New Delhi, Jan 25: Veteran designer Ritu Kumar, active in fashion industry for the last 40 years, has been named for the Padma Shri award on the eve of 64th Republic Day.
The designer, who began her work with four block printers and two tables in a small village near Calcutta 40 years ago, was the first woman to introduce the 'boutique' culture in India under the brand name 'Ritu'.
Her growth and success can be estimated from the fact that today, her outlets have footprints in 14 cities in the country.
The 68-year-old's designs reflect rich Indian cultural heritage and her forte lies in traditional Indian designs.
Kumar was recently in the news for designing costumes for a wedding sequence in Deepa Mehta's forthcoming "Midnight's Children", based on Salman Rushdie Booker Prize winnng novel of the same name. Earlier, she designed for films like "Love Breakups Zindagi" and styled Freida Pinto for a few of her scenes in "Slumdog Millionaire".
Her clientele includes Jemima Khan, Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and almost all the winners of the Miss India titles. She had even designed for late Princess Diana.
Her fascination for tie and dye pattern appealed to former Spice Girls singer Mel B so much that she asked Kumar to design the band's clothes for one of their shows.