BW Most Influential Woman Of India: Anita Dongre, Fashion Designer
Founder of The House of Anita Dongre, an Indian fashion house, a visionary since the very beginning, fashion designer Anita Dogre is a firm supporter for women empowerment in India.
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Through her commitment to revive Indian crafts she has adopted the charoti village 150 km from Mumbai where she supports and train village women in basic stitching, ironing and pattern cutting to create outfits and accessories empowering them to earn a livelihood for themselves. Through her Grassroot initiative Dongre supports skilled artisan communities by collaborating with a network of independent artisans and non-profit organizations to empower them.
Dongre's designs showcase Indian aesthetics in a contemporary language,which defines well her design philosophy in all her outfits known for their ‘Wear ability, comfort and inclusiveness’.Truly inspired by Indian craftsmanship, heritage and culture,one can certainly find the very Indianness in each of her designs.
Dongre was born in a traditional sindhi family that gave her freedom and equality, and thus she became an entrepreneur to realise her dream of being independent.Her journey in the world of design began humbly starting with only two sewing machines in her initial years. She established her business by supplying Indian wear to boutiques.Eventually in 1995 she founded And Designs India Ltd with her sister Meena Sehra and brother Mukesh Sawlani post which she opened her first store at the Crossroads Mall in South Mumbai in 1999.
She expanded her vistas going global eventually opening a store in Soho Newyork in 2017,thus building an empire in a span of two decades.Today, Dongre owns four labels under her umbrella—Global Desi, AND,Anita Dongre bridal couture and prêt including PinkCity jadau jewellery, and Grassroot. What lies constant in each of her brands is it's unique identity and an uncompromisable passion for design and sustainability.
And Designs India Limited re-branded itself as House of Anita Dongre in line with global fashion houses in 2015. Today all of Dongre’s portfolio of brands furnish under this name.In 2014, AND, Global Desi and Anita Dongre were introduced to the Mauritius market with three exclusive stores.During the year 2016-17, House of Anita Dongre Limited estimated a turnover of USD 100 million.At present, AND includes 126 exclusive stores and 415 established multi-brand lifestyle formats which are retailed through 515 points of sale.