Because they also empower women.
Arianna Huffington recently traveled to India in an effort to promote her Thrive movement. It follows the philosophy in her book by the same name, promoting the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.
During her trip, the founder of the Huffington Post was often seen wearing traditional Indian sari and wrapped garments. As a fan of Indian fashion and female entrepreneurship, Huffington mentioned two designers specifically to advocate their unique craftsmanship and the stories behind their success.
The first designer she mentioned was Anamika Khanna, who was the first Indian designer to be featured in Paris Fashion Week in 2007. Khanna’s style is known for the fusion of traditional Indian textiles and Western tailoring. Also the first Indian designer to have an international label: Ana Mika, it was offered an exclusive contract with Harrod’s after appearing in London Fashion Week in 2010.
Though hugely famous in India and often featured in Bollywood movies, Khanna’s philanthropy is widely known as well. She has raised large sums of money for Akshay Patra Foundation’s Tata cancer hospitals children’s wing. Additionally, she also showed her collection at Khadi and Village Industries for Indian Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s Make In India Project.
The other designer Huffington wore in India was by Anita Dongre, whose design philosophy focuses on “wearability.” Inspired by Indian culture and Rajasthan’s craftsmanship, Dongre emphasizes on Indian aesthetics in a modern approach. She was the first Indian designer to introduce standard sizing in India for Indian women: UK size 8 to UK size 18.
A strong supporter of female empowerment in India, Dongre supports Indian villages by helping them make a living. In the village of Charoti, for example, Dongre provides women training classes in stitching, ironing, and pattern cutting to create clothes and accessories for the brand Global Desi – Dongre’s ethnic wear collection.
Dongre is also a vegan activist and a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). All her products are cruelty-free, namely she does not use any leather or cashmere in any of them at House of Anita Dongre.
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