New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) When she was a child, she wanted to become a doctor but spent more time thinking about what her medical team should be wearing. Fortunately for the Indian fashion industry, the little girl found stitches on a cloth more interesting than stitches on a wound. So she put away the stethoscope and made threads her life.
Ritu Beri, the Delhi girl who was among the first students to pass out of the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), is one of the most admired designers in the fashion world today. After a decade and a half in the trade during which she set ramps on fire from New Delhi to New York and from Mumbai to Paris and dressed up Nicole Kidman for the premiere of 'Moulin Rouge' at the Cannes Film Festival, Beri now tells us how it all became possible in a memoir, 'Firefly-A Fairy Tale'.
''I have finished 15 long years in fashion which is equivalent to about 60 years of one's life,'' Beri said at the launch of the book last evening. Life and work in Paris, where she went from Delhi, was tough. ''You aged ten years every year in Paris.'' The life in Paris forms the second chapter of the book, which starts with how architecture and history inspired her and later how hopping in and out of flights around the world was fun.
Personal life and motivation are also described in this limited edition book released by Beri's friend and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. Her 87-year-old grandmother, the ''most powerful woman'', inspired her to achieve her dreams and so did Francois Lesage, ''the guru of embroidery'', who writes the foreword to the book.
'Firefly', which Akshay Kumar confessed will be the first book he is going to read, is self-published. Behind the book is a little fairy tale. Penguin commissioned Beri to write the book, but abandoned the project after hearing the price for the book she had in mind. ''Penguin said we can't sell a book like that.'' Well, the price of the book was, and is, only Rs 100,000---fashion is a costly affair, after all! Only 100 copies will be sold in India through her store in Delhi and Beri is going to put the book at the new Louis Vuitton flagship store near Champs Elysee in Paris for sale in April.
''It took three years and a lot of efforts to create the book and once you go through it, you will understand why I have priced it so high,'' says the designer who had hand-knitted a sweator herself and wore it to the NIFT interview to impress her inquisitors.
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