Sabyasachi Mukherjee

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Sabyasachi Mukherjee
Mukherjee at Lakme Fashion Week.
Born (1974-02-23) 23 February 1974 (age 50)
OccupationFashion designer

Sabyasachi Mukherjee (born 23 February 1974) is an Indian fashion designer, jewelry designer, retailer and couturier from Kolkata, India. Since 1999, he has sold designer merchandise using the label Sabyasachi. Mukherjee is one of the Associate Designer Members of Fashion Design Council of India and the youngest board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema.[1] He has designed costumes for Bollywood films such as Guzaarish, Baabul, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Raavan, and English Vinglish.[2][3]


Early life[edit]

Sabyasachi comes from a middle-class Bengali Brahmin family. Around 1947, his parents emigrated to India from what was then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).[4] Sabyasachi is originally from Kakinara, West Bengal. His early education was from Sri Aurobindo Vidyamandir, Chandannagar.


Models walk for SabyaSachi Couture.

During the summer of 1999, Sabyasachi Mukerjee graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology India. Four months later, he started his eponymous brand which began with a workforce of three people. In 2001, he won the Femina British Council’s most outstanding young Designer of India award,[5] which took him to London for an internship with Georgina von Etzdorf, an eclectic designer based in Salisbury. Returning home with ideas, Sabyasachi started retailing at all major stores in India.

Isha Ambani Piramal, director of Reliance Jio and daughter of Mukesh Ambani in a SabyaSachi black saree at Sabyasachi's bash.

In 2002, Sabyasachi Mukerjee participated at the India Fashion Week which got positive feedbacks from the press. During the spring of 2003, he made his first international runway, with the "Grand Winner Award" at the Mercedes-Benz New Asia Fashion week in Singapore, which paved his way to a workshop in Paris by Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaia. In his collection "Kora" at the Lakme Fashion Week 2003, he used unbleached and hand woven fabrics with Kantha and other hand embroideries.

In 2004, Sabyasachi took a step ahead with Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week and The Miami Fashion Week[6] with a bohemian take on Indian textiles and his collection was called "The Frog Princess". His significant achievements included his coveted showing in Browns earning him a retail place at the tiny London store voted by Vogue as the best shopping destination in the world, thereby establishing himself as one of the most promising young designers for years to come.

In 2005, his spring-summer collection, "The Nair Sisters" was inspired by hand block printing, embroideries, bagru prints and the extensive use of cotton and other hand woven fabrics. The collection was sold at Browns & Selfridges in London. He was requested to showcase his collections at the prestigious Oxford University annual black tie charity dinner fashion show.

Indian actress Kareena Kapoor Khan in SabyaSachi at the finale of Lakme Fashion Week 2016

In 2006, Sabyasachi’s debut Spring Summer collection’07 at New York Fashion Week earned him critical acclaim and his label started selling worldwide. The essence of this collection was based on folklore, glamour, simplicity, modern architecture and intricate detailing. There was a marked influence on paintings from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries like Brueghel, Claude Monet and others. He used dark jeweled colors with muted shades accentuated with subtle texturing and indigenous embroidery. He is the only Indian designer to be a part of all three leading fashion weeks: New York, Milan and London. Sabyasachi believes that the unique positioning of Indian designers is due to the exclusivity of his homeland with its rich history and culture. He believes that Indian designers bring a flavor to the west that is no longer perceived as only exotic but also a rich blend of individuality and sensitivity.

In 2007, Sabyasachi participated at the New York and at the London Fashion Weeks plus Bridal Asia 2007, Lakme Fashion Week and the Vogue launch event in India. His "Sanctuary" collection showcased at Lakme Fashion Week Fall Winter 08 received positive reviews from the fashion editor of the New York Times, Suzy Menkes.[7]

Sabyasachi closed the third edition of PCJ Delhi Couture Week (8–12 August 2012) with his New Moon collection inspired by the flavours of five cities: the world- straitjacket discipline of New York, the nostalgia of the British Raj in Kolkata, the subversive decadence of Berlin, the romanticism of Paris and bohemian flair of Barcelona. Bollywood star Sridevi was the showstopper & walked the ramp for the designer in a sari.[8][9] The designer is showcasing this collection in UAE as well.[10] Sabyasachi launched in 2008 a line of jewelry exclusively designed by himself, in association with the GAJA brand. The collection was showcased at the Vogue Wedding Show in 2016.[11] He launched his exclusive menswear collection featuring Sherwanis, Kurtas and headgear at the Lakme Fashion Week Spring Summer 09 Grand Finale show. He also started a kids wear line under the label Chota Sabhya.

In 2012, the designer styled a calendar for which Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia dressed up as famous painter Frida Kahlo,[12] who has been the designer's inspiration for the Grand Finale at WIFW Autumn-Winter 2011, where the models walked the ramp wearing Frida Kahlo-esque rose headbands and wire-rimmed glasses.[13]

Sabyasachi Mukherjee's Autumn Winter 2015 collection at Amazon India Couture Week (AICW) was a collaboration with French luxury footwear and fashion designer Christian Louboutin.[14][15] 80 pairs of shoes, both for men and women, all embroidered with the quintessential Sabyasachi embroidery and embellished with hand-placed sequins, were created for the show. Louboutin also modified his signature Victoria heel for the collection, to be embroidered with the signature Sabyasachi embroidery using acid dyed burnt zardozi and vintage Parsi gara.[16] The designer has exclusively collaborated with Bergdorf Goodman New York for handcrafted pieces of fine and bohemian jewellery during January to March 2020.[17] His palatial estate in Alipore Calcutta was partly inspired from works of Bijoy Jain and Pierre Cardin.

Design philosophy[edit]

Noyonika Chatterji walks in SabyaSachi Couture.

Sabyasachi's design philosophy is "personalized imperfection of the human hand". Deserts, gypsies, prostitutes, antique textiles and cultural traditions of his home town, Kolkata, have been a lifelong inspiration for this designer who believes that "clothes should just be an extension of one's intellect". He uses unusual fabrics, texturing and detailing, fusion of styles, patch-work with embellishments in vibrant colors. His creations evoke images of ancient and medieval ages. He describes his own collections as "an International styling with an Indian soul".

He designs crafted bridal wear and rigorously structured pieces.[18] On occasion, to the delight of his global audiences, the designer is known to draw inspirations from the wider world, such as exotic, indigenous ethnic European art such as the colourscapes of French impressionists like Monet and Henry Matisse in his clothes.[19]

He pioneered the use of high-end luxury Indian textiles in a modern context. His unique contribution was the use of classical methods like bandhani, gota work, block printing, hand dyeing etc. in construction of modern silhouettes. Sabyasachi is especially famous for Indian Bridal Wear.[citation needed]

Revival initiatives[edit]

SabyaSachi Mukherji's show at Lakme Fashion Week.

Mukherjee started a project called Save the Saree where he retails hand-woven Indian sarees on a non-profit basis priced at 3500 & the entire proceed goes to the weavers of Murshidabad.[20] This initiative is also strongly supported by Film industry divas like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vidya Balan.[21] He has been developing textiles from Dastkarin-Andhra Pradesh, Berozghar Mahili Samitiin-Bihar, Tantubay Samiti-Fulia and Kotpadin-Orissa. The designer uses rich Indian fabrics in his collection - extensive use of Banarasi fabric can be seen in his range.[22] Over the past two years he has also been involved in reviving cotton Benarasi sarees in pure khadi and vegetable hand block prints from Bagru.

He is one of the designers who, by his skillful use of Indian fabric Khadi brought it in the International platform. Sotheby's London hosted an exhibition of contemporary design named 'Inspired by India' where the designer showcased his work of khadi.[23] Sabyasachi's collection of Winter-Festive Lakme Fashion Week 2011 revived the finer version of Khadi.[24]

Sabyasachi and Bollywood[edit]

The designer forayed into films by designing costumes for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's landmark film Black, which earned him critical acclaim along with the National Award in 2005 for the best costume designer for a feature film. Since then, he has designed for other Bollywood movies such as Baabul, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Raavan, Guzaarish, Paa, No One Killed Jessica and English Vinglish.

In 2012, Sabyasachi appeared on NDTV Goodtimes' show Band Baja Bride.[25]

The entire trousseau collection of around 18 hand-crafted sarees for Bollywood diva Vidya Balan's wedding was designed by Sabyasachi for which he specially sourced the silk from Chennai.[26] Vidya Balan also wore seven of his outfits for her public appearances whilst serving on the competition jury panel at Cannes 2013.

Anushka Sharma wore a pale pink lehenga and Virat Kohli wore an ivory raw silk sherwani designed by Sabyasachi at their high-profile wedding on 11 December 2017.

Deepika Padukone wore a red lehenga and Ranveer Singh wore a red raw silk sherwani designed by Sabyasachi at their high-profile wedding on 14 November 2018.

For their second wedding, both Nick and Priyanka wore custom looks by Sabyasachi. Chopra wore a sparkling, crimson red lehenga made of hand-cut organza flowers, French knots in silk floss, and Siam-red crystals. It took 110 embroiderers in Calcutta and 3,720 hours to create this insanely intricate look.

Sabyasachi’s celebrity clientele also includes Samantha Akkineni, Rani Mukerji, Sridevi, Katrina Kaif, Tabu, Shabana Azmi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor, Sushmita Sen, Radhika Pandit, Nita Dalal Ambani, Isha Ambani Piramal, Shloka Mehta Ambani, Radhika Merchant (members of Mukesh Ambani's family) and Kareena Kapoor Khan among several others.[27]

Internationally, actresses Renée Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon, among others, have sported the label.[27]

Store locations[edit]

The brand has flagship store locations in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and New York city. Limited pieces are also carried by other retailers in various parts of India, as well as select international retailers in California, Atlanta, London and Dubai.[citation needed]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

  • Best Designer of Hindustan at the MTV Lycra style awards
  • Society Achievers award for the best new Indian designer.
  • He is the only Indian designer to be requested to showcase at Italy's indigenous fashion showcase Milan Fashion Week 2004
  • Voted by Asia Inc. (a Singapore-based business magazine) as one of the ten most influential Indians in Asia


  1. ^ "Associate Designer Members". Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Fashion show Profile - Sabyasachi Mukherjee". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013..
  3. ^ "Bohemian elegance". The Hindu. 23 April 2005. Archived from the original on 9 May 2005. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Style is about a woman, who is 5'1 and wears flats to a party, says Sabyasachi Mukherjee". India Today. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Sabyasachi Mukherjee". The New York Times. 26 October 2008. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Milano sarà più internazionale — MF fashion". 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Sabyasachi a melting pot for fashion in India - The New York Times". The New York Times. New York. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  8. ^ Caroli, Aditi (13 August 2012). "Sridevi turns showstopper for Sabyasachi". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Sridevi walks the ramp for Sabyasachi". Naxatra News. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013.
  10. ^ McLaughlin-Duane, Rebecca (29 January 2013). "Mukherjee's latest collection is 'very global yet very Indian'". The National. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Vogue Wedding Show 2016 begins in Delhi". 6 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  12. ^ Joshi, Tushar (18 January 2012). "Neha Dhupia's tribute to Frida Kahlo". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  13. ^ Khanna, Priyanka. "RUNWAY REVIEWS". Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  14. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Louboutin Wants The World To See His New Collaboration". British Vogue. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  15. ^ "News - Christian Louboutin Online - Behind the Collaboration: Christian Louboutin x Sabyasachi". Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  16. ^ Ahuja, Shilpa. "Sabyasachi Mukherjee X Christian Louboutin: A Collab from AW15 Couture Show". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Sabyasachi Mukherjee on Instagram: "We are pleased to announce an exclusive association between Bergdorf Goodman @bergdorfs New York and Sabyasachi Jewellery…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  18. ^ Saran, Sathya (27 January 2012). "Firstpost Life His path is his, nothing else matters: Payal on her designer brother Sabyasachi". Firstpost.Live. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  19. ^ "Wearing art: New metaphors for Indian fashion". The Times of India. 12 November 2012. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  20. ^ Narayan, Shobha. "The Saree Warrior". Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  21. ^ Tiwari, Nimisha (2 August 2012). "Sabya in Mumbai". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  22. ^ Vohra, Meera (25 September 2011). "Banarasi fabric catching up in Bollywood". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  23. ^ Walia, Nona (28 September 2012). "Khadi spins an international trend". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  24. ^ S Sen, Debarati (18 August 2011). "Sabyasachi to showcase men, women and kids wear". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  25. ^ " Band Baajaa Bride". 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  26. ^ Banerjee, Soumyadipta (13 November 2012). "18 saris and a temple wedding for Vidya Balan". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  27. ^ a b Thakur, Shweta (11 May 2008). "Fashion world is a shallow one: Sabyasachi Mukherjee". Thaindian News. Retrieved 16 November 2012.

External links[edit]