Some of the sexiest women in the country have chosen to walk the red carpet in Monisha Jaising gowns. So it’s a surprise to meet the designer and discover that she is soft-spoken, calm, collected and prefers wearing jeans over her own sultry creations. Walk into her sprawling Mumbai store and you realise that there is much more to her work than the slit-to-there gowns. The inventor of the kurti was one of the first to start her own sportswear line—think track pants with sparkly sequins. And she recently launched her own bridal collection. In her 25th year in fashion, we look back at Monisha Jaising’s career.
Tell us how it all started.
Well, I actually started off as an exporter. Back then, there was no concept of fashion and not many designers. If you wanted something made, you just went to a tailor. Exporting gave me the chance to start my own factory and on the side, I was supplying to stores like Ensemble and Ogaan. This was along with Rohit Khosla, Abu-Sandeep and Tarun Tahiliani, among others. My main bread and butter, however, was still coming from exports.
Did you always want to be a designer?
Yes I did, but I studied commerce first and then went to fashion school. Commerce was to make my parents happy, but it actually helped me a lot. It’s always good to have business knowledge.
What is your export client looking for compared to your Indian client?
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November 24 2015