Ritu Kumar is one of India’s foremost designers, who has developed a unique style of her own, reflecting the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary vocabulary. With a background in art history and museology, which has enriched her horizons, Ritu Kumar’s understanding of ancient designs and the innovative use of traditional crafts has created a new classicism. Ritu holds the status of a revivalist in the Indian fashion industry, which has successfully bridged the gap between traditionalism and modernity.
Ritu, who began her work with four hand-block printers and two tables, in a small village near Calcutta thirty years ago was the first woman to introduce the ‘boutique’ culture in India under the brand name ‘Ritu’. Today she has twelve outlets in all major cities in India. Ritu Kumar’s boutiques feature a multifaceted showcase encompassing the very best of Indian design, with specially produced range of high fashion garments and accessories using silk, leather and cotton. Ritu Kumar’s range of western and Indian apparel is all about traditions and individual talent, and women across the continents can easily identify with her vision of design.
Ritu has gone a long way to redefining the term ‘fashion’ in the Indian context. Most importantly, she has demonstrated that the products of the work of the hand can be as profitable as and even more glamorous than that of machine, and that Indian fashion is more than capable of holding it’s own in the international arena of haute couture. Her couture is readily recognizable by its classicism, beauty and finesse. Her design philosophy is based on the premise that everything founded on a good aesthetic cuts across all borders-be they geographical, cultural or otherwise. This very aesthetic is the factor central to the Indian handwriting which underlies her creations. As the world truly becomes a global village, more and more of the elements that make up modern culture are taking on rich hues and ethnic tones. Pluralism is the mantra, while tastes are fast becoming eclectic, be it in music, arts, food or fashion. Within fashion, Indian techniques have increasingly commanded a premium for their creativity, style and finish.
The Indian influence on contemporary wear is unmistakable. In sync with these evolving trends, in April 2002 Ritu Kumar launched her new sub brand, ‘LABEL’. This is a reflection of modern and global trends that shape our lives today. ‘LABEL’ cater today’s woman, who is increasingly independent, discerning and global. It is a modern offering, focusing on the cut, color, drape and feel of the garment. This brand has a universal appeal aimed at today’s mobile lifestyle. It is fashionable, affordable and like all Ritu Kumar products, it is of the very highest quality.