Tommy Hilfiger’s Indian connection

Friday, 29 February 2008 - 11:59pm IST

Designer Malini Murjani on exploring the Indian market and being influenced by the fashion icon.

Designer Malini Murjani on exploring the Indian market and being influenced by the fashion icon

Her last name may give away her liaison with the  fashion world, but for those in the know, Malini Murjani is as much self-made as she’s the daughter of fashion mogul, Mohan Murjani, the man who got many a luxury brand to India.

A Manhattan-based accessories designer, today Malini’s handbags and belts can be found in Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Bloomingdale’s. Also, this former student of the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY, is a prominent fixture at the fashion weeks in the US.

“Having a background in fashion has opened doors for me, but where continuing to sell each season is concerned, it depends on the product itself! I have been fortunate that the stores stand by my handbags, which give women an opportunity to express their individuality,” says Malini. She also plans to enter the Indian market. “I will continue to build my brand in the US. But I also want
to look at India now!” she reveals.

She does look at her parents—Mohan and Guni Murjani—and brother Vijay for advice. When  in India, Malini does  attend as many shows as possible. “Fashion week here is wonderful as I see so many designers who I can’t catch in NY,” she says, adding that Indian fashion has come a long way. “There’s more awareness but people still want something fresh even if it is an old trend that’s being presented differently,” elaborates Malini. 

A fan of designer Karl Lagerfeld, she feels that he has affected fashion through photography, film and art, thus inspiring her to ‘take chances’ with her line. But didn’t she spend a great deal of time at designer Tommy Hilfiger’s office after school?  “I enjoyed spending time and learning from him and his design team during my school days,” she answers adding, “As a child, I’d love to see my mother get ready to go out. I gave advice to anyone who was interested!” No wonder then, Hilfiger once commented on her having a sense of style even as an eight-year-old!


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