Tarun Tahiliani founded his design studio in 1990. His distinctive signature has since evolved as a fusion of textile detail, refined luxury, and meticulous tailoring.
The Tarun Tahiliani Design Studio creates couture, diffusion and prêt-a-porter which are Indian in their sensibility, yet international in their appeal. The rich heritage of the subcontinent is reinvented as contemporary high fashion through the genius of Indian craftsmanship and the finest textiles; along with Italian pattern cutting and construction and new technologies such as digital textile printing. His unique combination of historical opulence and contemporary chic also lend themselves to couture.
But for the Tahiliani muse to attain such effortless chic, her designer first needed to explore the history of Indian Fashion — which essentially entailed the embellishment of textile and the masterful way these endless, dreamy lengths of cloth were draped, tied, twisted and pulled over the body. As a trend, this endured for centuries, shaping with the times and evolving slowly through cultural invasion. Men and women displayed the richness of textiles, from turbans, to saris, to dhotis or wide bodied skirts, draped or fastened by a single piece of string. No detail or labour of love, was too painstaking: Years of handwork would be kneaded into a single, lavish piece of cloth, which is then handed down for generations to come as a family heirloom.
It was not until very recently that Indian Fashion began to mature in terms of cut and proportion. The combination of these elements, along with India’s enduring and passionate affair with color is the basis of this studio’s work. Essentially, it is the exuberant and richly detailed, structured drape that represents Tahiliani’s modern, Indian woman.
Tahiliani started his professional career with a degree in Business Management from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. After returning to India, he saw the vast potential in the fine clothing and couture industry that was evolving in the country, and in 1987, he opened India’s first multi designer boutique, Ensemble, heralding a fashion and retail revolution in India. In 1991, Tahiliani decided to hone his technical knowledge in design, and received an associate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.
His first solo show was held in September 1994, at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Since then, he has shown countless collections at home and around the world. In September 2003, he was the first Indian designer invited to showcase his work at the prestigious Milan Fashion Week and has since shown collections in New York, London, Milan, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow, South Africa and Karachi.
In 2004, Tahiliani was awarded the Moet and Chandon Fashion Tribute Award for Designer of the Year for India and was invited to represent India in Hong Kong. He was also awarded the 2004 F Award for Best Women’s Designer for Couture. He is an office-bearer and founding member of the Fashion Design Council of India.
In 2005, Tahiliani was the first Indian Designer to be invited to show in the Milan Fashion Week. He now retails from many prestigious retail locations worldwide. The Tarun Tahiliani brand is available at 4 Tarun Tahiliani Boutiques in New Delhi and Mumbai. This year will also see a new addition in Hyderabad.
In 2008, the Tarun Tahiliani Design Studio moved into its new Design Headquarters. Designed by Stephan Paumier, this 45000 square feet structure is home to a vast repertoire of skills and applications that span the design process. This is the global headquarters for design and all related functions.
Tarun has also launched FNP Tahiliani which designs stylized flower decorations for weddings and events with his signature stamp. He also dabbles in Interiors and Architecture and has designed many a boutique hotel and restaurant in India.
In February 2010, Tarun Tahiliani was one of only two Indian designers amongst 52 prominent fashion designers from around 40 countries, to unite on the catwalk for Ecochic Fair at the Palais des Nations, headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, for the first time ever.
Tarun is planning another Tarun Tahiliani Bridal Couture Exposition in July 2012 in Delhi & August 2012 in Mumbai.
“Tarun Tahiliani is the Karl Lagerfeld of India” Isabella Blow.