Designer Ridhi Mehra’s store on the first floor of The Hill Top@7 in the bustling Banjara Hills is the new fashionable address in town. Her first store outside Delhi, this one is festive ready with her new collection – Icons The Era.
“Hyderabad has been our strong market; it has huge potential as more and more people are into high fashion and couture,” says Ridhi over phone from Delhi. Anarkalis with jackets, peplum sharara sets and tunics with gharara sets nestle alongside Ridhi’s signature pre-draped saris teamed with versatile blouses. She has worked with multiple brands/outlets in retailing anarkalis, shararas and Indo-western silhouettes; regular feedback and online orders for her dupattas, lehengas and draped sarees encouraged her to choose Hyderabad over Mumbai.
Affordable luxury is the hallmark of Ridhi Mehra, her label. A fashion and business management graduate, Ridhi cut her teeth at her mother and aunt’s business before launching her first collection, Demure Chic, a range of signature anarkalis with draped dupattas. She not only got noticed for it but also increased social media presence in the fashion industry, helped speed her growth.
Her initial design philosophy was simple, says the Delhi-based designer, who was not anxious about the challenges when she entered this field. The focus was to launch an affordable luxury brand due to a ‘major gap between the high-end designers and boutiques.”
Designing traditional lehengas and anarkalis with a modern spin has been her forte featuring contemporary cuts with details including ruffles and feathers, and chic colour schemes aligning with current trends. “We also make them super comfortable,” claims Ridhi, who often wears her own designs.
Like her versatile cropped tops that can go with jeans, lehengas or saris, her printed jumpsuits too come with an Indian touch. One can choose from a solid jumpsuit with elaborate details, or printed with embellishments and traditional embroidery on necklines, cuffs and waistband.
Besides 30 collections launched over 10 years (she completed a decade in the industry in 2022), her pre-draped saris have been a favourite silhouette. ”It made wearing saris effortless and comfortable. It is versatile too as it can be worn for different occasions. You can either dress it up or dress it down,” she laughs. Her favorite materials are jeweled stones, dori sequins, cut-dana (stones and beads cut at specific angles to facilitate reflection of light) and dabka( an ancient needlework) and are often used in her outfits and accessory designs to create intricate details for each style and pattern. “I love how florals bring a sense of femininity and elegance to designs,” says Ridhi, who often blends dori with different materials and embellishes outfits with floral elements.
Creating designs in tune with changing trends has helped her survive in the cut-throat industry. “The Label brought western aesthetics to traditional wear while reinventing silhouettes and pushing the boundaries of affordable luxury with every advancing year and collection.” Her signature style, she says, is to incorporate artisanal inspirations into the work to fuse the best of old world charm with new-age narratives.”
As she looks forward to better planning, organization and goals, she reveals her success mantra. “Gradually moving towards goals.”