On account of International Women’s day, team Urban Tree has meticulously chosen some great women achievers of our country. As we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women on March 8, this is a series of blogs that feature those strong women of India who have made their way up to become successful by breaking stereotypes!
Anita Dongre is a prominent name in the Indian fashion industry. She was born and raised in Mumbai and studied Fashion Design at the fashion institute of SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai. In 1998, she founded House of Anita Dongre Ltd. (formerly known as And Designs India Ltd.) with her sister Meena Sehra and brother Mukesh Sawlani. She is the woman who took the noble cause of empowering women in fashion in her hands. She works to uplift the village artisans by providing them better wages.
On completion of her fashion designing course, she started designing and supplying Indian wear for 12 years to boutiques in Mumbai. Though she started as a couturier, she realised the need for western wear in India and that is how the idea of starting her own label was born. Her company AND Designs India Limited was born in 1998. Today, her brands AND (western wear) Global Desi (Indo-western) and her signature label Anita Dongre (Timeless – bespoke bridal wear, Prêt label, and AD Menswear) sell from more than 550 stores across India. She also owns a bespoke jewellery line Pinkcity.
Fashion for a cause:
Anita had always wanted to uplift the women society of India. For her creations, she has employed many artisans in Rajasthan to create handcrafted materials. Anita supports the women of Mijwan village (a village in UP specializing in Chikankari) by commissioning Chikankari work from them for her designs thus reviving and preserving the dying art forms.
Latest establishment- Grassroot, a craft-based sustainable line:
In 2015, Anita Dongre launched the GRASSROOT, a craft based sustainable line. It is an eco-conscious, leather-free, vegan line with the aim of reviving the Indian craft and artisans. Her agenda was to empower craft and artisans to live a respectful and dignified life. She is also working towards rightful compensation to the craftsmen for their skills. And then she invited the artisans to walk for her show at the Lakme Fashion Week 2015. Finally, we got to see the faces of the hard working behind the beautiful designs that the models wear and strut down the ramp. Today, she has become the voice of these women artisans who work day and night and is not given enough credit.
Awards & Achievements:
Anita Dongre has bagged various prestigious awards. To name a few –
- Zee Media Indian Woman Award, 2016
- Most Powerful Women in Indian Business by Business Today, 2015
- Women Entrepreneur of The Year Award by CMAI, October 2015
- EY Entrepreneur of the year 2012
She was also listed among the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in India by Fortune Magazine, 2013. She is also called the ‘Queen of Prêt’.
We are proud of her accomplishments and the fact that she has used clothing as a tool to empower women is commendable. She is an inspiration to every woman out there. We wish her luck for her future endeavours. She truly is the #PowerWomanOfIndia