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Designer / James Ferreira

Indian Fashion Designer James Ferreira on the ramp
James Ferreira

One of the most prominent names of the Indian fashion fraternity today, James Ferreira's success story surely is one of a kind. He realised his passion right from his school days. While his peers sincerely wrote down notes in class, James used his pen to mostly draw vivid graphics of clothes and figures! But his illustration metamorphosed into a fashion career only after he came across an inspirational article on Pierre Cardin in 1964. Since then, there has been absolutely no looking back. Fiery Ferreira dared to be different, at a time when the fashion industry was considered to be exclusively a woman's game, and 'success' is an understatement of what he achieved in the years to come.

He went on to pursue his dream on a professional level. For this, his first move was to enroll in a textile designing course at the J.J School of Art, Mumbai from 1974 to 1975. He then took up a tailoring course at Sheroo Coopers Academy, which was quite a bold step, considering that threads and needles were not something that Indian boys indulged in. So it obviously wasn't much of a surprise when Ferreira ended up being the only male student in a class largely dominated by girls, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the star students of his batch.

Little did anyone know that this unusual boy would go on to become a commendable celebrity just ten years later, when he bagged his first designing job at the Purple Pussycat, which was quite a trendy boutique, popular at that time. The satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment on seeing the tailors churn out his designs was so overwhelming that he decided to chase it for the rest of his life.

In later years, he began to be associated with internationally acclaimed designers such as British designer Zandra Rhodes who he worked with in 1982 for four months.  For someone who was not much into embroidery, it is remarkable how his embroidery collections have become a huge fad among the masses today. He attributes everything he knows about prints and embroidery to this iconic designer, because of who needle-craft has become the basis of all his creations like the Jaisalmer and Gopi saris.

The year 1992 proved to be an eventful one for James, as it is when he established a full-fledged production unit and a studio for his very own label, 'James Ferreira' and currently this unique label showcases a collection of primarily western garments, with a subtle Indian edge, which has been a hot favorite among celebrities as well, with the likes of Freida Pinto and other international stars donning his designs.

The next big break for the designer came in 2006 when he debuted at the Lakme India Fashion week. Subsequently in 2011, he went on to feature his collection at the prestigious Wills India Fashion Week.

He professes an undying love for natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk in understated colors like beige, black and white, with wedding dresses being his forte`. Every pattern of his is unique, as each design is intended to suit a particular lifestyle, with emphasis on comfort and ease of movement. His work encompasses garments for both men and women alike, and the design theory behind his popular flowing garments is that - What started as a piece of cloth, would also end like one.

Apart from specializing in single layer designs, many of his signature designs include the double layered sari, the flared pallu sari and the knit and jersey kameez. He has also ventured into jewelry designing, making his debut in May 2013 by launching his collection of diamond jewelry in association with Gehna Jewelers.

Apart from being a true fashion genius, Ferreira is also actively involved in social groups that work towards protecting the heritage lands and districts from the takeover by land sharks of Mumbai.

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