Ritu Kumar

A native of Amritsar, Ritu Kumar was born on Nov.11, 1944. She attended Lady Irwin College, (University of Delhi) in Delhi and Briarcliff College, New York, USA. She has her own labels-'Ritu Kumar', 'Ri', and 'LABEL  Ritu Kumar’.

Existent in the Indian Fashion Industry for over 40 years now, Ritu Kumar is a big name. Ritu Kumar. Kumar is the first woman to introduce the ‘boutique’ culture in India under the brand name ‘Ritu’. Kumar began her career in 1969 with just four hand block printers and two tables in a small village near Kolkata and today the brand retails from nearly 35 stores in India. She wants to revive the indigenous Indian crafts and textiles. This has been her forte. Working broadly with Indian embroideries and hand work, Kumar has made a niche for herself. The designer is clear in her mind on working for Indian fabrics and Indian crafts, enhancing them in today’s silhouettes, contemporising them for the modern customers. What the world would consider ‘old’ is ‘classic’ for her.

In her brand Label, Kumar creates garments, keeping in mind the numerous influences that the women of today are experiencing, celebrating her energies. She creates more contemporary stuff. While for Ritu Kumar, she creates ethnic wear(mostly) reflecting the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship.

To her explorations, Kumar has also co-authored a book “Costumes and Textiles of Royal India” published by Christies in 1999, which chronicles the history of textiles and art design in India.
Ritu Kumar as a brand has been admired and worn all over the world. Its patrons include Indian stars such as Vidya Balan, Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Dia Mirza to name a few and international celebrities such as the Mischa Barton, Anoushka Shankar and Anna Ivanovic. Since 1994, Ritu Kumar has also designed the wardrobes for the Femina Miss India contestants for their participation in international beauty pageants such as Miss Universe,Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific. Ritu’s outfits have been patronized by style icons such as late Princess Diana and Jemima Khan (Editor, Vanity fair.
Ritu Kumar has achieved many awards for her exceptional role in the fashion industry which include:
  • The Padma Shri Award 2013, the country's fourth highest civilian award for her exceptional and distinguished service in the field of fashion, textile and craftsmanship.
  • Achievement Award at the L’oreal Paris Femina Women’s Awards 2012.
  • Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini award for her achievements and contribution in the field of fashion.
  • "Chevalier des arts et des lettres” (knight of the order of arts and letters) bestowed by the French government for her contribution to Indian textile crafts, and traditional techniques.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kingfisher Group of Industries in 2000.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Institute of Fashion Technology in 1998.
  • The Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Award 1998 by the PHD - Chamber of Commerce.