Exclusive: Talking body positivity and sustainability with Anita Dongre
Just two days before her much-anticipated showcase at Lakmé Fashion Week, which also marks her collaboration with Tencel, celebrity designer Anita Dongre was in Hyderabad. She got together with Tollywood diva Samantha Akkineni for the launch of her label AND’s latest collection. The actress and the designer also unveiled the #AndiRise movement, which shares stories of courage and women fighting the odds from various walks of life. Recently back from the prestigious World Economic Forum at Davos, the designer spoke to Indulge about the sustainability, body positivity and why women should embrace their body type instead of getting dictated by the trends of the hour.
How was the stint at World Economic Forum at Davos, and being a part of a panel held under the patronage of the Crown Princess of Denmark?
It was interesting to meet people from all over the world sharing stories and discussing ideas about women’s empowerment and sustainability: two causes that are so close to my heart. That apart one of the most interesting things I spotted there were the Telangana and Andhra Pavillion at Davos. The whole team there was so charged up!
How can glimpses of conscious fashion be seen in the new collection of AND?
My whole mission is to make AND as sustainable as possible. And it has begun - the biggest bridge was our partnership with Tencel and a huge part of the collection will be crafted from sustainable fabric.
How do you think the designers can bolster the future of sustainable fashion in India?
Without any doubt, sustainable fashion has to be good looking fashion! No woman is going to wear an outfit if it doesn't make her look or feel good! Making conscious fashion look good is what I have always set out to do!
Is it time that designers take a step forward towards body positivity in mainstream fashion?
I don’t think there is any other way. Being a woman myself, I have been through various sizes myself - I have gone from a size 10 to a size 16, to a size 18 back to Size 12! I have realised and understood that woman go through various sizes when their body changes. When I launched AND 21years ago, it was one of the only brands that didn’t cater to limited sizes - we had sizes 8 all the way to 20. I have always said that women can look good whatever their size, the key is to not follow fashion blindly. Understand your body type and highlight your strengths, that’s all!