A small-town girl who grew up to become a Bollywood star, Kangana Ranaut represents a burgeoning demographic of fashion savvy consumers in India, who willingly take creative and stylistic risks with their appearance. The actress has forged an especially strong relationship with British powerhouse Burberry, along with other notable houses such as Christian Dior and Stella McCartney , who also dress her.
Born in Bhambla, a small town in Himachal Pradesh, Ranaut initially aspired to become a doctor at the insistence of her parents. Adamant to build her own career path, she relocated to Delhi at the age of 16, where she briefly became a model.
"There are few career options for students of science though, so I shifted to Delhi and decided to try theatre instead. As I was still unsure of what I wanted to do, I began sending photographs of myself to advertising agencies. I even took up classes in French because I thought of shifting to Paris, where models have always had a chance."
However, before Paris became a reality, a chance meeting with a film director while drinking coffee led to Ranaut making her feature film debut in the 2006 thriller Gangster, for which she was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. She has since received praise for portraying emotionally intense characters in the dramas Woh Lamhe, Life in a... Metro and Fashion. Other hits include Queen and Revolver Rani.
Ranaut won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Filmfare Award in the same category for her work on Fashion. The film also features Priyanka Chopra in the lead role, playing an aspiring fashion model. The plot follows her transformation from small-town girl to supermodel, while commenting on feminism and the Indian fashion industry.
In July 2014, Ranaut was announced the new face and brand ambassador of DressBerry, Indian online retailer Myntra’s in-house fast-fashion brand. She also collaborated on two lines with Bestseller-owned brand Vero Moda in 2015 and 2016.