James Ferreira

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James Ferreira
Born25 July 1956
ResidenceMumbai, India
EducationSir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai
OccupationFashion designer
LabelsJames Ferreira
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James Ferreira
Born25 July 1956
ResidenceMumbai, India
EducationSir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai
OccupationFashion designer
LabelsJames Ferreira

James Ferreira (born James Christopher Joseph Ferreira; 25 July 1956) is one of the foremost Indian fashion designer[1] and founder of the ‘James Ferreira’ designer label.[2]

He is a pioneer in the Indian Fashion Industry and has collaborated with all major players that shaped the Fashion, Textile and media business in the formative years.[3] He started his design career in 1976 and currently his unique label that comprises predominantly western silhouettes with subtle non-literal infusion of Indian elements, retails in all major boutiques across India. Early Bollywood stars, to current International celebrities like Freida Pinto,[4] have worn the designer’s creations.[5]

The designer lives and works out of the iconic 47-G Bungalow at Khotachiwadi,[6] which is one of the last surviving Heritage villages of Bombay. Ferreira is also an active member of the URBZ group[7] that works towards preserving heritage districts and areas within metros. He has been vociferously opposing the illegal take over bid of Khotachiwadi by the land sharks of Bombay and mobilizing support for the cause.[8][9]

Early life[edit]

James Ferreira was born in 1956, to Owen and Thelma Ferreira in Bombay. Father Owen Ferreira was a hockey olympian[10] and his maternal ancestor was a Portuguese ambassador to India.

Ferreira was an avid illustrator of clothes and stylized figures through his school life, which manifested into a career choice after reading an article illustrating the works of designer Pierre Cardin in 1964.[11]He pursued a foundation course in commercial art at the Sir J.J. School of Art (1974-75) and further completed a tailoring course at the Sheroo Coopers academy of tailoring (1976-78) in Mumbai.[12]

Design Philosophy[edit]

“It will end like it began, with a piece of cloth”. James Ferreira’s design philosophy is recognizable in his flowing garments; from a weave to a drape, to a cut, and finally a silhouette, which remains nothing but one single piece of cloth.[13]

He is considered a master draper whose garments in predominantly natural fabrics; epitomize the seamlessly unique blend of western silhouettes with Indian crafts and technique. The designer has constantly referenced Indian subjects for his Prêt collections but consistently maintains the cosmopolitan traits synonymous with the label.[14] [15] Some of Ferreira’s signature designs have been the double-layered Sari (1987), the flared Sari Pallu, the knit and jersey Kameez. A lot of his styles were not successful initially but variations went on to flood the market at a later stage. [16]

The ultra creative designer is known to be equally temperamental and this according to critiques has been the limitation for the brands growth.[17] On occasions the designer’s collections and bold themes have been controversial or negatively critiqued.[18]

Career Overview[edit]

After completing a course in commercial art at Sir J.J. School of Art and a Tailoring course at Sheroo Cooper’s academy, He began his career designing for Purple Pussycat in 1976. It was one of the earliest designer wear boutiques in Bombay catering to the expats and socialites.[19]

He then went on to work with a host of reputed textile houses, boutiques and private clients.

He worked as a designer under the iconic British Designer Zandra Rhodes in 1982.

In 1992 continuing with his position as the Creative Head at the Boutiques Bada Saab and First Lady, He established a full-fledged production unit and a studio for his namesake label ‘James Ferreira’.

In 2006 he debuted at the Lakme India Fashion week and subsequently in 2011 he collaborated with Veryta Foundation run by Stefano Pilati, design director Yves Saint Laurent and Filippo Binaghi, of Lorma SLR, Como, Italy to showcase a collection at the AW’11 Wills India Fashion Week.[20] [21]

In May 2013 he launched a collection of Diamond Jewelry in collaboration with Gehna Jewelers.[22]


  1. ^ Bandana, Tewari. "The Creative Class". The Business of Fashion Ltd. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  2. ^ FDCI. "James Ferreira (Associate Member)". Fashion Design Council of India. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Meher, Castelino (1994). Fashion Kaleidoscope. India: Rupa & Co. pp. 113–115. ISBN 978-8171671557. 
  4. ^ Jerusha Ratnam, Chande. "Freida Pinto at 2013 NAACP Image Awards". Vogue.in. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Amrisha. "Sonam Kapoor in James Ferreira Gown". Boldsky.com. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Rahul Srivastava, Matias Echanove. "Why Mumbai’s Slums are Villages". Airoots/eirut. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  7. ^ URBZ. "User generated cities". URBZ.net. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  8. ^ URBZ, user-generated cities. "Khotachiwadi (Mumbai)". URBZ.net. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Ashley, D'Mello. "Locals protest Khotachiwadi demolition". The Times of India, Mumbai. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Target Goa. "Two hats of James Ferreira couture and activism". targetgoa.in. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Meher, Castelino (1994). Fashion Kaleidoscope. India: Rupa & Co. p. 113. ISBN 978-8171671557. 
  12. ^ Sushmita, Biswas (November 4, 2006). "Fashioning a comeback". The Telegraph, Calcutta. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Shweta, Shiware (December 25, 2009). "He spins seamless dreams". Mid Day, Mumbai. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Arunima, Mazumdar (Feb 2, 2012). "James Ferreira’s love for India and ‘Khadi’". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Rochelle, Pinto. "JAMES FERREIRA SPRING/SUMMER 2013". Vogue.in. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  16. ^ Meher, Castelino (1994). Fashion Kaleidoscope. India: Rupa & Co. p. 115. ISBN 978-8171671557. 
  17. ^ Meher, Castelino (1994). Fashion Kaleidoscope. India: Rupa & Co. p. 115. ISBN 978-8171671557. 
  18. ^ Jaideep Deo, Bhanj (February 4, 2013). "I didn’t mean to hurt sentiments: James Ferreira". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  19. ^ Meher, Castelino (1994). Fashion Kaleidoscope. India: Rupa & Co. p. 113. ISBN 978-8171671557. 
  20. ^ Shalini, Shah (April 11, 2011). "WIFW Designer James Ferreira turned to ‘The Hare and the Tortoise' for his Autumn/ Winter 2011-12 show". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  21. ^ Veryta, Foundation. "about Veryta foundation". Veryta. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  22. ^ Rochelle, Pinto. "James Ferreira for Gehna Jewellers, Launch party". Vogue.in. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 

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