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When Indian designer Anita Dongre opened a new flagship boutique in New York City's SoHo neighborhood last May, there were two special guests that stood out amid the packed launch party brimming with celebrities, socialites, and models: Gauriben and Sakhiben, two women from the Bakutra village in the state of Gujarat Dongre has gradually amassed a cult following over the course of 25 years, for her main eponymous label along with Anita Dongre Bridal, and for breezy western wear and the youthful Global Desi Three years ago, she launched Grassroot, a sustainable label that highlights the best of Indian handicrafts through collaborations with rural women across the country.
"I had told her, 'We will take your craft global and make sure that women in the West will appreciate the beautiful work you do I will open a store in New York,'" Dongre remembers promising her at the time The Grassroot label brings to the forefront crafts that have thrived for centuries and empowers women to earn livings for themselves using these ancient traditions.
"Anything that's done purely by hand and primarily by women," says Dongre Of course, while Grassroot's dreamy, ethereal dresses, tops, and pants are eye-catchers-I received more compliments than I can count for the demure Niru dress I wore for the opening-Grassroot is about much more than pretty clothes: Empowering women through fashion has been a driving principle for Dongre from the beginning. . More
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