14 Breakthrough Indian Designers In 2015!

Marv D'Souza
This is our list of 14 Breakthrough designer we loved in 2015!
This is our list of 14 Breakthrough designer we loved in 2015!

It’s been a great year in Indian fashion. We’ve had a joyride hunting down trends and picking our favourite standout looks from the runway. Through the year, we’ve seen a few young designers emerging with a fresh new take on Indian fashion. Here’s our list of the breakthrough designers from 2015.

Sneha Arora: Emerging Talent

Sneha Arora debuted at Lakme Fashion Week a few seasons ago, but since her GenNext collection, we’ve seen her consistently evolve. This shy designer stands out with her emphasis on presenting a visually strong aesthetic. If she plays with prints, they are thoroughly researched and developed in the proper context. She isn’t a cut-copy-paste designer. Sneha’s collections take form in layers. If there’s a vegetable print in the collection, she will also work with vegetable dyes to created a rounded story. In fact, Sneha takes details so seriously that she extends the vibes from her collections to her stalls at exhibitions and at fashion week.

It’s this attention to detail and her steady progress as a designer that land Sneha Arora a spot on our list!

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Sneha Arora at FDCI Presents AIFW A/W'15
Sneha Arora at FDCI Presents AIFW A/W'15
Sneha Arora at FDCI Presents AIFW A/W'15
Sneha Arora's stall
Sneha Arora At Lakme Fashion Week
Sneha Arora S/S'15 at WIFW

Shift by Nimish Shah: The Silent Dressmaker

In a country that’s seemingly obsessed with quirky prints and embroidery, Shift by Nimish Shah has managed to stand out with his chic, fuss-free casual dresses and separates. It’s the easy and minimalist vibe of the label that has earned Nimish the support of style superstars like Sonam Kapoor and  Kalki Koechlin.

Making day-dressing refined for the modern woman can be tricky, but Nimish Shah makes it exciting by giving us something new every season. This year, he gave us a taste of beautiful dying techniques using vegetable natural dyes with a tres chic treatment for the urban woman.

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Shift by Nimish Shah: Summer 2015
Shift by Nimish Shah: Summer 2015
Shift by Nimish Shah: Summer 2015
Shift by Nimish Shah: Summer 2015
Shift by Nimish Shah: Summer 2015
Nimish Shah of Shift
Shift by Nimish Shah: Winter Cruise 2015-2016
Shift by Nimish Shah: Winter Cruise 2015-2016
Shift by Nimish Shah: Winter Cruise 2015-2016
Shift by Nimish Shah: Winter Cruise 2015-2016
Shift by Nimish Shah: Winter Cruise 2015-2016

Dhruv Kapoor: Label To Watch Out for

He recently won the VOGUE India Fashion Fund 2015 in Delhi. In a span of nearly 2 years, Dhruv Kapoor is among the few younger names who have ventured into women’s and menswear, simultaneously. While pattern cuts and aesthetics for the two are different in terms of execution, Dhruv has nailed both of them with impeccable attention to structure and finish.

Through the year, we’ve seen stars like Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Nargis Fakhri and Malaika Arora Khan in Dhruv Kapoor. But the icing on the cake was the label’s menswear show at GQ India‘s Fashion Nights which featured a boisterous collection for winter 2015. This is definitely a label to watch.

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Dhruv Kapoor at GQ India's #FashionNights
Dhruv Kapoor at GQ India's #FashionNights
Dhruv Kapoor
Dhruv Kapoor - Ochre Summer Coat
Sonam Kapoor in Dhruv Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor in Dhruv Kapoor
Malaika Arora Khan in Dhruv Kapoor. Source: @dhruvkapoor on Instagram
Nagris Fakhri in Dhruv Kapoor Source: @dhruvkapoor on Instagram

Payal Khandwala: Omnipresent

They said ‘Out of sight- Out of mind,’ but that’s not the case with Payal Khandwala. The woman has been building her own fashion arsenal with her time away from runway shows. She opened doors to her flagship store in late 2014 but through this year, she’s gained momentum. She extended her label’s colour blocked, oriental-zen vibe into a strong desi bridal avatar. Not just that, in the second half of the year, Payal along with her husband, Vikram Ramchandani, launched Tachi– an accessory label for men and women.

It’s now safe to say that Payal Khandwala has been omnipresent in 2015, adding a few more feathers to her label’s hat!

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Dia Mirza in Payal Khandwala
MissMalini & her mom wearing Payal Khandwala & Swarovski
Juhi Chawla in Payal Khandwala
Kajol wearing Payal Khandwala at Alpenliebe
Sonam Kapoor in Payal Khandwala
Alia Bhatt in Payal Khandwala
Payal Khandwala A/W 2015
Payal Khandwala A/W 2015
Payal Khandwala with the Senator Sleeve from Tachi
Payal Khandwala with the Mira Bag from Tachi
Payal Khandwala with the Travel wallet from Tachi

Eina Ahluwalia: Positive Vision

The past few seasons have been exciting in terms of accessories. We’ve seen a ton of names step up and Eina Ahluwalia is one of them. What struck us about the label is Eina’s vision to present her label accessories in a way that triggers a subconscious awareness to all women in terms of how one perceives themselves. During a recent show, she presented her line with art installations, audio-visual aids and live acts. The showcase was designed around an idea that reminded women that they are beautiful, strong and unique irrespective of the standards set by mainstream media and the fashion/beauty industry worldwide.

Taking the story forward, Eina emphasized her positive vision for women by featuring the fabulous Ekta Rajani as the model for her campaign. We applaud the fact that she took the initiative to discuss a concept of beauty and accessories in the coolest way possible!

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Ekta Rajani for Eina Ahluwalia
Ekta Rajani for Eina Ahluwalia
Ekta Rajani for Eina Ahluwalia
Ekta Rajani for Eina Ahluwalia
Experiential Installation by Eina Ahluwalia at LFW W/F 15
Experiential Installation by Eina Ahluwalia at LFW W/F 15
Experiential Installation by Eina Ahluwalia at LFW W/F 15

Anavila: Bringing Textiles Back

We’re not exaggerating when we say that Anavila Misra makes desi textiles cool! The designer works closely with weavers and kariars in India to create luxurious contemporary versions of tradition Indian weaves. This year alone, along with Sanjay Garg of Raw Mango and Ritu Kumar, Anavila took a strong stand to represent the textiles, handicrafts and the nation’s weaving fraternity that deserve our attention, appreciation and applause.

It’s this dedication that lands Anavila a spot on our breakthrough designers list of 2015.

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Nandita Das in Anavila. Source: Instagram | @anavila_m
Anavila at Lakmé Fashion Week SS15
Anavila at Lakmé Fashion Week SS15
Kajol in Anavila Misra
Vidya Balan in Anavila

Antar Agni: Menswear Maestro

He’s stormed into the Indian menswear market, and our boys in Bollywood (in Antar Agni) have never looked better, especially in textile-based looks. The label has given men a few more options to experiment with. At the GQ Fashion Nights, Ujjawal Dubey of Antar Agni added another layer to his looks for the show by introducing a sports-luxe twist to his drape-heavy garments.

This year alone, we’ve seen people like Arjun Kapoor, Ayushmann Khuranna, and R. Madhavan rocking their Antar Agni gear. We want more!

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Ayushmann Khuranna in Antar Agni by Ujjawal Dubey
Antar Agni by Ujjawal Dubey
Riteish & Genelia Deshmukh for Ujjawal Dubey
Antar Agni By Ujjawal Dubey
Antar Agni By Ujjawal Dubey
Arjun Kapoor and Ujjawal Dubey
R. Madhavan in Antar Agni

LoveBirds: New Kids On The Block

Bringing the cool, easy vibe of boxy layers is a new label called LoveBirds! They debuted on the runway in 2015 and instantly caught the fancy of magazine editors, stylists, bloggers and fashionistas. Some may call them a little alternative, but we love that Lovebirds give us clothes that are beautifully cut and have room for movement.

They are fashion’s new kids on the block and we’re glad that they are here!

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Lovebirds at AIFW SS'16
Lovebirds at AIFW SS'16
Lovebirds at AIFW SS'16
A look by Lovebirds at LFW
Love Birds, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Love Birds
Love Birds

Am.It: Radical New Direction

Two seasons old and in a new direction is Am.It by designers Amit Aggarwal and  Amit Hansraj. Their first collection re-invented the bindi and the second collection presented Harajuku with a hardcore sports edge.

We are absolutely  stoked that Am.It carries forward a story started by Manish Arora and Little Shilpa – A story that represents a fun, eccentric side to Indian Fashion.

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Am.It, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Am.It, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Am.It, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Am.It, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Amit Agarwal, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Amit Aggarwal at FDCI Presents AIFW A/W'15
Amit Aggarwal at FDCI Presents AIFW A/W'15

Armaan Aiman: Big Splashers

They’ve managed to take over our Instagram, and Facebook news feeds with their fox printed shirts. Fashion favourites like Athiya ShettyNeha Dhupia, Anushka Manchanda, and a bunch fashion faces have regularly been posting #OOTDs in their Armaan Aiman gear. As Armaan Randhawa of Armaan Aiman puts it- we #LOUE!

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Neha Dhupia in Armaan Aiman. Source: @armaanaiman_official on Instagram
Blogger Rasna Bhasinin Armaan Aiman. Source: @armaanaiman_official on Instagram
Sherry Shroff in Armaan Aiman. Source: @armaanaiman_official on Instagram
Kalki Koechlin in Armaan Aiman. Source: @armaanaiman_official on Instagram
Anushka Manchanda in Armaan Aiman. Source: @armaanaiman_official on Instagram
Armaan Aiman
Armaan Aiman LFW AW15 Off The Runway on Exclusively.com (Midnight Blue Embroidered Dress)
Armaan Aiman at LFW WF 2015
Chandni Sareen in Armaan Aiman
Athiya Shetty in Armaan Aiman

Huemn: The Cool Peeps

Pranav Mishra and Shyma Shetty, of Huemn, are cool as f*ck! And they bring their cool vibes to their collections. If there’s an international trend brewing, Huemn’s picked it and made it their own! In fact, the duo have mastered the art of taking relevant fashion themes like animal prints and adding a cool, Huemn twist to it.

It’s their sense of being light-hearted with a strain on presenting strong collections that have interesting design elements, which makes us love them a lot more! P.S. This year, they also managed to steam up our screens with their ultra sexy ad campaign!

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A layered look by Huemn
Huemn (Source: Instagram/@LakmeFashionWk)
Huemn
Huemn
Huemn
Courtesy: Huemn
Courtesy: Huemn
Courtesy: Huemn
Courtesy: Huemn

Miuniku: The Game Changers

When we first saw their lookbook, we didn’t know their origin and took it for granted they were an international label. Having said that, Miuniku IS a global label and have shown their range in Milan and Dubai. While change in fashion is constant, this year, the label has maintained a strong story in their collections with their trademark layered looks in a jolt of colours.

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Miuniku
Miuniku SS15 Source: @miuniku on Instagram
Miuniku SS15 Source: @miuniku on Instagram
Miuniku SS15 Source: @miuniku on Instagram
Miuniku AW 15 Source: @miuniku on Instagram
Miuniku AW 15 Source: @miuniku on Instagram
Miuniku AW 15 Source: @miuniku on Instagram

Ikai: The Rebel With A Cause

For Ragini Ahuja of Ikai, graphic looks are a statement and she designs them with no apologies. From cigarette motives to oversized sleeves, she is a rebel, and a good one. This year, she proved that she is not just restricted to visually bold garments. She makes clothes  for the women of today, the kind that won’t stick to norms and won’t succumb to the rigid rules of the dressing game.

At MissMalini, we love a rebel the moment we see one!

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Ragini Ahuja, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Ragini Ahuja, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Ragini Ahuja, AIFW SS 2016, Amazon India Fashion Week
Ikai at AIFW SS'16
Ikai at AIFW SS'16
Ikai at AIFW SS'16
Ikai
Ikai
Ikai
Ikai
Ikai
Ragini Ahuja at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2014
Ragini Ahuja (IKAI) at Ensemble

Writing this list has really worked up our appetite for what’s in store in 2016. Who do you think will break out in 2016? Tell us @MissMalini.

To read more of our Best of 2015 post, click here!

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