|Profession(s)||Fashion Designer, Costume Stylist|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 170 cm
in meters– 1.70 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 7”
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• 2016: Named the ‘Designer of the Year’ at EDIDA
• July 2019: Won FDCI Couture Hall of Fame Award
• September 2021: Named the ‘Designer of the Year’ by India Fashion Awards
• Awarded ‘Designer of the Year’ by MTV
• Awarded the Designer of the Year several times by the Bollywood Fashion council in New York City
|Date of Birth||1 May 1964 (Friday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||57 Years|
|College/University||London School of Fashion, U. K.|
|Educational Qualification||Master’s in Design and Costume History India Today|
|Hobbies||Sculpting, Painting, Sketching|
|Controversy||Copyright infringement: In 2005, Suneet stirred a controversy in the fashion industry by accusing his fellow Indian designer, Aki Narula, of copying a dress from his 2003 Fall/Winter collection. Varma alleged that Narula picked his creation to style actress Rani Mukerji for the Yashraj film, Bunty Aur Babli. The incident led Suneet to file a defamation case against Aki, Rani Mukerjee, the movie, and its producers; however, due to lack of enough proof, the FDCI didn’t proceed further with his complaint. Rediff|
|Relationships & More|
|Sexual Orientation||Gay Vogue|
|Wife/Partner||Rahul Arora (Marketing executive and Suneet’s brand manager)
|Parents||Father– Late Baldev Varma (Businessman)
Mother– Indira Varma (Writer, Poet, Owner of a software and technology service)
|Siblings||Brother– Vineet Varma
Sister– Geetika Seth
|Net Worth (approx.)||Rs. 9 crores (Suneet Varma Design Private Limited) (FY 2019-2020) The Company Check|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Suneet Varma
- Suneet Varma is an Indian fashion designer, who owns the fashion design company ‘Suneet Varma Design Pvt. Ltd.’ Varma’s designs exude femininity, style, and drama.
- He also designs costumes for Bollywood movies. His work for the movie ‘Monsoon Wedding’ fetched him an Oscar nomination. He is also a founding member of the Fashion Design Council Of India (FDCI).
- After Suneet completed his education in 1986, he interned under the popular French designers, Nicole Farhi and Yves Saint Laurent. The stint kickstarted his career in fashion.
- A year later, Mr Varma showcased his collection on his first runway show, and in 1992, he presented his first collection of hand-painted saris.
- On 11 May 1993, the Indian designer launched his own eponymous fashion company, “Suneet Varma Design Pvt. Ltd.,” which is co-owned by his mother, Indira Varma. The company currently employs over 200 artisans to run a design studio facility and manufacturing operations. Suneet – official website
- In 1997, Mr Varma made his television debut with the show ‘Suneet Varma – Style Guru.’ It was a weekly international fashion and style program, conceptualized and hosted by Suneet on Star World, which was aired all across South East Asia. The show was India’s first of its genre in which Suneet interviewed industry stalwarts like Oscar De La Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Damien Hirst, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Metropolitan Museum New York, and V&A in London. Suneet – official website
- Two years later, Suneet co-hosted the Indian launch of Omega watches in 1999, alongside American supermodel Cindy Crawford.
- Varma has also remained the brand ambassador for Moet & Chandon between 2000-2005, and he was twice invited to The World Economic Forum to showcase his collection, in 2001 and 2005.
- The designer launched his first-ever prêt collection, Le SPICE, at the India Fashion Week, Mumbai in 2003.
- Two years later, Varma went international for the first time and showcased his collection at the Milan and Rome Fashion week, which garnered him worldwide attention as after this, Suneet became a part of fashion shows in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Suneet – official website
- The designer also enjoys a close association with Bollywood celebrities as he is often appointed to design costumes and style the actors for various Bollywood films. Suneet’s work was highly appreciated in the movie “Kites” in which he styled actors Hrithik Roshan and Barbara Mori. The leading ladies of Bollywood including Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, and Preity Zinta were also seen wearing Suneet’s designs on various occasions. Suneet – official website
- Suneet has also remained the face of BMW Motors in India since 2007, and he has been a part of all the BMW events, car launches, and BMW foundation projects held in the country. Varma is also amongst the few designers worldwide, who collaborated with the company to design the interiors of the BMW 5- Series and BMW 7- Series in 2013.
- In November 2007, the fashion designer worked in association with Arttd’inox, an Indian home lifestyle brand, to create a collection of stainless steel homeware and tabletop accessories. While talking about his experience in an interview, Varma said, Suneet – official website
This experience of working Arttd’inox and one of the hardest material in the world – stainless steel, has been a very exciting and enriching journey for me. From working with textiles and embroideries over the decades to now creating modern home products, my design philosophy has come full circle – good design is universal and transcends time.”
- Suneet became the first and only Indian designer to collaborate with Judith Leiber, the world’s most renowned luxury brand for bejewelled handbags, in 2009. His collection named “Suneet Varma for Judith Leiber” garnered him worldwide appreciation, and his products now retail at the Judith Leiber boutiques in Paris, Los Angeles, Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Miami, Harrods in London, and Tokyo. His signature minaudières have made it to the international and Indian red carpet many times and the products are carried by Hollywood stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jenifer Lopez, and Mariah Carey. Varma’s new collection of “Suneet Varma for Judith Leiber” is unveiled at the Vandome Fair in Paris every season. Suneet – official website
- In September 2010, Suneet made a world record of creating the world’s longest embroidered sari – 55 metres long and 45-inch wide and entered the Limca Book of Records. Varma and his team had designed the record-breaking sari exclusively for Vogue’s global event, Fashion Night Out, and according to Varma, it was inspired by the mythological character Draupadi’s chirharan. The designer said in an interview, Hindustan Times
While I was designing the sari, I had no figures in mind or I was not aiming at setting a world record. It just happened and when something like this happens which you had never expected, it comes as a sweet surprise. I was inspired by Draupadi because it was seemingly endless and very very long. So this sari has my own interpretation of what her life was like.”
- The fashion designer published his first book titled “Suneet Varma” as a contributor on 1 January 2013, which was published by Niyogi Books and unveiled by French Ambassador Francois Richier at French Embassy, New Delhi. The book talks about the veteran designer’s 25-year-long journey in the fashion industry, his work process, and future goals. It is a collection of 350 images by some of India’s top photographers like Prabuddha Dasgupta, Farrokh Chothia, and Vibhash Tiwari, and 25 interviews with the fashion industry experts. Facebook – Suneet
- In 2013, Mr Varma got the opportunity to present his collection at the famous Hammer Museum in Beverly Hills, in the presence of renowned Hollywood actors, directors, and producers. His collection was appreciated, which also landed him two Hollywood films as a costume designer.
- In the same year, Suneet legally married his boyfriend of five years – Rahul Arora, in a City Hall wedding in New York. Arora is almost 20 years younger than Varma. The two have been together since 2008 after meeting on a blind date. Vogue Suneet said in an interview,
For us, we’re just living our lives, we haven’t done anything brave. I married my lover, that’s all.”
- He also collaborated with Tuscan Verve, which is an Indian men’s wear label, in 2015 to create his signature collection that was retailed at the stand-alone stores and its multi-brand stores of Tuscan Verve all across the country. The stint made Varma one of the renowned designers in the Indian menswear industry.
- In the same year on 21 November, Suneet teamed up with the luxurious international brand, Swarovski, to create his first western couture line that he presented at DLF Emporio. Since then, he has been associated with the brand, working on different clothing and interior projects. In 2019, a book titled ‘Unbridled’ was launched in Paris, featuring the designer’s wedding projects with Swarovski. Suneet – official website
- In 2020, Suneet and three other Indian renowned designers – Manish Arora, Ashish Soni, and JJ Valaya came together to create an affordable brand, “RIVER,” which is sold by DBS lifestyle on Amazon. Suneet – official website
- He has also been commissioned several times by The Government of India to work with the textile industry of India and help promote the handlooms of Varanasi and South India and sell them at the Hiem textile fair in Frankfurt. Suneet – official website
- Suneet has also frequently collaborated with top Indian companies including Raymonds, Airtel, The Oberoi Group of Hotels, and several high-end jewellery brands to style advertising campaigns for them. He also collaborated with other major national and international brands such as Lotus Greens, Faces by the Sartorialist, Elephant Parade India, Hewlett Packard, DiaColor, Celebrity, Azva by World Gold Council, etc. for different projects. Suneet – official website He is also one of the only Indian designers to associate with some luxurious brands including Carolina Herrera, Armani Junior, Dusit Devarana, and Donna Karan. India Today
- Mr Varma holds the position of Creative Director at Dusit Devarana hotels in India, and he is responsible for designing carpets and special textiles and setting the right lighting, mood, and ambience for the luxury hotel. Varma retails his garments exclusively in his flagship stores of Delhi and Mumbai, and also at different multi-designer stores in Chandigarh, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and Dubai.
- The designer showcases his collection each year in the HDIL Couture Week in Mumbai and Delhi Couture Week, and he also participates in Delhi’s fashion calendars. Suneet – official website
- Suneet often consumes alcoholic beverages.