Feature Story: Kalyani Chawla

When we speak of luxury fashion in India, there are about a handful of women on top of their game. Among them, is the charismatic Vice President of Dior in India – she handles the fashion house’s marketing and communications ventures, and oversees the luxury brand’s market positioning, PR activities and product placements with high profile Indian celebrities. A regular fixture on the country’s social scene, Chawla is a known face among your favourite A-listers; she shares her prestigious position with the most famous fashion faces around the world including Princess Beatrix of Spain, and that’s saying something for an Indian ambassador on the global platform.

So what makes Chawla so special? Well, she embodies the perfect discerning Dior woman of India. Not only is the beautiful woman the representative face of the brand here, she also has two standalone stores in the Indian continent to handle. Her climb to the top of the rung though, was no easy feat. An experienced retail and manufacturing entrepreneur, she began her career in marketing with Indian Express and was in charge of four of their magazines. How did it all begin? She launched a leather crafting business in Calcutta, moved to Dehli after, where she launched her own leather goods exporting company and despite the company’s difficult start, scored some cool deals with the likes of Jimmy Choo, Zara and Harrods. Until one fine day 14 years later, after a chance meeting with a former general manager of LVMH Moet Hennessy, she was presented with an offer by Dior to act as brand ambassador, and to also work on press and communications.

Achievements aside, what do we love best about her? The effortless way she carries off the couture brand’s style – a lady boss by day and a seasoned style icon by night. The single mother of one lovely daughter is often seen flaunting the best stuff at the stylish soiress she frequently hosts in the capital. With a turbulent personal life in the past, the self-made fashionista has overcome obstacles, established herself as a professional go-getter and a quirky party flitter. Her devotion to her position is remarkable – she wears Dior in India and Indian designers when travelling abroad. Her favourites? Jean Paul Gaultier, Commes des Garcon and Issey Miyake in the international coutieriers and Namrata Joshipura, Manish Arora, Varun Bahl and Tarun Tahiliani among the Indian counterparts.

If there’s one powerhouse of a woman that inspires us to reach for the top, and then work to achieve it, it’s Kalyani Chawla. Keep rocking, girl!