12 South Asian Fashion, Lifestyle & Beauty Innovators That Should Be on Your Radar

We don’t need an excuse to celebrate South Asian fashion, beauty, accessories, jewelry and even stationery. You can’t put a dollar figure on how much South Asians influence these global industries—it’s invaluable. And for women like me, it is powerful to see representation by people who share the same skin tone and are not only redefining the industry, but are also breaking stereotypes on what South Asian beauty and fashion should look like.

Ahead, I rounded up 12 South Asian-owned businesses and brands that draw inspiration from their cultural roots and history to offer a range of products. Let’s face it: Beauty and fashion trends are constantly evolving, but their underlying inspirations are forever timeless. These women founders and co-founders put a twist on tradition, creating stunning statement pieces and looks that you’ll want to hold onto forever. Whether you’re looking for everyday wear or wedding-worthy accessories, they’ve got you covered.

Many of the brands below also created businesses that are sustainable. You won’t find any fast fashion on this list—but you will find chic clothes you can rent, heirloom-worthy jewelry and vegan handbags whose proceeds go to an organization in Kenya that protects elephants.

Looking for sustainable, inclusive, accessible or high-end luxury products? Your search is over—I found something for everyone.And if you’re ordering from these international companies from the U.S. don’t fret—the vast majority of them will ship right to your door. You might just need to get out your currency exchange rate calculator for a few one of the sites below.

Be right back—I’m getting my credit card.

Courtesy of Ceremonie Studio.

Courtesy of Ceremonie Studio.

Founder Smita Goenka gave up her career in corporate America, moved across the Pond, and instantly recognized that she wanted to fill the gap in the market for South Asian jewelry that speaks to the modern women who are fiercely fashionable and have impeccable taste. Her luxurious jewelry brand, Goenka Jewels, was born out of her dream to fuse classic and contemporary styles while showcasing her Rajasthani heritage. It’ll make any woman—especially a bride—feel nothing less than a queen. In just three short years, she’s made countless women feel like royalty.

Courtesy of ​​Suburbia Photography.

Everybody deserves a good night’s sleep, and Lexi & Teal will ensure that you get yours. The British silk accessories brand specializing in eye masks and pillowcases was launched in November 2020 by Indo-Mauritian and Scottish founder Amelia Allan whose products value sustainability and quality. Being Asian is part of Amelia’s identity, and she made sure her brand reflects that.

Courtesy of Akansha Sethi.

London-based Indian jewelry designer Akansha Sethi creates fine jewelry that is inspired by the places she been and the art movements she’s studied. Akansha’s collections of rings, necklaces, pendants and buttons focus on representing her Indian heritage through the use of color, historical narrative and specific jewelry-making technique and craftsmanship. Recognized as one of the 50 most influential global Indian women by Vogue India, the entrepreneur and designer showcases her jewels online and through exclusive boutiques in London, Los Angeles and New York.

Courtesy of Ishan Singh.

Are you tired of spending a great deal of money on items of clothing that you can only wear once or twice? So was Agra-born Karishma Gupta. Founder of Satatland (‘Satat’ meaning sustainable in Hindi), a sustainable occasion-wear UK brand. It features handpicked materials that reduce pollution and restore biodiversity—all while looking super stylish. Karishma worked with textile and apparel manufacturers in Bangladesh, India and Middle East and noticed how devastated water and land became in the clothes-making process. She vowed to create a brand which reflects her vision of how fashion should be produced, consumed and disposed, and is offering designs to rent, lease and buy.

Courtesy of Lichtwaas.

Animal lover Aum Nanavati is the founder of AMARÉ, a vegan plant-based handbag brand from Belgium, whose products are made from cactus leather. The South Asian founder comes from a strong family and community support and has reflected those values in her business to create a community of like-minded people. Her brand is luxurious and cruelty-free and is aimed at stopping the endangerment and ill-treatment of animals in the fashion world.

Courtesy of Bina Khan.

Renowned make up artist Bina Khan is celebrating and redefining South Asian beauty practices and inspiring women everywhere to eliminate outdated views of colorism. Through her work she wants women to shed their habit of looking at themselves through the lens of their insecurities. Her view on beauty is empowerment—she recognizes that the voices of older generations, especially as it pertains to skin color, is deeply ingrained and focuses on correcting pain of colorism through the celebration of each person’s unique beauty. Be sure to check out Bina’s online makeup classes to learn how to self glam.

Courtesy of Tori Mumtaz.

Founded by mother-daughter duo, Sonal and Karnika Kisnadwala, who have lived in and out of diaspora populations in Hong Kong, New York, and now London, Kaanjj is the first global digital marketplace on a mission to connect clients in the West to South Asian culture through timeless textiles, jewelry and accessories. Featuring a mix of more than 50 established and emerging designer labels from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the multigenerational hub focuses on modern, sustainable fashion that does everything from sarees to professional wear.

Courtesy of Rajvi Vora.

Rajvi Vora’s love for ancient jewelry and design, old stories, and her ancestry and what it represents inspired her to create her brand Kastur Jewels named after her grandmother and translating to “Gift of God.” Rajasthani-inspired jewelry has been worn by British aristocracy for centuries. In a major city like London, Kastur Jewels embodies the ideals Rajvi wants women (and men!) to feel when they wear a Kasturjewel: dignified, powerful, elegant, modest yet stylish.

Courtesy of Amber Jean.

South Asian weddings tend to be multi-event affairs full of vibrancy, endless feasts and cultural tradition. Planning a wedding or engagement? London-born Nimisha Mistry, founder of Moments & More is the woman for you. Nimisha recognized how bespoke, modern event stationery and art can elevate any event and make attendees feel valued. To the Gujarati entrepreneur, being South Asian means emphasizing family values and celebrating with love—these are ideals she is sure to include in all of her unique stationery.

Courtesy of Kamal Patel.

Jewelry is not meant to only be worn, but also to be passed on. London-born Kamal Patel, the founder of KAMAL Jewelry, is inspired by legacy to create bespoke 18K diamond, gold jewelry and family heirlooms to give, keep, and pass on. Raised in a creative household, she pushed back on the cliche South Asian societal standards of being a doctor or a lawyer, and instead pursued art at Brooklyn’s acclaimed Pratt Institute. Breaking cultural barriers is something she also wants to pass on.

Courtesy of Timothy Macketi.

Inspired by two thriving cities in the world, Mumbai and NYC, holiCHIC is a women-led contemporary South Asian women’s clothing, accessories, home and gifts brand that exists to create a new standard of modern opulence for conventional Indian fashion. Designer, founder and mompreneur Megha Rao creates a fusion of Indowestern looks that merge Indian fabrics with western silhouettes to create tasteful wardrobes. holiCHIC is not only found in the modern woman’s closet, but also the wardrobe of choice in pop culture music videos. And yes, they ship worldwide.

Courtesy of Khali Ghareeb.

Pierre Gemme by HUR, founded by three sisters, is an affordable jewelry brand based on prominent female figures in the histories of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Pierre Gemme is also a storytelling platform, with a fascination for history and a desire to promote Pakistan’s treasure trove of gemstones. Their latest collection INGASO (meaning the Break of Dawn) co-created with social justice activist Fatou Wurie honors the innate power of black and brown women globally and is a celebration of women rising against insurmountable challenges.

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