Born in Mumbai, Anita Dongre graduated from SNDT College in Fashion Design in 1984. From a very early age, Anita had great clarity about wanting to create a fashion house. Having spent her summer holidays during her growing up years in Jaipur, her influence was apparent from her first collection. While reflecting the beauty and rich heritage of India, she brought a whole new modern aesthetic to design. Her unique insights, astute eye and special understanding of women created some of India's leading fashion brands. AND (India's first westernwear brand), Global Desi (a colourful boho-chic favourite of young women), the luxury bridal and occasion wear label - Anita Dongre, PinkCity (the handcrafted jadau precious jewellery line) and Grassroot, a sustainable luxury brand that is closest to her heart.
A vegetarian, animal lover, environmentalist and a revivalist of Indian crafts, Anita's passionate beliefs are evident in the way she lives life - both business and personal. As a supporter of PETA, Anita advocates compassionate living. She believes that anything that is cruel cannot be fashionable. And so, none of the brands in her portfolio use fur, leather, skin or any animal product. She is fortunate to share the same philosophy with her sister Meena Sehra and brother Mukesh Sawlani who work alongside her.
Her personal philosophy of leading a simpler life over time has brought her closer to nature and has translated to a move to an eco-friendly, ergonomically designed workspace. The fashion house overlooks the rolling hills at Rabale, where life and business are built around conservation. The quest for greener alternative solutions is a constant journey with Anita, and she seeks to find resources and partners that can help her reduce her environmental footprint. Conscious consumption is a way of life with her.
Her deepest fear is losing out on the treasure house of crafts and culture from India (from recipes to music to arts and textiles and unique age-old handcrafted traditions). Her focus, therefore, is reviving and sustaining the crafts in remote villages of India and empowering artisans. She believes that even a lifetime of her work may be less to restore the vast heritage her country has.
Anita's commitment to sustainability is best captured in the quote by Mahatma Gandhi. "There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes for hunger and unhappiness".