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Women Entrepreneurs Changing the Face of Fashion and Textile Industry - Pearl Academy

By Dr. Yashaswini A and Dr. Indrani Sengupta
(Associate Professors, Fashion Business, Pearl Academy)

In the heart of India’s bustling textile industry, a silent revolution is underway, led by a cadre of visionary women entrepreneurs. These trailblazers are not only redefining the landscape of Indian fashion and textiles but also inspiring awe and admiration with their incredible journeys. From reviving ancient crafts to embracing cutting-edge technology, these women are weaving dreams into reality, leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of India’s rich cultural heritage. In this mesmerising journey, we delve into the stories of some of India’s most promising and talented women entrepreneurs, whose passion, innovation, and determination are reshaping the face of the fashion and textile industry.

Unveiling the Rising Stars: The Pearl Academy Alumni

Muskaan Mundhra
Founder, Serein India
Pearl Academy Alumna – Fashion Business (2018-21)

As the founder of Serein India, Muskaan witnessed the evolution of her brand into a beacon of sustainable luxury in Delhi and beyond. At the tender age of 21, fuelled by a passion for cruelty-free living and a conviction that animal life should never be commodified, she embarked on this journey with Serein Cosmetics. Driven by the vision of a world where animals are respected and valued beyond their utility, Serein represents more than just a brand; it embodies a movement towards conscious consumerism and ethical fashion. With every lipstick, lip liner, and eye makeup product off utility, Serein strives to redefine luxury by embracing sustainability, veganism, and cruelty-free practices.

The expansion into accessories and apparel with House of Serein in 2022 marked a significant milestone. By incorporating plant- and fruit-based leathers like mango, pineapple, and cactus into their accessories, and crafting dynamic garments that promote unique styling while preserving the ecosystem, the brand continues to push the boundaries of ethical fashion.

Collaborating with like-minded designers and partnering with organisations such as PETA against animal cruelty has been instrumental in amplifying the message and impact. The collections are showcased at prestigious events like Lakmé Fashion Week as well as exhibitions across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. The brand strives to make a statement: animals are not products, and life should never be marked by a price tag. Their journey has been adorned with accolades such as the Global Leaders and Crowns of Delhi awards. Serein India remains dedicated to delivering high-quality products while also respecting the environment. The brand reflects a belief in creating a balanced ecological environment and giving back to society. Serein is on a transformative journey toward a future that prioritises compassion and sustainability.

Sunaina Harjai
Founder, Hats Off Accessories
Pearl Academy Alumna- Fashion Business (2011-15)

Within the domain of Accessories and Footwear Leather Designs, Hats Off Accessories thrives on creativity, drawing inspiration from both British design and Indian craftsmanship.

The brand believes in giving back to society by ensuring fair wages, good working conditions, and environmentally friendly operations, all while preserving the rich craftsmanship of India. Believing in the essence of craftsmanship, the brand advocates for affordable luxury, asserting that luxury is inherent in the art of skilled craftsmanship. From conception to creation, every shoe that bears Hats Off name tells a unique story. The in-house design team has been dedicated to creating affordable luxury since its inception. Every step of the process, from the first sketch to the final pair of shoes, takes place under one roof. Exquisite craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail are intrinsic to the brand. This commitment is reflected in the Hats Off Accessories footwear collection, which is handmade in their factory in India. From stitching the leather to boxing the shoes, each pair is crafted by skilled craftsmen, who pour their passion, heritage, love, and dedication into crafting each pair.

The brand has received prestigious awards such as the Goldman Sachs Growth Fellow. Its collections and exhibitions have graced renowned events like the IICC Council of Leather Footwear Exports Dilex.

Sanjana Katariya
Founder, Sanriya
Pearl Academy Alumna – Fashion Business (2020-2022)

Nestled within the vibrant tapestry of creativity, Sanriya emerges as a radiant beacon of handcrafted fashion jewellery. Founded on June 10, 2020, by the visionary artisan Sanjana Katariya, Sanriya epitomises more than just a brand; it embodies the essence of homegrown entrepreneurship and artisanal craftsmanship — a labour of love meticulously handcrafted to perfection. With a steadfast commitment to quality and affordability, Sanriya aims to be the ultimate destination for discerning fashionistas seeking elegance without breaking the bank. In a world where luxury often comes at a hefty price tag, Sanriya stands as a beacon of hope, offering handcrafted jewellery that is both exquisite and affordable.

Believing that beauty should be accessible to all, Sanriya’s handcrafted jewellery embodies this ethos. From delicate earrings that whisper tales of grace to resplendent neckpieces that command attention, every creation at Sanriya is a testament to the brand’s commitment to affordability without compromising on style or quality.

Aarushi Kilawat
Founder, The Loom Art
Pearl Academy Alumna – Fashion Design (2012-2016)

The Loom Art derives its name from the designer’s passion for handloom and her core admiration for art. Her label focuses on reviving old, authentic craft techniques and generating employment opportunities for local artisans, thereby bringing handloom back into vogue.

Aarushi believes that machine-made clothing can never capture the love and hard work reflected in handmade pieces. Founded in 2017, The Loom Art was born out of a desire to provide a platform for artisans and preserve authentic craftsmanship. Built on the principles of slow fashion, the brand advocates for sustainable practices and ethical production methods. Through her brand, Aarushi promotes sustainability by utilising eco-friendly materials, implementing ethical production practices, and reducing waste through recycling and upcycling initiatives.

For The Loom Art, sustainability transcends mere environmentalism; it represents a commitment to nurturing livelihoods and preserving cultural heritage. The ethos of the brand champions fair trade practices celebrates the richness of handloom fabrics, and honours the artistry of hand embroideries. According to a report by McKinsey, sustainability presents fashion’s biggest opportunities for growth, and Aarushi’s brand is a living testament to this statistic. Her brand has changed the face of fashion in India by promoting sustainable fashion, Indian design, and fabric, playing a pivotal role in revitalizing the textile industry. The label focuses on reviving old and dying authentic crafts, embroidery, and weaving techniques in a world dominated by fast fashion. It is a fond effort to provide a platform for artisans to collaborate and co-create, representing a collective narrative of the emotions of all the creative souls involved in this process.

Aarushi’s tireless efforts and innovative approach caught the attention of Forbes, earning her a coveted spot on the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list. This recognition served as validation of her unwavering commitment to ethical fashion and sustainable practices, propelling her onto a global stage. In 2020, Aarushi achieved significant milestones, starting with winning the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week Gen Next Designer Award. This was followed by being named a Finalist at Scouting For India Vogue Milan Fashion Week 2020, and further recognition as a Semi-Finalist of the esteemed global Redress Design Awards 2020 in Hong Kong.

Embracing Innovation

In addition to preserving tradition, these women entrepreneurs are also at the forefront of innovation, harnessing the power of technology to propel their businesses forward. From e-commerce platforms to social media marketing, they are leveraging digital tools to reach a global audience and expand their market reach. By embracing innovation, they not only stay ahead of the curve but also inspire others to embrace change and adapt to the evolving demands of the industry.

In a world where the fashion and textile industry are often synonymous with glamour and extravagance, it is the quiet determination and unwavering passion of these women entrepreneurs that truly shines through. Through their creativity, resilience, and commitment to excellence, they are not just changing the face of the Indian fashion industry but also leaving an indelible mark on society. As we celebrate their achievements, let us also recognise the importance of nurturing and supporting women-led initiatives, ensuring a brighter and more inclusive future for India’s textile industry.

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