House of Kotwara is an international fashion house founded in 1990 by filmmaker, painter, Muzaffar Ali – the Raja of Kotwara, and architect wife Meera Ali with the mission to revive the traditional craft of the region of Awadh, India and provide rural employment through our foundation, Dwar Pe Rozi Society (Employment at Doorstep).
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.
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 fantastical artistry is an amalgamation of her life experiences, heritage, and affection for beauty.
The Legacy of Craft
Kotwara is known for taking the ancient embroidery techniques of Chikankari, Aari and Zardozi and applying them in both traditional 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.
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.