Recently, we came across a Clubhouse group about ‘why are NRIs so tacky’, which got us thinking ‘are they really’? Are Indian Americans still dressing for weddings in dated salwar suits and shiny saris? On closer inspection, we realised the trend cycle that would usually find delayed gratification across Atlantic circles is now a myth. There are more NRI brides featured on India’s holy grail bridal designer, Sabyasachi‘s Instagram page than anywhere else. These young milennial (and even GenZ) NRI brides are always ahead on the bridalwear trend curve. Plus, they are open to experimenting with new styles, silhouettes, and even designers.
So whether you’re a bride in the United States looking to shop for her trousseau or simply someone who is unable to make their yearly pilgrimage to India to shop for stylish desi outfits, these websites will enable you with a wide selection. From key Indian couture designers, upcoming fashion labels to unique USA made-to-order boutiques, we have an all-encompassing list to serve you, in style.
If you’re looking for edgy, experimental styles then Bisou NYC with its tiered saris, jumpsuit suits, and cape-lehengas is a great option. The brand works with local Indian artisans and create apparel and accessories using age-old weaving and embroidery techniques. Customisation is of the essence here, the brand ensures that they give you an online or in-person measurement consultation to ensure the fit is right.
Based out of Los Angeles, KYNAH was founded by Aisha Rawji in 2017 as a destination for Indians abroad to find the right attire for special occasions. A second generation entrepreneur, Aisha learnt the ropes from watching her mother run a clothing store, Raaz in the 90s. Inspired by the vibrance of Indianwear, she opened her multi-designer destination that caters to all your guest, resort and bridalwear needs. Apart from hosting designers like Payal Singhal, Ridhi Mehra, Seema Gujral, Arpita Mehta amongst others. They currently are running a by-appointment pop-up in LA (till August 31) and will host one in New York soon (September 3-18, 2021).
The Gujrati name for treasure, New Jersey-based, Khajana Boutique is quite literally a treasure trove for all types of occasion wear. The boutique has been catering to the Indian community in the USA for over two decades now and is known for its one-of-a-kind pieces. The website is an added bonus for those who wish to get outfits made remotely.
The main idea behind this NYC-based brand is to create Indo-Western fusion garments that are versatile and of good quality. Founded by Megha Rao in a bid to bridge the gap between her South Asian roots and American cultures. Clothes by this contemporary label recently featured on the hit song, Jalebi Baby by Canadian-Indian rapper/producer Tester and award-winning singer-songwriter Jason Derulo.
In 2016 Shreya Patel, at the age of 51, left her work in financial planning in India to retire with family in the USA. However, her plans were upturned when she rediscovered her passion for design and the gap in the market for modern Indianwear. Thus, she founded RAAS, a South Indian e-commerce website that curates and creates artisan-quality outfits from India. Innovative, bold designs that allow you to express yourself is the focus here. Along with the promise of sustainability with minimal or no fabric wastage and eco-packaging ideology.
If you’re planning a Pinterest-worthy wedding with matching bridal party outfits, then head to Pleats & Petals. Colour, cut or complimenting details, this brand aims to make your shopping experience easier with its custom options. Allow a stylist to work on personalising your look and voila, you have a wedding party that is dressed in bespoke, beautiful coordinated outfits.
Launched in 2017, Lotus Bloom is a curated multi-designer store with some of the most unique Indian and Pakistani designers. From established designers to upcoming ones, the selection is made keeping in mind the requirements of NRI Brides. We love their ‘UpSaree’ service that lets you customise an old sari into modern silhouettes like a lehenga, pantsuit, jacket or dress.
Gone are the days when attaining South Asian clothes in the USA and abroad was a difficult feat, today there are a host of both local and Indian websites catering to this demographic. Amongst them, Aayka connects NRI brides and other consumers directly to South Asian designers and artisans, thereby helping them create custom looks closer to their location, budget and style.
This curated store brings designers like Antar-Agni, ANDRAAB, Nidhi Tholia, Jayanti Reddy, JADE, Mayyur Girotra (pictured) and more to the shores of the US via New York especially for NRI brides building their trousseau. The availability of the latest collections of these established Indian designers makes it worthy of your scrolling time.
Almost like a Pinterest board for beautiful outfits, Lashkaraa is all about timeless craft and design. Ornate sharara and gharara pieces for modern women who love colour and style. A wide selection of embellished Pakistani suits ensures that you and your close ones are all dressed to a T at the next family wedding.
All images: Courtesy brands.
Header image: Courtesy xx and Featured image: Courtesy xx.