Behind the Label
House of Kotwara is an international fashion house founded in 1990 by filmmaker, painter, Muzaffar Ali – the Raja of Kotwara, and his architect wife Meera Ali with the mission to revive the traditional craft of the region of Awadh, India and provide rural employment through Dwar Pe Rozi, our Employment at Doorstep initiative.
House of Kotwara is known for taking the traditional embroidery techniques of Chikankari, Aari, Zardozi, Appliqué, Kamdani, and applying them in classic and contemporary silhouettes.
Zardozi and Chikankari have been the forte of Kotwara, which has employed some of the finest craftspeople in the region for generations at Anhalwara Palace, Kotwara in Lakhimpur Kheri and Kotwara House, Qaiserbagh Palace Complex in Lucknow.
Over the last 30 years, Kotwara has been a symbol of style and elegance inspiring many brands and trends. The creations have a timeless quality to them, blending cultures and taking inspiration from Muzaffar Ali’s films - Umrao Jaan, Anjuman, Zooni and Jaanisaar. Meera and Muzaffar Ali have made their home, Kotwara House in Qaiserbagh, Lucknow, a living Museum of Craft and Design with an archive of Muzaffar Ali’s films and costumes.
Sama Ali is presently the Creative Director of the brand and a London College of Fashion Alumna. Sama officially joined House of Kotwara in 2014. Having grown up alongside the design house, she is the personification of the brand’s values and aesthetics. She aspires to grow the brand’s ethical standards of operation and rural outreach in the years to come. Her vision and creativity breathes new energy into House of Kotwara. Sama’s exquisite artistry is an amalgamation of her life experiences, heritage, and affection for beauty.
Dwar pe Rozi
At House of Kotwara our mission is to humanize societies, integrate the arts, connect cultures, and blend crafts.
Empowering a village creatively and economically has been our driving force. To achieve this Meera and Muzaffar Ali launched the Dwar pe Rozi, Employment at Doorstep, initiative in the Kotwara region of District Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh in 1990.
Employment at Doorstep
Dwar pe Rozi endeavours holistic development of rural areas and creating a culture of interdependence maximising job opportunities through crafts. To augment returns and employment opportunities on limited lands, we have also experimented with sericulture; a prerequisite to weaving.
Weaving of textiles and dhurries, exquisite embroideries in Chikankari, Aari, Zardozi, Kaamdaani and unique tailoring techniques such as Appliqué continue to be imbued into the craftspeople and culture of the village. This has given fillip to handwoven textiles, handmade products and has helped promote rural cultural tourism. Our Dwar pe Rozi initiative has given rise to a 170km Chikan embroidery corridor between Lucknow and Kotwara, additionally enabling the empowerment of thousands of women in rural India.
Rural education, skill development and enhancement are vital components of our Dwar pe Rozi concept.
Since 1990, House of Kotwara has been upgrading and developing skills of tens of thousands of people between Lucknow and Kotwara. Open to all, our skill development drives have trained craftspeople in the arts of Chikankari, Aari, Zardozi, Kamdani, Dhurrie Weaving and many more.
In 1995, House of Kotwara founded the Dwar pe Rozi Charitable School, based on Humanist philosophy and Employment at Doorstep with development of skills to help instil confidence into rural children that everything is possible and achievable in today’s age. This vision has inspired several entrepreneurs all over the country and will continue to do so in the future.
House of Kotwara, a family-owned fashion brand founded in 1990 by the highly acclaimed and aesthetic designers Meera & Muzaffar Ali. For over three decades, House of Kotwara has pioneered the Indian fashion industry, creating unique, stylish, and timeless clothing.
At House of Kotwara we celebrate luxury, fashion, art, culture, and films. From couture collections to film projects and collaborations with renowned artists, we have been pushing the boundaries of fashion, art, and culture for decades. Discover more about our projects & endeavours and be inspired by all that we have to offer.