Rina Dhaka: Trailblazing Indian Fashion with Elegance and Compassion
Rina Dhaka, an eminent figure in the Indian fashion landscape, has etched an enduring legacy on the runway, reshaping contemporary fashion with her distinctive flair. Her transformative journey from humble beginnings to a revered designer reflects her boundless creativity, innovative spirit, and unwavering commitment to social causes.
Early Life and Commencement
The genesis of Rina Dhaka’s illustrious fashion career traces back to her graduation from the Government College for Girls in Chandigarh. However, it was the family’s relocation to Delhi that marked the beginning of her remarkable journey. Encouraged by her father, she enrolled in a fashion design course, laying the foundation for her foray into the world of fashion.
Initiating her career as an intern at Intercraft, a leading garment exporter, Dhaka garnered invaluable insights into textiles and apparel. Subsequent involvement with Rohit Khosla’s atelier provided the essential grounding for her nascent steps in the fashion industry.
Revolutionising Indian Fashion
Rina Dhaka emerged as a fashion luminary in the 1980s, yet it was during the 1990s that she became a trailblazer by introducing avant-garde designs like spandex-made churidars. Her audacious approach to fashion-challenged traditional norms, ushering in an era of experimentation that resonated with the evolving fashion landscape.
In 2009, Dhaka played a pivotal role in the creation of female beachwear, sparking a dialogue on conventional Indian modesty. While met with criticism, these designs paved the way for a broader conversation about the evolving facets of fashion in India.
Diverse Collaborations and Contributions
Rina Dhaka’s career is punctuated by diverse collaborations showcasing her versatility. In 2010, she launched a collection inspired by cobwebs featuring acclaimed Indian actress Lara Dutta. A foray into reimagining menus, menu cards, uniforms, and store interiors for the Indian coffee shop chain Barista Lavazza in 2012 underscored her creative reach.
In 2019, Dhaka’s collaboration with a Plus-Size Store and her maternity wear collection demonstrated her commitment to inclusive and sustainable fashion. A partnership with sustainable manufacturer LIVA in 2020 yielded the “Sustainable Romanticism” collection, further advocating for eco-friendly fashion.
Global Recognition and Philanthropy
Rina Dhaka’s designs have transcended borders, adorning celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Uma Thurman, and Lara Dutta. Her creations have graced esteemed institutions like The Louvre and The Metropolitan, cementing her stature in the global fashion arena.
Beyond fashion, Dhaka has displayed a compassionate side by working with an NGO in Delhi, ensuring the distribution of rations to the underprivileged. Rooted in Buddhist principles, she infuses empathy into her interactions.
Awards and Honors
Dhaka’s contributions to fashion and philanthropy have garnered numerous accolades. The Yuva Ratan Award in 1993, the Best Designer award at Miami Fashion Week in 2004, and the Best Women Entrepreneur recognition by the Delhi government in 2014 testify to her innovative designs and entrepreneurial acumen.
In 2017, she received the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award, while her advocacy for ethical fashion practices led to her ambassadorship for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
Rina Dhaka’s journey stands as a testament to her dedication, creativity, and compassion, establishing her as a pioneer in the fashion industry and a symbol of positive change.