Pooja Mankani wears her colours proudly. She is the creative brain behind Ankriya Couture, the traditional and fusion fashion brand that sought to resolve the limited sartorial choices for plus-sized women.
Madhurya Manohar speaks to the designer about her interesting journey so far.
The uniqueness of Pooja Mankani’s label, Ankriya, is in the way the cuts and curves of her designs define and enhance the look of the woman wearing her creations. Pooja truly believes that being fashionable is not just about looking glamorous but also about feeling beautiful on the inside, which is why her design approach is personalised to every client.
Ankriya, “unique” in Sanskrit, came to life only five years ago when Pooja found that fashion was limited for plus-sized women like her. “I was unable to shed my pregnancy weight. When I used to go to stores, people would look at me like I was an untouchable and immediately tell me my size was not available,” she says.
When push came to shove, she decided to get her wardrobe tailor-made. One of her tailor’s patrons took a liking to her design and offered to buy it from her. It seemed a fitting transition from her early years dabbling in fashion.
As a Fine Arts student in MMK College, Mumbai, she cinched her first internship with Vama Studios where designers such as Manish Malhotra, Rocky S and Manish Arora, who were making their way to fashion elite at the time, trained her.
During her assignments there, Pooja caught her first big break—as costume designer for television mogul, Ekta Kapoor. Pooja’s designs were featured in Kanyadaan and the cult soap, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki.
Ankriya’s latest collection includes a Retro fashion look that is an homage to the era of free love and positive vibes. The Flattery Neon line is designed for the bold and beautiful and is perfect for those who want to create a buzz. The Ultimate Street Fashion line is a collection of the most stunning street style snaps. And finally, the Bridal Trousseau line is for every bride who wants a fairytale like, exuberant, romance filled Indian wedding with a traditional touch.