Last month, millions of Hindus stepped out to celebrate India’s most prominent holiday of the year: Diwali. This beautiful and harmonious five-day festival not only celebrates light over darkness and good over evil, but it has increasingly become more popular within American pop culture, and more importantly, has presented a moment for India’s fashion industry to shine bright.
Diwali has become a near $15 billion market for retail and e-commerce companies, where fashion makes up 20 percent of the total. For the husband and wife design team of the iconic luxury brand Falguni Shane Peacock, it has always been about bringing the Indian design to the center stage along with the challenge and the process of seeing every intricate detail turn into a beautiful piece of art.
Falguni and Shane Peacock first launched their company in 2004 but it was when they nearly sold out of an entire collection at Harrods, they knew they were onto something special — something that would have a strong international appeal and appreciation. With its brand making an impression in fashion capitals around the world, the company recently expanded its U.S. retail presence to meet the growing demand from clientele in some of the most prominent fashion capitals in America.
“Our connection with the U.S. is not entirely new and, in fact, it goes beyond more than a decade when we first showcased our resort wear at Miami Fashion Week. The next season we had a presence at L.A. Fashion Week, and finally we showcased our edgy look at New York Fashion Week. This continued for about 10 seasons,” Peacock shared. “These shows were highly attended by the likes of Paris Hilton, Ashanti, Joan Rivers, and many more, who not only liked our designs but decided to sport them at the red carpet Met Gala, Grammy’s, AMA, EMA Cannes, The Emmys, and several movie premieres.”
Today, their creations have been celebrated and worn by a number of top celebrities. Peacock continued, “Our first big break was when we dressed Fergie in a custom bodysuit for her performance at FIFA. And since [our red carpet debut] we’ve had the joy of dressing Beyoncé for the Art Gala, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Zendaya and Sarah Jessica Parker amongst many others!”
A recent star-studded NYC Diwali celebration, held at The Pierre in Manhattan over the past weekend, was the perfect backdrop for prominent celebrities and guests to wear their custom high-fashion designs. “Diwali is a big Indian festival and so many people celebrate it here in New York. It was the right move for our Indian line called Falguni Shane Peacock India,” she said. The celebration was co-hosted by several prominent Indian entrepreneurs, celebrities and top designers including both Falguni and Shane Peacock. Other co-hosts included Founder & CEO of A-Series Anjula Acharia, fashion executive Sakshi Khurana, communications and marketplace strategist for luxury brands Alvina Patel Buxani, CEO of A-Game Public Relations Anita Chaterjee, and Maneesh K Goyal, the event ringleader, restauranter, and co-owner of Sona New York.
“This was the first time we co-hosted a beautiful event like this on the scale that it was!” she exclaimed. “When we brainstormed about the ideas 6 months ago, we sat down to design for [each guest] or pick the best from our latest collection, and carefully kept their individuality in mind. That, coupled with our designer instincts—is how every outfit came in place.”
“Fashion is such an important part of South Asian culture, reflecting centuries of tradition,” Alvina Patel Buxani also shared.“There is a stereotype in the Western world that South Asian fashion is a saree or a tunic, but today’s designers have created amazing looks that pay homage to the heritage of fabrics, cultures and silhouettes in a variety of silhouettes that can be worn for traditional festivals or beyond.”
With guests including Actor Kal Penn, Padma Laxmi, Kelly Ripa, Actress Sarita Choudhury, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, ClassPass founder Payal Kadakia, Reigning Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhi, Actor Melanie Chandra, Fashion Designer Philip Lim, Star of Indian Matchmaking Aparna Shewakramani, among others. “When conceiving this event, we wanted to create an atmosphere for guests to celebrate the beautiful festival of Diwali and wear their finest South Asian fashion. Bringing together designers like Falguni Shane Peacock, Prabal Gurung, Bibhu Mohapatra, Christian Louboutin and Gabriela Hearst, all showing their own style through South Asian design is truly a dream come true for me after working in the fashion industry for over 20 years,” Patel Buxani continued. “Wearing traditional wear is a way of showing love, respect and regard to each other as long as acknowledging the values that can be passed on from one generation to the next.”
As far as what’s next for Peacock she plans on continuing to expand across the major cities, “Our ensembles are housed and stocked by some of the major retailers in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. We also have an online store open for those who’d like to get their outfits as we ship worldwide. We are also planning on making a comeback at New York Fashion Week and we are extremely excited about that!”
You can find Falguni Shane Peacock designs at retailers across the U.S. and online.