About the Designer

I have always enjoyed art and craft. Growing up, all my work had an element of design in it.. My love for playing dress-up as a kid propelled the creative person in me to actively dabble and sketch fashion illustrations and elaborate gowns. In school, I was also very intrigued by the human anatomy and its physiology. I believed that my interest in science must be pursued professionally. I was in a constant tussle between my passion for design and my interest in science. However, I followed my intuition to learn design and pursued my undergraduate studies in Design at NIFT. And that was it! The four years at NIFT transformed by understanding of design! I thoroughly enjoyed learning and loved the growing sense of belonging in the school of Design. I mastered several crafts during my undergraduation and I was duly recognised as “best academic performer”. It was an honour receiving an award from an eminent Indian designer, JJ Valaya.

I had always dreamt of further studying fashion in London – the fashion capital and my most favourite city. While I had secured admission in University of Arts London, I was already employed over a year as an assistant designer. However, I was young, ferocious, restless and had a burning passion to start my own label! I wanted to bring a new art of clothing to life and that was the genesis for label ‘Mrunalini Rao’, launched in 2014. Ever since, it has been an incredible journey! 

Furthermore, let me introduce my sustainable pret label, URI has been launched in the year 2020, it is my commitment made to the lives of my makers, the sustenance of craft and livelihoods, and a responsibility towards a thoughtful garment. Designed around conscious choices, this pret line is tinged with ethos of zero waste production, biodegradability, and ethical employment. I’ve designed this collection by thinking about muses of all ages – a mother, a grandmother and a grandchild can all feel the same way by resting the numbers that define their style. Timeless garments never age.

I believe that a design is made with art, craft and love. I love Indian wear: it’s dramatic silhouettes, large flares and huge surface area to work on. The diversity in Indian crafts and cultures have inspired me to choose Indian wear as my main stream of design. My strength lies in surface design and I like to challenge myself to include contemporary elements into Indian wear. I weave tradition with modern aesthetic to discover a new design statement for every collection and that has become the Brand’s Identity. Every design is intricately handcrafted from a white fabric to a fully finished product. The label offers a range of artistic, elegant and comfortable clothing in Pret, Fusion and Bridal Wear.