Ritu Kumar (left) with Anushka Sharma at the launch of Kumar's flagship store
11 November 1944|
Amritsar, in Punjab, India
Briarcliff College New York|
Lady Irwin College Delhi
|Label(s)||'Ritu Kumar', 'Ri', and 'LABEL Ritu Kumar|
|Awards||Padma Shri 2013|
Ritu Kumar is an Indian fashion designer.
Early life and education
Kumar was born in Amritsar in 1944, but the lack of educational opportunities there led her to move to Simla for her schooling, where she attended Loreto Convent. She later studied at Lady Irwin College, where she met and married Shashi Kumar, and then went on to accept a scholarship at Briarcliff College in New York, where she studied Art History. On returning to India, she studied museology at the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art, part of the University of Calcutta.
Kumar began her fashion business in Kolkata, using two small tables and hand-block printing techniques. Beginning with bridal wear and evening clothes in the 1960s and 70s, she eventually moved into the international market in the subsequent two decades. As well as shops in India, Kumar's company has also opened branches in Paris, London and New York. The London branch closed after three years, in 1999. Her company's annual turnover at the time was the highest of any Indian fashion outlet, estimated at around ₹10 billion. In 2002 she launched the "Label" line in partnership with her son Amrish. In 2013 she was given the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. Kumar discusses her career at length in a recent interview for the Creating Emerging Markets project at the Harvard Business School, beginning with how she first broke into the Paris and New York fashion houses and department stores in the 1970s.
Kumar's designs focus on natural fabrics and traditional printing and weaving techniques. She has also included Western elements in her work, but has generally not innovated beyond traditional sari designs. Her clothes have been worn by celebrities such as Princess Diana, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta, Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Madhur Jaffrey, Kalki Koechlin, Dia Mirza, Soha Ali Khan and Jemima Goldsmith.
- Garg, Nikshubha. "Meet Ritu Kumar, the doyen of Indian haute couture". Mid-Day. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- Indian Essentials. Penguin Books India. 1 January 2010. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-14-306526-5.
- Poornima M. Charantimath (2005). Entrepreneurship Development and Small Business Enterprise. Pearson Education India. p. 132. ISBN 978-81-7758-260-4.
- J. Michael Finger; Philip Schuler (23 January 2004). Poor People's Knowledge: Promoting Intellectual Property in Developing Countries. World Bank Publications. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8213-8369-8.
- Parminder Bhachu (5 October 2005). Dangerous Designs: Asian Women Fashion the Diaspora Economies. Routledge. pp. 68–69. ISBN 1-134-90863-6.
- Hindol Sengupta (2009). Ramp Up. Pearson Education India. pp. 158–162. ISBN 978-81-317-1974-9.
- Jill Bryant (2010). Dazzling Women Designers. Second Story Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-897187-82-1.
- McLaughlin-Duane, Rebecca (1 June 2015). "Indian celebrity designer Ritu Kumar unveils new collection in Dubai". The National. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Interview with Ritu Kumar". Creating Emerging Markets. Harvard Business School.
- "Ritu Kumar Gets Featured in Harvard Business School Study". Life and Trendz. 8 August 2015.
- on YouTube
- "Kalki Koechlin shoots for Label Ritu Kumar's new campaign". 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "10 times Bollywood chose Ritu Kumar wedding wear". VOGUE India. 2015-08-05. Retrieved 2016-08-10.