I Always Used To Go To Work For Fun, I Didn't Go To Work To Work.
By Ms. Rina Dhaka - Eminent and Avid Fashion Designer
Beautiful Minds – 'Wings of Inspiration'
The multi-talented RINA DHAKA, is an avid fashion designer and a great entrepreneur. Here with us, she talks all about her journey— starting up from small boutiques such as Mutiny and Ensemble to Carma – Hauz Khas, to coming up in big malls and doing various fashion shows and placing her label as A BRAND INTERNATIONALLY!!
RINA DHAKA – A name itself is enough - An Indian fashion designer who has been a dreamer ever since her childhood and for whom visuals were always more important than words. She is best known for her theme collections - sheer trousers, crochet, stretch jersey, woollens and spider web motifs. Western wear remains an area of dominance, though she also designs ethnic and conventional attires. She prides on the fact that her pieces can be worn as separates. Attaining a lot of success nationally, she has also achieved accredits internationally. Her works were featured in magazines, such as Vogue and Elle.
Rina Dhaka has had her collections, under the label 'Rina Dhaka', in stores like Carma-Delhi, Design Studio-Mumbai, Kimaya-Mumbai, Selfridges-London, Coin-Italy and Lord and Taylor-New York. She has also opened a studio in Hauz Khaz village for Lycra in Delhi. The clientele list of this bold designer includes eminent personalities such as Naomi Campbell, Uma Thruman, Susan Fales Hill, Molly Simns, Tara Palmen Tomkison, Lara Dutta, and Diana Hayden. Her work has been featured in publications such as Marie Claire Paris, Madame Figaro Paris, Vogue London, New York Post, Vanity Fair, and so on.
Rina Dhaka has been honoured with the 'Yuva Rattan Award' for her brilliant designs and has also partnered with the 'Shop for Change' (NGO set up by International Resources) organization by introducing a designer wear range created from Shop for Change certified cotton at the 'Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week'. She has also been awarded with 'Best Women Entrepreneur' for the state of Delhi 2014, Best designer award in 2004 at 'Miami Fashion Week' and recently has been awarded 'Rajiv Gandhi Excellence award.'
For more than three decades, Rina Dhaka has dressed both Indian and international celebrities. Her work has been displayed at The Louvre and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. A firm supporter of the MakeInIndia initiative, she is working to help identify villages known for their traditional textile works.
We hope that the journey of Ms. Rina Dhaka who has been a prolific fashion designer all her life shall inspire you as much as it has inspired us!
Q.Give us an insight of your business of Fashion Designing?
I came around when I was very young and there was no fashion industry. I hardly knew anything about what I was doing. After my 11th class, I did my graduation from Polytechnic by correspondence and Polytechnic was the only fashion college at that time. Right after my graduation, I did my internship with Intercraft which was the biggest company in the domestic at that time and where I was paid 1000 bucks.
Then, I took training from well-known Danish designer – Ivan Grundahl, who told me that fashion is very cyclic. Then, I worked with NIFT when they first came and established and studied there as the first batch. From then on, I opened-up my boutique Mutiny and Ensemble and that was the time when Mr. Rohit Khosla helped me tailor – he was very generous.
After this, I did my show with Late Swaminathan – it was a big gala show which helped set up Akshay Pratishthan – a very big charitable institute. My collection vowed everybody, which I created out of Swaminathan's clothes.
“This is how my journey began – starting up from small boutiques such as Mutiny and Ensemble to Carma – Hauz Khas to coming up in big malls and doing various fashion shows and making my label, a brand, internationally.”
I am also a founder member of Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and I am a woman on wheels who spends most of her time in traffic which is extremely bad but at the end of the day, I am not the only one doing work, there are others who are working more than me and harder than me.
“So, this is where I am today, competing with everybody and recently, I have done Amazon India Fashion Week, 2017.
Q. What motivated and inspired you to start your business?
When I was young, my father was of traditional mindset and I used to try to escape my father giving me a hiding. So, I decided to work so that I would get to go out and enjoy as well. This got me into work and then the work engrossed me completely. I started earning at a very early age, but the only drawback was that my father didn't speak to me for one year because he felt that good family girls doesn't work.
I started getting modelling offers at a very early age from the biggest agencies in France and I also shot for the Glamour magazine of Paris, which included a stay in Paris as a face model with a very fat salary. At that time, we applied no makeup, just a lipstick and a pinch of kajal. That is something reminiscing. But, today the scene is very comparative – 9 lakh designers and too much competition. There is not a room for everybody, but we have to admit that struggle is in every field.
“I always used to go to work for fun, I didn't go to work to work.”
Q. What are the key aspects that can help Indian women to achieve success?
In order to be successful, a woman must have right knowledge and training. Just learn and execute, money will come by its own. Don't be stubborn on not working on Sunday, there is no Sunday in life, it's just day and night and be perseverant in all aspects of life. Make sure that your family supports you to the full as without them, it is very difficult to lead a smooth successful path. The most important people are the ones who are behind the successful personalities such as behind a successful me is my family.
“My mother, younger brother, and my husband have always supported me and they are pillars of my success.”
Q. Do you feel that there is too much competition in this field?
In fashion, I would say we are more of friends today. If they do well, I will also do well. All the known designers such as Mr. Rohit Bal, Ms. Sabyasachi Mukherjee , Ms. Ritu Kumar etc. are all my heroes , not my competition.
Q. Do you handle your financial aspects on your own?
I have no clue about my investments, my husband handles it. I can just tell the cost of the raw material and the procurement part, but for the investments I completely rely on my husband.
My success mantra would be to remain perseverant and determined all life because, these two are the biggest aspects of success.