Neeta Lulla’s 40 years in fashion industry have been no cakewalk

Neeta Lulla (third from left) with her celebrity clients. Photo” Rainmakers PR

Neeta Lulla, an iconic name in the world of fashion and films, has recently celebrated a significant milestone—40 years of relentless dedication to her craft. However, behind the glitz and glamour lies a tale of perseverance, challenges and remarkable achievements.

In a candid conversation with the media, Lulla reflected on her journey, acknowledging the hurdles she faced along the way. “40 years in the industry has not been a cakewalk, it has been quite a struggle. Apart from being a fashion designer, I am also a costume designer, a housewife and a mother. Being able to juggle these roles and seamlessly transition from one role to another was quite a task.”

The designer, who has worked on over 300 films and has been designing wedding dresses since 1985, said that “Time management and good organizational skills can be an asset. Luckily for me, my workplace was my home in the beginning, and later on, it was closer to home, so it was a huge advantage, and it helped me manage both my roles at work and home,” said Lulla.

The designer, who has been feted with the National Film Award for Best Costume Design twice, in 2009 for Jodhaa Akbar and 2012 for the Marathi film Balgandharva, talked about being a female designer in the industry. She said that “Gender inclusivity has always been a norm in our industry.”

“Back when I started working, we had many stalwarts who were working in the films and the industry—and they were women. We had a good space in those times, where there were no restrictions to only men. At that point, many women were managing the creative aspect of costume and fashion design for female actors. For male actors, it was a male designer,” said Lulla, who is known for crafted an unforgettable pearl-encrusted lehenga for actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Mehndi ceremony.

“But today, there is a lot more room and inclusivity where male designers design for women and female designers design for men, and it has always been a common aspect of the industry from that time,” she added.

Over her 40 years run in the industry as a fashion stylist and a costume designer, Lulla has created the look for leading personalities including the late Sridevi, Juhi Chawla, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rajinikanth, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan.

How is it working with the Indian film industry? “It has been a beautiful journey working with the Indian film industry. This year marks my 40th year in the fashion industry and 2026 will be my 40th year in films. This journey is filled with many joyrides, speed-breakers and challenges, but if I had to do this all over again, I would happily do it,” said the 59-year-old designer.

She describes the journey as “very fulfilling” and has helped her “evolve as a person and as a creative talent”. And there is no stopping her, as Lulla is currently working on several projects.

Without sharing details, Lulla said: “As of now, my plate is filled with five films, a five-film project that is in the pipeline and a musical in the works. And also, I am working on the new couture collection, which will be out soon.”

As Neeta Lulla embarks on the next chapter of her illustrious career, her dedication to her craft serves as an inspiration to aspiring designers everywhere. With her remarkable talent, resilience and visionary approach, she continues to leave an indelible mark on the fashion industry, shaping its future with her creative ingenuity and timeless elegance.



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