Ashima & Leena are Indian fashion designers, who created a brand Ashima Leena, one of the most senior and recognized brands of the country, which has created a unique style of their own, reflecting the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary vocabulary.
Leena graduated with a Master’s in English Literature and a Law degree in Income Tax. Ashima, too, is a graduate, but a B.Com (Hons) Graduate from Shri Ram College. Leena had commenced her career as a merchandiser with the Big Joes. In 1993, Ashima finished her fashion designing course from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. Later, Ashima started working with Leena and they became friends.
Privately being sisters-in-law, Ashima and Leena have made a praiseworthy contribution to the Indian fashion world as well as its international equivalent. The ease with which they work reflects in their designs as well. Ashima works in the creative field, coming up with new designs; Leena takes charge of the merchandising and the management part of it.
They are masters of bridal wear and hand embroidery. Ashima and Leena often use extraordinary colours and are famously known for their unique colour effects. Attention to detail, fabric development and complex embroideries are the trademarks their brand.
Ashima and Leena consistently come out with four collections every year. The success of the brand began with many fashion shows, both at the national and the international forum. In the year 1997, the fashion show “The Allure of India”, which celebrated India’s 50 years of Independence, made them widely-recognized.
Ashima and Leena were the main designers for Miss India 1999 Gul Panag. They collaborated with retailers and teamed up with jewellery designer Paayal Seth, to come up with India’s Premier Retail Outlet Kaaya – the store for women in South Delhi.
The clients of Ashima and Leena include more than six thousand people. They are currently planning to open six stores in the US, beginning with New York and San Francisco. They also plan to diversify their work, in collaboration with some of the top business companies, to the stream of interiors as well as accessories. They wish to open an individual mall, which would cater to the needs of the people not only in fashion, but also in other sectors.
From their website: “Borrowing inspiration from the rich heritage, art and design of the Indian culture, a diverse approach manifests itself in its creations, which spans across the royal Indian costumes of the 18th century, through the modern, cutting-edge styles of today. They have been creating beautiful and delicate handcrafted masterpieces that are classic and enduring. The design philosophy of the brand strives to bring out the best in every woman through ensembles that are traditional yet contemporary”.