A unique blend of experiences shaped Urvashi Kaur’s perspective on style and design. “Growing up in an army family, I had the privilege of travelling extensively across India. These travels exposed me to the rich tapestry of India’s craft communities, and I gained a profound understanding of the country’s diverse art and culture. Later, my family moved to Algeria, immersing me in an entirely different cultural milieu.” These formative experiences instilled in Urvashi a deep appreciation for different cultural traditions, ethnicities, and identities, which, she shares, have become a recurring theme in her work.
“During my college years at Delhi University, I developed a passion for theatre and costume design, which led me to work with a theatre company under the guidance of the late Aamir Raza Hussain (theatre director and actor).” Subsequently, Urvashi joined a fashion label to learn the technical aspects of design—from pattern-making to dyeing. It was during this time that she had the opportunity to closely interact with artisans, observing and studying their craft practices. To further her fashion education, she enrolled at ESMOD in Paris, where she adopted a more academic approach to design. “Upon returning to India, I realised that there was a gap in the market for a truly modern Indian brand. This realisation was the driving force behind my decision to start my own label,” mentions the 49-year old who founded her eponymous label in 2008.
In today’s era of heightened awareness and social consciousness, Urvashi feels disheartened that ageism remains a deeply entrenched issue that often goes unaddressed. “Ageism is so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even recognise it. It is essential to recognise that older individuals possess a wealth of experience, wisdom, and contributions that extend far beyond economic metrics.” She believes that it is crucial to shift this narrative, particularly in a country like India with its strong tradition of respecting elders.
When it comes to fashion inspiration, Urvashi looks up to a diverse group of women who have made a mark through their style and substance. “My grandmother, Prabhjot Kaur, was not only a poetess but also a freedom fighter and a symbol of elegance that made her the ultimate style icon. I also admire Coco Chanel’s fearless approach to fashion liberation, Iris Apfel’s age-defying style, and Indira Gandhi’s fusion of simplicity and power—the three women are celebrated not only for their sartorial choices but also for the causes they championed.”
Urvashi’s approach is centered on inclusivity and versatility: “My personal and brand aesthetics transcend age boundaries, emphasising timelessness and individuality built on a narrative of inclusion, mindfulness, and reinvention.” The celebrated fashion designer’s distinct sense of style is a reflection of her truest self. “My choices and my designs are a testament to the fact that style is ageless, seasonless, and genderless. One must dare to dream and break the rules. Celebrate who you are and never limit yourself,” she concludes.
Read the other stories in this ageism series
California-based stylist, Roz Kaur on embracing positive ageing and putting personal happiness above societal expectations
"Comfort and confidence only come from accepting your body type", says Ketaki Pimpalkhare