THE TRANSFORMERS: Renegade Indian Menswear Designers

Updated: Dec 13, 2020


Photo Credit - Ajay Kumar

Italian men have been known for their fashion sense and style and so it Italy, the land of luxurious fabrics, sharp cuts, tailored mastery, and deep cultural context. They have it through generation as heritage and with their passion; they are persistence in renovating it. In India, ironically we witnessed a contrasting development. Besides having a rich heritage of the most exclusive fabrics and style, Indian men have limited options western influenced fashion or traditional fashioned embroidered ethnic styles. “For me, designer wear means heavily embroidered kurta or jacket”, said Rajan Gupta, director utopia mobile.


Pic credit - Suket Dhir

Trend History

The early Indian menswear fashion designers like J J Valaya, Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahilyanai were making expensive embellished menswear that inevitably defined that heavily textured styled menswear as a luxury product. The same trend trickled down to menswear brands and same lines were manufacture for mass-market occasion wear. As a result, Indian occasion wear has two options; western jacket or embroidered ethnic wear.



The arrival of the Renegades Redefining aesthetics.

2016, 13th January holds a very special place for Indian Menswear. On this day, Indian Fashion designer, Suket Dhir was announced as the winner of the 2015/2016 International Woolmark Prize menswear award at Firenze, Italy. His collection carried his mature urban Indian sensibility with evolved usage of Indian crafts and fabric. This collection had mature intellectual poetic look underpinned with Indianisms that superseded the conventional embroidered galore. International judges were awestruck and that collection beat down Italian and French designers.


Pic credit - Suket Dhir

This was the first time when this intellectual crafty Indian look got global recognition. That set the tone right for this new look. Celebrities and social media influencers quickly picked up the look and this massive endorsement ignited the fashion scene.


Pic Credit -Suket Dhir

Soon, our fashion industry saw a community of renegade designers who challenged the traditions and triggered the transformation of the menswear sensibility.

The arrival of the Renegades Redefining aesthetics.

2016, 13th January holds a very special place for Indian Menswear. On this day, Indian Fashion designer, Suket Dhir was announced as the winner of the 2015/2016 International Woolmark Prize menswear award at Firenze, Italy. His collection carried his mature urban Indian sensibility with evolved usage of Indian crafts and fabric. This collection had mature intellectual poetic look underpinned with Indian-isms that superseded the conventional embroidered galore. International judges were awestruck and that collection beat down Italian and French designers.


Pic Credit -Woolmark

This was the first time when this intellectual crafty Indian look got global recognition. That set the tone right for this new look. Celebrities and social media influencers quickly picked up the look and this massive endorsement ignited the fashion scene.

Soon, our fashion industry saw a community of renegade designers who challenged the traditions and triggered the transformation of the menswear sensibility.

Rajesh Pratap Singh was the first one to start the minimalistic trend. Known for his simplicity and meticulous techniques, he was the first to established cleaner cuts as the modern norm for sophistication. His artisanal garments, faultlessly clean lines, careful detailing and his obsessive attention to detail got him international recognition.


Pic Credit --Ujjawal Dubey

Ujjawal Dubey: Founder Antar Agni says that his brand focuses on two extremes, to break away and yet embrace the mundane. He believes that the fabric has its own character waiting to be explored. In his product, the fabric speaks its language, smart cuts, and relaxed silhouettes are designed to keep it raw and natural.


Pic Credit -- Ujjawal Dubey

Ajay Kumar: Founder Mr. Ajay Kumar, known for his flamboyant narrative prints is pushing boundaries for menswear aesthetics and creating a parallel visual universe of existential celebration. The brand's essence is strong, bold, eclectic, flamboyant, yet emotionally rooted in heritage and grounded by sustainable practices of engineered prints, minimal wastage pattern making, local sourcing, and digital printing to create graphics masterpieces onto handwoven and natural fabrics giving it an avant-garde look.



Pic Credit - Son of a Noble

Pic Credit -- Khanijo

Gaurav Khanijo: Founder Khanijo, believes in sharp dandy classic menswear. Subtlety is the essence of the brand where India inspired prints; colors and embroidery are combined with classic cuts to create a masculine with a touch of the softer side.