Indian Gay Fashion Designers

Someone said my clothes are gay so I said “Yeah, they came out of the closet this morning.”

A glance over the list of successful Fashion Designers of India who came out and chose not to shy away but openly admit to their sexual orientation.


He is one of the most prolific fashion designer from New Delhi and came up with his first collection back in 1990. Since then, he has been the best known Indian fashion designer on the horizon. 


Rohit Bal confessed that he’s gay, and has professed that his heart belonged to model Lalit Tehran. They were strong for three years but now have parted ways.

The designer accepted that every inch of him is romantic. “I think closed people are really very sad. In the day and time we are living, I don’t think anyone gives a damn about your sexuality. No one cares whom you spend your nights with. If you don’t come out of the closed, you will never be happy. You can’t be born a cat and act like a dog. It’s better to live one’s life with dignity and integrity.”


I came out in the open about my sexuality from a young age. I never feared that I’d be ridiculed. How could I say otherwise, when my homosexuality was in my DNA, Varma said.


Suneet Varma is an eminent Indian Fashion designer, who launched his first Couture collection in 1987 after returning from Europe where he worked for Yves Saint Laurent to master traditional artisanal techniques. Setting up self-names boutique at DLF Emporia Delhi and has collaborated with brands BMW, Judith Leiber, Azva by World Gold Council, Faces by the Sartorialist and Swarovski.

Varma in his 50s and Rahul Arora, 28, his partner doesn’t consider the age difference between them. Grown up as a gay person in India, Varma never thought about marriage because he didn’t think he had the option or choice to legally enter into this institution. Arora, came from a generation where his gay couple friends from India were choosing to get married in countries with equal rights. So the younger partner introduced the older to the concept of legal wedding. And finally they clung together. “We haven’t done anything brave, I married my lover, that’s all.” Varma says.

James Ferreira

Revealed his sexuality to his parents 35 years ago. Confided in their parents early and feels lucky to have had support for his decision and chose to pursue fashion. 

“If your family allows you to be honest, the amendment will work. None of us want to be gay. I would have had a wonderful life as a straight man. Why would I put myself through torture if I had a choice? Parents and society must realise and accept that people are born gay.” – James


He is now a successful Indian Fashion Designer and founder of the ‘James Ferreira’ designer label. A pioneer in Fashion Industry, who has collaborated with all major players that shaped the Fashion, Textile, and media business in formative years.

Manish Arora

Another New Delhi based fashion designer who has managed to straddle success in India and abroad.


Some time ago, in an interview to writer, he had admitted a slight shift in approach among urban Indian gays: give-away gestures, a nonconformist lifestyle and a flamboyant dress sense spelt letting your guard down, he explained. “But on their own terms. Some are open about their sexual preferences, some hide it. I don’t go around announcing, ‘Hi, I’m Manish Arora, and I’m gay’. But if you asked me, I wouldn’t deny it,” he said.

Wendell Rodricks

An India Fashion Designer based in the western Indian region of Goa. He has been listed among one of India’s top ten designers. He is also an activist for social causes, the environment, and gay rights, being himself a homosexual.


Rodricks is openly gay in a country where same-sex fornication is prohibited by lay. He is married to Jerome Marrel in a civil ceremony in Paris. Rodricks credits Marrel for his success as a fashion designer, in his biography, The Green Room.


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