Life's essentials, according to Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre talks about her creative space and calm

Published: Aug 18, 2015
Life's essentials, according to Anita Dongre
Image: Chaitanya Dinesh Surpur

She epitomises urban chic. In the business of fashion, she leads the Indian brigade with three successful labels, her signature Anita Dongre, AND, and Global Desi. Her kind of work—for it to, well, work—needs creative space and calm, and she ensures she gets that, the designer tells ForbesLife India.

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1. ‘Me’ time when dawn breaks
I’ve always been an early riser and these days I’ve been getting up at 5.30 in the morning. The whole house is asleep, and I sit by my window with a cup of tea. This time is essential to my well-being. I watch the birds and trees and flowers, and I know that I’m lucky to be enjoying this in a city like Mumbai. This is the most important time of the day for me... when I have my thoughts all to myself.

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2. House in the morning
I love music. Who doesn’t? These days, I’m going through a ‘house’ phase. I’ve loaded my iPod with house and trance. It’s music that I can meditate to. It helps me unwind. My friends think I’m crazy: I’m this mad woman walking up and down Pali Hill and Carter Road (in Bandra, Mumbai) listening to trance every morning. But hey, it works for me.


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3. Food is what I live for
Food is what inspires me to get up every morning. I’m a vegetarian and I love eating. I need to eat every two hours.  My food has to be packed to perfection. At any given time, I’m carrying seven small dabbas and a glass bottle full of water. It is part of who I am, how I work, and my team has come to accept that. I have these tiny boxes with snacks like fruits and home-made poha chivda. It’s yummy. All my food is cooked at home and I rarely eat out. 

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4. Tools of the trade
I’m always on the move. I rarely sit still and when I’m on the factory floor, or travelling, I turn to my iPad to sketch. I use this app called Bamboo Paper, which I find useful when it comes to quickly drawing what inspires me. Yes, when I’m at my desk, I use a pen and paper, but they can be cumbersome. I find myself relying more and more on my iPad.


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5. Comfortable footwear
Can I please talk about shoes? I need my flip-flops to work. You put me in a pair of heels and my brain shuts down. With the passing of time, I find that comfort is important to me. This is not just about shoes. It’s also about my choice of clothes. At work, I’m at my best in linen and flats.



In this series, we talk to entreprenuers and celebrities, artists and musicians, about what they need to be who they are

(This story appears in the July-Aug 2015 issue of ForbesLife India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Aditi Bhagat

    my favourite designer!

    on Mar 28, 2016
Bollywood's import model
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