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Neeta Lulla: Ace designer married at 16, started work with one sewing machine

While Bollywood is known for its nepotism, Neeta Lulla comes from a background as non-filmy as possible.  Yet she is unquestionably the queen of fashion in the Hindi film industry, dressing top actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri and Aishwarya for the better part of thirty years. She has also worked on more than 300 films, won 4 National Awards and served over 10 lakh customers.  So, how did a young girl in the sexist society of thirty years ago achieve so much without any connections?

Staff correspondent, NewsCrunch

While Bollywood is known for its nepotism, Neeta Lulla comes from a background as non-filmy as possible.

Yet she is unquestionably the queen of fashion in the Hindi film industry, dressing top actresses such as Sridevi, Madhuri and Aishwarya for the better part of thirty years. She has also worked on more than 300 films, won 4 National Awards and served over 10 lakh customers.

So, how did a young girl in the sexist society of thirty years ago achieve so much without any connections?

Brought up in suburban Hyderabad, Lulla was a self confessed tomboy as a child, but she had a fascination for fashion as well.

Deeply uninterested in academics, her mother was worried about her future. With falling grades, no inclination for sewing or household chores, it seemed very likely that young Neeta would not make it either as a career woman or as a housewife, reports Your Story.

He father, however, kept his trust on his daughter. He encouraged her love for sports and got her the then popular bimonthly publications Seventeen and Cosmopolitan.

In fact, these publications lit in her the passion for fashion.

At 16, the young Neeta got married just to evade her board examination.

Nonetheless, as fate would have it, her in-laws turned out to be very educated people who insisted that Neeta complete her degree.

And this is how she started her foray into fashion, through a course in Pattern making and Garment Manufacture at SNDT University in Mumbai.

Very soon, her talent was noticed and she forayed into fashion choreography.

In search of further avenues, she took up costume design in her brother-in-law's film Tamacha as well. She was soon noticed by acclaimed director Subhash Ghai and there was no looking back after that.

The society in general and Bollywood in particular at that time was highly sexist. Nepotism was raging. But young Neeta overcome all those obstacles just on the strength of her work ethics.
Beginning with just one sewing machine, a single kaarigar and Rs.500 as capital and zero connections, Neeta Lulla has certainly won over the fashion in Bollywood in her three decades of journey.
 

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