Did you know Rina Dhaka has been worn by Naomi Campbell and Uma Thurman?

by Kavita Mohandas Rao

Dhaka is a name that seems like it’s always been around, one that you can’t quite trace to its origin because there is so much surrounding it. She started her label in the late ’80s, and our paths crossed soon enough. Dhaka was one of our very first collaborators. It’s an association, she recalls, “that began with the magazine’s conception, when its founder Hari Bhartia introduced us to the ELLE team.”

Her star has only risen since, chronicled in the magazine’s pages. Famously called ‘The Gaultier of the East’, Dhaka is one of India’s most recognised designers internationally. She scores big on every count: her client list includes Naomi Campbell and Uma Thurman, she’s held shows at The Louvre and New York’s Metropolitan Museum, and retails out of 20 boutiques across the world.

Put that down to an aesthetic that’s razor-sharp, current and individualistic. Dhaka always surprises, sending out collections that are beautiful but never predictable. It’s been her compass through a career that will soon clock three decades, and it’s evidenced by a slew of ELLE features that Dhaka sums up as truly magnifique.

Her favourite, though, is the one with Naomi Campbell that was scheduled to happen in Rajasthan but eventually shifted to the sands of Dubai. It’s one for the time capsule, for sure.