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‘Diana was a patron of my store in London’: Ritu Kumar

Princess Diana is remembered as one of the greatest style icons of the 20th century. She was often spotted experimenting with her outfits, and always managed to impress with her elegant looks and also take the fashion industry by storm. The late Princess of Wales was also known to wear outfits by various designers, one among them being Ritu Kumar.

While Diana counted the likes of Gianni Versace and Catherine Walker as her top favourites, she was also a regular at the Indian designer’s shop in London where she used to shop for Indian wear.

“Diana was a patron of my store in London. She would call the store herself when she wanted to visit. She would cycle down to the store, park at Mayfair behind our store, and walk the few minutes to it,” said the ace designer alongside a picture of Princess Diana wearing one of her creations.

In the throwback picture shared by the designer, Diana can be seen in a classic blue salwar kameez on a visit to Lahore, Pakistan in 1997, with Imran and Jemima Khan. Jemima also wore an Anarkali suit from Kumar.

However, Kumar revealed that the princess, who died in a car crash in 1997, had only one request. “She would only request us to keep a part of the store free of customers to give her some privacy, and would enjoy browsing there,” added Kumar.

Kumar, a renowned name in the Indian fashion industry for her focus on natural fabrics and traditional printing and weaving techniques, began her fashion business in present-day Kolkata in the 1960s and 70s before moving into international shores in the next two decades with shops in London, Paris and New York.

The London store eventually closed down in 1999.

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