Her designs are widely replicated by shop owners, and bought by those who want to ace their style quotient in an affordable way, but designer Anita Dongre, who has created a revolution with her brand House of Anita Dongre Limited (HOAD), feels plagiarism is a by-product of the fashion industry. However, she says a true fashionista will know how to spot what's authentic.
HOAD Limited owns and operates three brands with three extremely distinct identities that includes AND, Global Desi and the Anita Dongre label. It also includes Pinkcity, handcrafted jadau jewellery and the recently-launched luxury pret label Grassroot, which is a tribute to the handcrafted traditions of India.
Dongre, whose creation was famously flaunted by Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton on her India visit, enjoys working with artisans. "This is a partnership of mutual respect. There is a skill and expertise that they have always brought to the bridal and couture looks, and with Grassroot, that expertise is carried to everyday looks.
"I work with artisans more closely through Grassroot, often in their homes, exchanging ideas about a new language for traditional crafts. I am inspired by the lives these artisans live, the crafts they have practised for generations and their respect for all living beings. They contribute not only to making my brands what they are, but also the person I am today," the veteran designer said.
Asked how she sees the evolution of fashion from past to present, she said: "Fashion in the past was more inclusive and rested in the hands of a select few. These days it's become highly competitive, hence the need to experiment and innovate in order to stand out from the rest. "It's all about constant innovation and staying true to your aesthetics and design philosophy, and I believe change is the only constant."