by Annie Saxena on Feb 09, 2023
Since the launch of her label in 1990, Ritu Beri’s name has been synonymous with the explosive globalization of India’s fashion industry.
Being the protégé of the French embroidery maestro, Francois Lesage, she fused Indian aesthetics with global fashion trends & in 1997, Beri was the first Indian Designer to be featured in PROMOSTYL, a prestigious magazine that forecasts global fashion trends, as the future of Fashion.
Taking her engagement with design beyond clothes, she initiated Ritu Beri Fashion Fraternity (RBFF) in 1997 to mentor aspiring designers and help in launching their brands.
Beri, was the first Indian designer to do a fashion show in Paris in 1999, during the Le Semaine de la Haute Couture & she was the first Asian to head a French fashion house in 2000, Jean Louis Scherrer. With all these feathers in her cap, she was justly anointed “India’s Fashion Week”.
Her creativity was objectively evaluated by fashion connoisseurs across the world – rating, qualifying and quantifying her talent. Francois Lesage once said, “Ritu’s contemporary expression has given to an Indian tradition of clothes, a mood of the Yves Saint Laurent collection of the eighties.”
Suzy Menkes, reacted to her first show in Paris during the Le Semaine de la Haute Couture & said, “Surprising as it might seem, Ritu Beri, from Delhi, gave a lesson in high fashion aesthetics and client-pleasing clothes-the essence of couture. This protege of the embroiderer Francois Lesage took a palette of quiet colors and sent out poetic mixes of baked mud, earth brown and black tinged with gold embroidery, or brighter kingfisher lined with zingy yellow.”
Time magazine has declared her “The First Lady Of Fashion In Her Country” while BBC has credited her with a resounding headline: “Indian Fashion Takes A Hold In The Form Of Ritu Beri.”
Bill Clinton, Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan and Prince Charles are some of the people who have adorned Ritu Beri’s designs.
To acknowledge her path breaking contribution to fashion and design, she was awarded the prestigious French honour, Chevaliere ‘Des Art Et Des Lettres’ and the Spanish title of ‘The Lady of the Order of Civil Merit’
She is amongst the most recognizable faces of India, listed amongst the 50 most important people of the country, nominee for the Economic Times Business Woman of the year Award in India, is noted to be amongst the 20 Best Dressed Celebrity Icons of the country and has been endorsed by Tag Heuer as their ‘Link Lady of India’.
In 2015, Ritu launched The Luxury League, a Non-Profit Foundation, established to enhance brand ‘India’ globally through its arts, craft & brands, and to reimagine the connotations of luxury in an Indian context.
In 2016, Ritu Beri was appointed Advisor to the Khadi & Village Industries Commission of the Government of India. In 2019, Ritu Beri was appointed the Cultural & Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan in India by the Ministry of Tourism in Uzbekistan. In the same year, Beri was also announced as the Advisor to the Surajkund Mela, the world’s largest craft fair with over a million visitors a year. Beri ended 2019 by being appointed the Chief Design Consultant for The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India.
She started 2020 with another accolade, a postal stamp issued to honour her work, under the series of ‘Indian Fashion’ by the Government of India.
Even after spending over two decades in the industry, Ritu Beri has said,”I still love my work and enjoy fashion immensely, I still enjoy challenging projects that are out of the box.”
Ritu Beri is a force of fashion in India and seems to be only growing with the years. The “Donatella Versace Of India” has a relentless spirit and a passion for seeing Indian fashion succeed on the global map.