focus and confidence in the heritage we possess, it becomes simpler to achieve. 

  • What is your take on the new generation of aspiring designers?

    They are very talented and some have an amazing amount of dedication. Fashion is one of the most difficult professions, very few make it to the individual designer outlet or multiple stores bracket. Long hours and drudgery also accompany the creative process; so be sure you want to take fashion as a profession

  • Being the first mainstream fashion designer to receive the Padma Shri, what was your initial reaction when you were told that you had won the award?

    It came in as pleasant surprise as it wasn't something that I was expecting. I am deeply appreciative of the fact that the government has recognized my efforts in the field of fashion, textile and craftsmanship.

  • Why do you think paying attention to craftsmanship and textiles is so important in design today?

    This is the USP of Indian fashion and one which is not particularly alive in any other part of the globe. We are also known for the sheer number of people and craftsmen who are involved in the textile traditions of this country.

  • What should be done to change the Indian fashion industry?

    We need to keep it going with as much Indian talent as we can get. This is going to be the critical part of keeping the Indian fashion element alive.