Ritu Kumar is an Indian fashion designer. She is one of the most renowned fashion designers in India; having served the Indian Fashion Industry for more than 40 years.
Ritu Kumar was born on Saturday, 11 November 1944 (age 75 years; as in 2019) in Amritsar, Punjab. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio. She did her schooling from Shimla’s Loreto Convent and went to Lady Irwin College to pursue her graduation. Ritu, then bagged a scholarship at Briarcliff College in New York from where she studied Art History. Thereafter, she enrolled herself in Asutosh Museum of Indian Art (at that time, a part of the University of Calcutta) to pursue Museology.
Height (approx.): 5′ 2″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Family & Caste
Ritu Kumar belongs to a Hindu Family. Not much is known about her parents and siblings.
While in Lady Irwin College, Ritu fell in love with Shashi Kumar. The couple tied the knot after dating each other for a few years. Together they have two sons, Amrish Kumar (CEO of the fashion label, Ritu Kumar) and Ashvin Kumar (Writer and Film Maker).
Ritu Kumar started her career as a fashion designer in 1969. She began designing clothes using two small tables and hand-block printing technique from a small town in Kolkata.
Initially, she designed evening clothes and Indian bridal wear and eventually, created a niche for herself in the international market.
After establishing herself as a successful entrepreneur, Ritu started expanding her business in India and abroad. Apart from owning several branches in the country, her company also opened up many stores in countries like New York, Paris, and London. The London branch was closed in 1999 after operating successfully for around 3 years. During the 90s, the annual turnover of her company rose to ₹10 billion, which was higher than many other fashion outlets in India.
In 2002, the Indo-Canadian director, Deepa Mehta, offered her to design clothes for the Canadian film “Bollywood Hollywood.” Subsequently, she launched her sub-brand “LABEL” in partnership with her son, Amrish Kumar.
In the same year, she launched the fragrance “The Tree of Life.” She has also designed the costumes of the film “No Fathers in Kashmir.”
- Lifetime Achievement Award by NIFT
- Lifetime Achievement Award by Kingfisher Group
- Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award by PHDCC
- Award of “chevalier des arts et des lettres” (knight of the order of arts and letters) bestowed by the French Government in recognition of her contribution to Indian textile crafts and traditional techniques
- Lifetime Achievement Award at the Kingfisher Fashion Fantasia (2000)
- Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award
- Padma Shri Award (2013)
- Delhi’s Most Stylish Award by Hindustan Times (2015)
- Food: Chole Bhature, Pav Bhaji
- Dessert: Rasmalai
- Beverage: Tea
- Actor: Amitabh Bachchan
- Travel Destination: New York
- Colour: Peach
- Her hobbies include reading and travelling.
- She is one of the leading fashion designers in India.
- Ritu Kumar was born in a middle-class family of ideals and values.
- Unlike most of the parents of the 60s, Ritu’s parents and grandparents were highly educated and considered girls education of utmost importance.
- Ritu’s background in art history and museology inspired her to open up a business in clothing line and ensembles.
- Ritu Kumar is the first person to introduce the Boutique culture in India. She established her boutique under the brand name “RITU.”
- In October 1999, Ritu published a book “Costumes and Textiles of Royal India,” which is based on the history of art designs and textiles in India.
- Kumar’s designs are mainly based on traditional printing & weaving techniques. She prefers using natural fabrics.
- The only thing that makes her label distinct is her intellectual and unique vision towards ethnic wears.
- It was Kumar who designed the wedding outfit of the Bollywood actress, Kareena Kapoor Khan.
- She has also designed traditional outfits for many other Bollywood actresses including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra, and Vidya Balan.
- Ritu often designs outfits for the contestants of Indian Pageants like “Miss Universe,” “Miss Asia Pacific,” and “Miss India.”
- She had designed some great masterpieces for the Late Princess Diana.
- When asked in an interview about designing outfits for a Bollywood film, Kumar replied,
The way things are in Bollywood, I don’t think I have the time and patience for all that.”
- Kumar has around 35 high-end fashion outlets in more than 14 cities across India.
- Her son Ashwin Kumar, is an Oscar nominated director.
- In 2019, her website, ritukumar.com attracted 1,658,109 users in a year.
- Ritu has started a video campaign “Beautiful Hands” in Kolkata, which encourages the purchase of graments and accessories created by indigenous craftsmen.
- As of now (2020), Ritu runs three fashion labels, namely, “Ritu Kumar,” “Ri,” and “LABEL Ritu Kumar.”
- Ritu is one of the founding members of the All India Artisans and Craft Workers Welfare Association (AIACA).
- Kumar has been credited for the resurrection of Zardozi, which was a flourishing art during the Mughal period.
- Her bridal collection mainly features the work of Zari, zardozi and other forms of embroidery that makes use of precious metals.
- Ritu is fondly called the “Couture Rani” by her admirers.