Meet three of India’s most dynamic female, design entrepreneurs

Ambika Gupta, Anita Dongre, and Shabnam Gupta have created a unique design language in the wedding sector, in fashion and interiors

India has a rich legacy of traditional crafts, art, and design and with time, creative sensibilities have evolved to become increasingly contemporary and interpretive. Three dynamic women entrepreneurs perfectly exemplify the direction that Indian design is taking currently. Wedding designer Ambika Gupta, fashion designer Anita Dongre, and interior designer Shabnam Gupta have broken away from normative idioms to express their creativity fearlessly and have achieved success on their own terms.

Ambika Gupta

Luxe-event and wedding designer Ambika Gupta is the founder of multiple award-winning firm A-Cube Project and is known for creating unforgettable wedding stories for celebrities such as Kajal Aggarwal and Gautam Kitchlu, Nikki Galrani and Aadhi Pinisetty & Alanna Panday and Ivor McCray. Ambika founded her company in Chennai in 2012 and today is known to create one-of-a-kind design narratives, be it a journey from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the floating flower markets of Dal Lake, the artisanship of Kutch, the art of Van Gogh and Claude Monet, a sun-drenched Italian farmer’s market or a star-speckled cosmos. She has also worked on destination weddings in Belgrade and Bahrain and what sets her apart is the way she delves deep into local and global artistic and cultural references. She personalizes weddings, be they elaborate or intimate, and is also pioneering collaborative efforts with NGOs and small businesses keeping in mind the concept of sustainability and eco-sensitivity in wedding design. Trained as a master florist in London and Berlin, Ambika today is a multifaceted success story. She is a TEDx speaker and in 2020, won the ‘Young Woman Achiever of the Year Award’ at The Economic Times Business Leader of the Year Award ceremony.

Anita Dongre

Fashion pioneer Anita Dongre’s credo of sustainable and yet luxurious fashion reflects her own-rooted and aspirational success story which started with just two sewing machines. Her signature blend of traditional textiles and crafts with modern silhouettes has won over clients like Beyoncé, the Duchess of Cambridge, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Kim Kardashian, Anushka Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Dia Mirza, Alia Bhatt, and counting. Her eponymous online label and her fashion store, ‘House of Anita Dongre’ offer exquisite vegan accessories, fusion wear, wedding couture, and jewelry, and her subsidiary label ‘Grass Roots’ is all about ethical fashion. Her long list of accolades includes the GR8 Flo Women Achievers Award for ‘Excellence in Fashion Design’; and the ‘EY Entrepreneur Award’ in 2014, among others.

Shabnam Gupta

Be it the late Irrfan Khan’s serene and artistic abode or the homes of Rani Mukerji, Raveena Tandon, and Parineeti Chopra, Shabnam Gupta is known to transform brick-and-mortar spaces into jaw-dropping interiors exuding positivity, energy, and vibrancy. Founder of the home décor and furniture store, ‘Peacock Life by Shabnam Gupta’ and the design solutions firm, ‘The Orange Lane’, Shabnam is known for juxta positioning traditional and contemporary elements in her work. A rebel forever, Shabnam gave up Home Science to become a designer and inspired by the Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa’s organic work, went on to stamp lifestyle stores, urban hangouts, co-working spaces, opulent manors and homes with her tactile, earthy touch. Her quirky and distinctive designs have got her many accolades including a mention in Forbes India’s list of top ten designers in 2010.

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