Neeru Kumar is an Indian designer who has pioneered a revolution in Indian textiles. Her work with indigenous materials and crafts has brought about a revival of many long forgotten techniques and fabrics, especially kantha, ikat and khadi. Her label covers a range of products that include ready to wear garments, scarves, shawls and home furnishing that reflect a contemporary style and yet retain their Indian roots with the use of lush hand woven fabrics. Her clothes speak the language of sophistication with exquisite textures and rich tones shining through making her unarguably the best designer of hand woven fabric outfits in India.
A graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Neeru forayed into the world of fashion after graduating in 1980. Her first commercial success was as a textile designer with a black Tussar weave called ‘First Design’. The weave made waves across the globe since the design was so contemporary that it fit in as a throw in homes across the world. From then, there was no looking back for this talented designer. She now sells her merchandise in over sixty stores across fifteen countries including Selfirdges in the UK and Anthropologie in USA.
Neeru Kumar launched her clothing label called ‘Tulsi’ in 1992 to cater to the sophisticated woman with a discerning taste for exquisitely crafted outfits. The clothes beautifully capture the essence of handwoven textiles that help you cut a picture of poise and charm. With her label, she has infused a new life into kantha, khadi, jamdani and ikat – once celebrated textiles and crafts that are on the verge of decline thanks to modernisation.
At the core of her design sensibility is usability and comfort. Her line of work wear is especially created to reflect an aura of sophistication. Neeru Kumar says that she designs her clothes with the belief that sensible dressing never goes out of fashion. Her women’s wear line bears testimony to India’s rich heritage of textiles and crafts and at the same time helps the woman of today exude confidence and poise. Most popular among her creations are her kurtas, jackets, tunics and shirt dresses that are wearable, easy to maintain and are a class apart when you compare them with mass produced garments. To go with the top wear, she offers exquisite shawls and stoles in khadi, silk and wool with gorgeous hand embroidery, kantha and appliqué work.
Being a textile designer, Neeru Kumar also has designs a wide range of home furnishings. Notable in her collection are jacquard throws, bed linen and cushion covers in natural fibres that have timeless appeal which makes them sought after both in the domestic and international market. Earthy colours, rustic prints and patterns that are charming without being over the top are the trademarks of her design. She keeps the adornments minimal so that the beauty and the texture of the fabrics shine through in all her creations.
Neeru Kumar is at the heart of the movement that is working towards both reviving languishing textile crafts and the betterment of the craftsmen who create magic with weaves.