Rohit Khosla

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Rohit Khosla
Born(1958-11-29)29 November 1958
Died16 February 1994(1994-02-16) (aged 35)
OccupationFashion designer

Rohit Khosla (29 November 1958 – 16 February 1994) was a pioneer of contemporary fashion industry in India.[1] Khosla studied in England, worked with designers in New York, but returned to India to start his own label in 1987, along with his sister, designer Rohini Khosla.

Early life[edit]

Born in November 1958 to Usha and Kamal Khosla in an affluent punjabi family, Rohit had always dreamed of becoming a fashion pioneer. An alumnus of The Doon School in Dehradun , he took a foundation course in art and then followed it by studying fashion at Kingston University. In college, his contemporaries were Nick Coleman, John Richmond and Helen Storey.[2] He is quoted in his biography Vanguard, penned by Rohini Khosla, Studying in England was pure bliss -- ideas just flowing, fabrics everywhere and fashion obsessive people all around me. He entered the Indian fashion scene when it was still a nascent industry [3] and left his hallmark.[4]

In those days, it was considered a bold step to enter fashion, especially when one had such a high-profile qualification. Rohit Khosla was the first Indian fashion designer to launch a haute couture label.

His family was extremely supportive of his fashion career. In his short life, Khosla spearheaded major contributions to the Indian fashion industry.


In 1987, he co-founded Ensemble, India's popular designer label store in New Delhi,[5] with Tarun and Sal Tahiliani, which started with five labels: Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Khosla, Neil Bieff, Amaya, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.[4]

Many leading fashion designers of India trained under Rohit Khosla, including Aparna Chandra, Ranna Gill,[6] Sonam Dobal [7] and JJ Valaya.[8]


Rohit Khosla with a friend

Khosla, who was bisexual, died in 1994, aged 36, due to cancer.[9][10] He had earlier contracted HIV/AIDS.[11]


In 1998, Rohini Khosla published a book on his life and work, titled Rohit Khosla, Vanguard.[9] In 2007 the India Fashion Week paid a tribute to him, with designers like Rohit Bal dedicating his collection to him.[12][13]

The annual India Zee F Awards presents the Rohit Khosla Award for 'Debutante Designer of the Year'.[14]


  1. ^ Review
  2. ^
  3. ^ Fashion audiences.. Indian Express, 2 December 1999.
  4. ^ a b New cut India Today, 20 December 2007.
  5. ^ The haute couturier..And Rohit was very much a part of the beginning of Ensemble - Tarun Tahiliani The Times of India, 2 July 2002.
  6. ^ Desiner Profile - Rana Gill
  7. ^ Sonam Dobal
  8. ^ India Fashion Week – Designer Profile Archived 31 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine India Today, 2008.
  9. ^ a b "Rohit Khosla Vanguard". Barnes and Noble. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  10. ^ Shah, Aashna (23 August 2017). "The Impossibly Lovely Nafisa Ali On A 1994 Cover Of Femina". NDTV. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  11. ^ Naliyath, Sunil (24 November 2011). "A positive attitude is the real winner". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  12. ^ Rohit Khosla relived through the fashion week
  13. ^ Fashion fraternity remembers Rohit Khosla 14 September 2007.
  14. ^ Fashion forward The Hindu, 1 May 2006.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rohit Khosla, Vanguard, by Rohini Khosla, Amanda Johnston. Art Books Intl Ltd., 1998. ISBN 81-7508-017-5.