Raghavendra Rathore is an Indian fashion designer. He was one of the first designers to use the “Brand India” positioning for a fashion brand. He also operates in interior design, wedding and events design, accessories and jewellery.
Rathore was born and raised in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and is a member of the royal family of Jodhpur; he is a cousin of Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur.
As a child, he finished the Mayo College boarding school in Ajmer. After that, he moved to the US, where he studied a variety of liberal arts from anthropology, astronomy, modern American fiction, and robotics at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
He then studied arts and philosophy at the Marlboro College in Vermont, and went on to graduate from the Parsons School of Design in New York City, in 1992. After graduating from Parsons, Rathore started working for Donna Karan as an assistant designer for DKNY. He then worked at the high design brand of Oscar de la Renta, and was an assistant to de la Renta. He worked in Paris with de la Renta, when de la Renta was hired to design for the house of Pierre Balmain.
Born and brought up in the epicentre of heritage & culture, Raghavendra Rathore is India’s foremost name in Luxury Men’s Wear. His Royal lineage and 1200 years of family history construct the very base of his brand and creative calling. From his hometown, Jodhpur, stems the inspiration that forms the “Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur” brand. It offers classics with clean and modern sensibilities.
In his own words: “The foundation of the business is based on a community approach, which I loved. I have started the Raghavendra Rathore Foundation to emulate the community spirit because whatever I have experienced, I would want to emulate. I did a huge U-turn two years ago when I said that we had to set up a design school because the kids have to see how the world is changing now. I had to fight with my internal board because we’ll have to sacrifice a lot of stores and divert funds into the school. But it’s now running and the first year is done. My experiences have helped with the tenacity to do more beyond my brand.
The Gurukul School of Design designs a course for India and it’s an attempt to solve the problem that we have as a tropical country. We don’t want people to pass out and say that they were not told that there’s no winter design market in the country. The methods and templates have changed. The course is designed with a mobile-friendly approach like life is now and it’s a homegrown course and the UGC affiliation gives them the B.Des degree. They need to know the business of fashion and how to sustain it”.