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Women Leaders in Fashion Retail: Amritha Ram, Creative Head and Design Partner, KH House of Khaddar

In the ever-evolving landscape of the fashion industry, women today are not just contributors, instead, they are innovators and trendsetters. These are women who are rethinking and re-imagining what most individuals perceive as normal. From entrepreneurs to designers, women are taking the lead in dismantling traditional concepts and ideas and are revolutionizing the way we engage with fashion. 

The transformative influence of these trailblazing women spans across diverse domains, from advocating sustainability and shattering gender norms to reviving age-old textiles, designs, and techniques for the modern world; they are re-writing the narrative of fashion and are leaving an indelible mark in its world.

This week, IMAGES Business of Fashion takes a deeper look at the life and achievements of Amritha Ram, Creative Head and Design Partner of KH House of Khaddar.

About Amritha Ram

Amritha Ram is a trained and experienced fashion designer who has largely worked as a costume designer for prominent individuals belonging to the South Indian film industry. She has been the woman behind many iconic looks of actors including Kamal Haasan, Jr NTR, Dulquer Salmaan, and more. But Amritha did not stop there. Inspired by ‘Khadi’, the traditional Indian fabric, she worked alongside her mentor Kamal Haasan to rebrand the fabric for KH House of Khaddar and create an appeal in fashion that was never thought of before.

Education 

A student from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, Amritha was educated in fashion design and fashion styling for media.

Career History and Experience

  • In the early 2000s, Amritha worked in Chennai as a stylist and designer
  • She has directed and hosted television shows such as En Style on Polimer TV
  • She went to study fashion at FIT in New York City
  • After her move back to India, she began working in the South Indian film industry
  • Amritha’s first film was Mugamoodi (2012), a superhero drama directed by Mysskin
  • She continued in the film industry and has done cult films with renowned South Indian film directors
  • Presently, she is working with actor Kamal Haasan for his upcoming films as his personal stylist and is the creative head for KH House of Khaddar; a brand that has modernized the Indian homespun cotton cloth – ‘Khaddar’ also known as Khadi.

Current Roles and Responsibilities

Amrita Raj uses her creative guidance and input to conceptualize designs and put forth collections for the brand. These inputs create a fine balance and steer the brand’s positioning in the West, in the direction where fashion and ethical values meet.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strength: “My research and analytical skills, being a strong communicator, and bonding with people to make a team work. A keen eye for attention to detail with a vast sense of suitability of a particular style in fashion.”

Weakness: “Love working so much to the extent of not realizing the burnout. My temper sometimes.”

Aspirations

On her aspirations, Amritha says, “Keeping in mind the fashion history and trends and textiles theory, I am looking forward to put this learning into designing ‘clothes that speak’. Aiming for the resurgence of khadi and to put this historic fabric on the global map. Importantly, it is going to uplift the lives of the weaver community and help save one of the oldest craft treasures of India.”

Her Game Changing Retail Technologies

  • Artificial Intelligence/Virtual Reality
  • IoT Blockchain

Skills That Helped Her Succeed

  • Research and analytical skills.
  • The ability of never wanting to give up.

She further elaborated, “The turnover times in the film industry and history of challenging circumstances have further strengthened me. All my mentors – from Mr Kamal Haasan to Mr Vetrimaran to Mr Mysskin have helped me on my skills further.”

Future of Fashion Retail

On the future of the fashion retail industry, she says, “Technology is taking the fashion industry from ARBR dressing rooms to temperature-changing smart fabrics to virtual codes in the Metaverse VR at the forefront of innovation like tech fashion as forward-looking and cyclical.”

 

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