Indian fashion designer James Ferreira is founder of his widely acclaimed eponymous fashion brand. He started his design career in 1976 and currently his label retails in all major boutiques across India. The designer lives and works out of the 47-G Bungalow at Khotachiwadi, one of the last surviving Heritage villages of Mumbai.
Indian fashion designer James Ferreira took interest in fashion design at an early age. As a young school boy, he illustrated garments and styled figures which later paved the path to a career in fashion. few know that the young boy was inspired by an article illustrating the works of iconic fashion designer Pierre Cardin in 1964. Interestingly James Ferreira was also influenced by the jewish couturiers in South Mumbai.
Per Elle: "More than anything, the Jewish dressmakers of Colaba influenced him, the first couturiers he’d witnessed as a child. Madame Pompadour. Madame Hymes. Madame Pope. The nuns of Villa Therese embroidered his mother’s gloves with staggering precision. It struck little James how the Jewish couturiers of old Bombay “used Indian fabrics presented in an international, global, highly well-finished couture."
He pursued a foundation course in commercial art at the Sir J.J. School of Art and completed a tailoring course at the Sheroo Coopers Academy of Tailoring in Mumbai. And after completing his education in 1976, he began his career designing for South Mumbai-based boutique: Purple Pussycat. It was one of the earliest fashion boutiques in the city.. catering to expats and the A-list set. He then worked with a number of textile houses, boutiques and private clients, and subsequently worked as a designer under British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes in 1982.
In 1992- continuing with his position as the Creative Head at Boutiques Bada Saab and First Lady- he established a production unit and a studio for his eponymous fashion brand: James Ferreira. Per The Telegraph: "'I’m always moved by the Western look but my sensibilities are deep-rooted in the traditions of our country and it is reflected in my outfits' he points out. Though he feels that sourcing fabrics is a major constraint in India he likes to use natural fabrics like silks, cottons and wools in basic colours like black, beige and white."
Working quietly in the quaint studio inside his home.. James Ferreira has carved a unique retail formula that does not rely on seasonal trends but instead focuses on the bespoke. Of course there is a here is a prêt line that keeps the sales going.. but the couture orders- mostly from brides and their families- are what sets his adrenaline flowing.
In 2006 the fashion designer debuted at Lakme India Fashion Week and subsequently in 2011 he collaborated with Veryta Foundation run by Stefano Pilati, design director Yves Saint Laurent and Filippo Binaghi to showcase a collection at Wills India Fashion Week. In May 2013 James Ferreira launched a collection of diamond jewellery in collaboration with Gehna Jewellers. Per Vogue: "“Since this is not the time when people spend too much on jewellery I decided to restrict myself to hand ornamentation. The hand is also the most expressive part of a woman’s body, and unlike necklaces or earrings, hand jewellery doesn’t have to be too heavy,” the designers adds."
Following a ten-year sabbatical from fashion design- while continuing to design selectively for high profile customers like Maureen Wadia and Queenie Dhody-James Ferreira made a comeback in 2006. Per The Telegraph: "'I’ve never participated in the rat race as I don’t believe in the numbers game. For me, my creations are much more important that anything else' says Ferreira who lives in a sprawling two-storeyed house in Khotachiwadi, one of the oldest Maharashtrian localities in South Mumbai."
James Ferreira is also known for championing Mumbai's heritage village Kothachiwadi, to remain untouched by modern design. The heritage village is perhaps one of only Mumbai's locales which has not stepped out of the past. None of the house owners have pulled down the centuries old beautiful old cottages in the name of progress. The loudest voice of this protective force is James Ferreira.
Not just an advocate for the heritage village James Ferreira has also opened the doors to his house by converting it into a modest hotel. Per LBB: "Staying at James Ferreira’s casa will not just give you a unique and artsy experience but will take you on a tour of East India’s rich history. The best part about the stay is that you can meet and interact with James, who will tell you stories about the place and its history. You can also watch him work at his studio upstairs where he works on designing his clothes."
James Ferreira's collections epitomizes the seamless unique blend of western silhouettes made using Indian textile crafts and techniques.
Indian fashion designer James Ferreira's vision and design philosophy is apparent in his fluid garments. He mostly uses one single piece of cloth from a weave to a drape, a cut and a silhouette. And is is considered a master draper whose garments are crafted from natural fabrics. Interestingly James Ferreira also does all the garments' cutting himself till date.
James Ferreira (Founder)
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
Apparel that span bridal wear, haute couture, pret and menswear. Notably James Ferreira's garments- designed from a single piece of fabric- are hugely popular.
- All you need to know about James Ferreira’s return to the runway Vogue
- Facebook page of James Ferreira Facebook
- Slow Designing With Veteran Designer James Ferreira Elle
- Sneak Peek: James Ferreira Vogue
- Twitter page of James Ferreira Twitter
- James Ferreira designs jewellery for your nails Vogue
- James Ferreira LBB
- Instagram page of James Ferreira Instagram
- Fashioning a comeback The Telegraph
- After 8 by Savio Jon and James Ferreira Vogue
- Wikipedia page of James Ferreira Wikipedia
- James Ferreira runway review Vogue
- Best Dressed this Week Vogue
- Sonam Kapoor in James Ferreira Gown BoldSky
- Two hats of James Ferreira couture and activism Target Goa
- James Ferreira’s jewellery party Vogue
- James Ferreira's house Homegrown
- Fable fabulous The Hindu
- James Ferreira No Borders Shop