Ritu Beri calls herself 'first idiot' of Indian fashion

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) She went abroad to use her design sensibilities at a time when the Indian fashion industry was very niche. In the business for over two decades now, Ritu Beri calls herself "the first idiot" who got up and followed her dreams in the world of fashion.

She admits that the journey hasn't been easy, especially in the west, where people once considered Indians as "great copycats".

"Everyone says that I am the first Indian who took fashion abroad, but I think I was the first idiot who got up and said, 'I want to do this'. I have no real map to follow, there was nobody I could actually use as my example. But yes, I was passionate about what I was doing," Beri shared at a forum here Tuesday.

She spoke on the sidelines of a panel discussion arranged by the FICCI [Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry] Ladies Organisation (FLO).

Over the years, Beri has made a mark with her chic apparels.

From showcasing at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week to dressing up noted international celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Nicole Kidman, the designer's journey is a perfect representation of Indian fashion's inroads into the worldwide fashion scenario.

"I just believe that in India, because we were new and we were fresh, it was so easy to please everyone. People who watched the glamour, especially fashion shows for the first time, were awestruck. I think the concept of fashion was so new to India (when I began my journey), that it fascinated the audience," she added.

A graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the designer launched her label in India in 1990.

She became the first Indian designer to present a show in Paris, where she successfully launched her first luxe collection in 1998. Her gradual success led her to be named by Time magazine among the People to Watch in International Business.

Beri, now a known name in India and abroad, says she developed cold feet when she knocked the door in the international fashion world. But she was determined.

"When I was exposed to the fashion world in Paris, I had cold feet and I was wondering if it would ever be possible for me to make a mark. But I think I am a sucker for challenges and I did that.

"I just wanted to be in Paris and wanted to see my collection on runways there. I chased my dream and followed my stars and I was also quite surprised to know that I am right there presenting my first collection in the year 1998," she said.

That the French people weren't exposed to Indian fashion, was another challenge.

"They only know about snake charmers and all that ethnic traditions. The other thing which was really negative for me was that everyone there thought Indians are great copy cats and they can copy anything at half the price.

"So when I was there, people were scared to show what they could do for me or help me because they all felt that I would come back to India, do the same thing at half the price and kill their market. So, I dint have too much support during my starting phase," she added.

However Beri, who sells her creations through boutiques in France and Germany and a store in New Delhi, is happy to see the scenario has changed.

"Today it is wonderful to see the changed perspective of people from around the globe towards Indian fashion industry. India is looked up with such respect. When somebody sayS that he or she is from India, all doors open for them.

"Also, Indians are one of the greatest buyers worldwide, so I think we have come a long way," she said.

Latest News

  • FDCI locks dates for next AIFW seasons

    New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the country's apex fashion body on Sunday announced dates for the Amazon India Fashion Week spring-summer and autumn-winter 2016 seasons. …

  • Success is becoming the best version of yourself: Hrithik

    Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) After coming out unscathed through all the struggles in his life, actor Hrithik Roshan has nothing but inspiration to offer his fans and says success to him is becoming the best version of one's own self. Success to me is becoming the best version of yourself," Hrithik told IANS. …

  • I am really glad rap music has found some place in Bollywood, says Mickey Singh

    By Ashish Kumar Singh New Delhi, Mar 29 (ANI): Indo American singer Mickey Singh recently discussed the importance of rap and fusion music in Bollywood during his visit to New Delhi. The 'Double Addi' hitmaker spoke exclusively to ANI about his music and the current music trend in Bollywood, saying that he was really glad that rap music had found some place in Bollywood. The American pop sensation said, "Rappers like Badshah and Yo Yo Honey Singh have definitely taken rap music and Indian …

  • Disappointing first quarter, say Bollywood's trade gurus

    Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) With no blockbusters, and a majority of debacles, the first quarter of 2015 has been disappointing for Bollywood box office, say trade gurus, who believe that small fries like "NH10" and "Badlapur" have managed to earn plaudits and profits. It's been an average year so far -- none of the Khans' films released, and the only A-list starrer "Baby", featuring Akshay Kumar, was among the four movies that performed well. This year, there was was no such major film," trade …

  • Reality shows not my thing: Nathalia Kaur

    New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Brazilian model Nathalia Kaur, who recently stepped out of her comfort zone to perform some action-packed stunts in Indian reality show "Khatron ke Khiladi Darr Ka Blockbuster Returns", says she has no intentions to take part in any other reality show as of now. "Reality shows are not my thing. Films are my focus at the moment," Nathalia told IANS over phone from Mumbai. I think I'm not made for reality shows," she said. …

  • Films on Himachal's wildlife may hit roadblock

    Shimla, March 29 (IANS) Big budget documentaries showcasing Himachal Pradesh's prized wildlife, including the highly endangered pheasant, by Green Oscar winning filmmaker Mike Pandey may hit a roadblock. The wildlife department has decided to give one last chance to the acclaimed filmmaker to seek his view over the inordinate three-year delay in completing four sets of documentaries of 30 minutes each, a senior official told IANS. The government has made a partial payment of Rs.40 lakh to the …

  • Being an actor a torture for skin: Taapsee Pannu

    New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) "Baby" actress Taapsee Pannu, who has signed up an endorsement deal with skincare brand Everyuth, says the acting profession is a "torture" on one's skin -- but with a mix of right food and liquid intake, she keeps herself glowing. What is your take -- should celebrities promote the concept of fairness creams? …

  • Radhika won't do songs that objectify women

    Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) Actress Radhika Apte, who picks content-driven films, says she would not do an item song which objectifies women. Asked if she's willing to do item songs in Bollywood, the "Hunterrr" told IANS: "It all depends on what it is. What is item number? …

Loading...