5 emerging Indian designers you should know Advertisement

5 emerging Indian designers you should know

Straight from the Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week runway

By Divya Gursahani  November 19th, 2018

The fourth edition of First Cut, a showcase for emerging Indian designers by ELLE India and FDCI at Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week, saw some incredible new talent. Here’s all you need to know.


In a bid to reimagine men’s workwear styles from the 19th century for the modern-day woman, designer Niharika Gupta launched Notebook Studio earlier this year. Keep an eye out for elements like pinstripe suiting material, wide lapels, double-pleated trousers and polo T-shirt-inspired looks in her collection Zero-One. She plays with a palette of oxford blue, military green, brick red and bright white, drawing from her young school days spent in uniform.


National Institute Of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Delhi graduates Sahib Dang and Sunayana Sahni launched their label Essé in 2017. Their first collection saw powerful silhouettes like blazers and exaggerated shoulders offset by overtly feminine embellished pants and their now-trademark waist-cinching belt. The brand aesthetic carries forward in its S/S 2019 collection, titled Disheveled Romance, with daring cuts, a neutral palette and a special focus on tailoring.


New Delhi-based designer Riya Gupta is making suiting fun through her label, Studio Rigu. Think cropped blazers paired with mini skirts, flared pants worn under an oversized blazer or a structured jacket paired with an embellished tulle skirt. Her S/S 2019 collection, In Order To Bloom, celebrates the wide range of emotions a woman feels at different points in her life, and the colours—pink, ivory and chalk blue, among others—are inspired by the delicate hues of budding flowers.


Calming shades of ivory and white, and the playful intermingling of structure and fluidity characterise Ode To Odd, launched last year by Ranchi-based sister duo Shreya Mewara and Priyal Mewara. Right from their first collection, which featured sharply tailored pantsuits and jumpsuits; to colourful surface embroidery on soft fabrics in their latest line, Language of Flowers (inspired by poet Nayyirah Waheed), the Mewaras’ dedication to Indian artisans and craftsmanship remains strong.


As a young boy growing up in Kashmir, designer Wajahat Rather had an artistic streak, beginning with calligraphy and slowly moving on to clothing design. His first-ever understanding of a garment came from the pheran, a traditional cloak, and his love affair with Kashmir has continued in every collection he has created since. Khatambandh and Pinjra-kari, crafts used to make traditional ceilings and windows by joining small pieces of wood to form geometrical patterns, have inspired his latest line, Qurbat.

Photographs: Gulshan Sachdeva