How Sabyasachi Found Himself

As a young designer at New York Fashion Week, Sabyasachi Mukherjee was told to go back to India. He returned to one of his favorite cities on his own terms.

Snigdha Sur

November 7, 2022

How Sabyasachi Found Himself
Sabaysachi Mukherjee at his New York City store at 160 Christopher Street (Madison McGaw/BFA.com)

When you step into the New York Sabyasachi store, it’s easy to forget that its purpose is to get you to buy things. Rather, it feels like you’re walking into a beautiful museum, an ornate home, or an art gallery. The word “maximalist” has almost become synonymous with the brand, whose designs feature intricate embroidery and beading, innovative cuts, and rich colors. But the man behind it is anything but. He opts for simplicity in his everyday wear, rarely attends public events, and is usually thinking rather than speaking. Since its founding in 2003, Sabyasachi the brand has dressed everyone from Bollywood actors Rani Mukerji and Deepika Padukone to billionaire Oprah to, most recently, actor and producer Mindy Kaling. In 2020, the company earned over $38 million in sales, selling a 51% majority stake only a year later for an undisclosed sum. Its success is rooted in Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s ability not only to be unapologetically Indian but also to block out the noise and figure out who he truly is. The New York store, the designer’s first outside of India, was always Sabyasachi’s dream. But it took two decades and moving back to India to make that vision a reality.