Eye for elegance

Meet the aesthetes who helped us pick the best from fashion, home, travel and more

Akanksha Arora, Sonal Singh, Roland Folger, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Sanjay Kapoor, Vineet Bhatia Akanksha Arora, Sonal Singh, Roland Folger, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Sanjay Kapoor, Vineet Bhatia

Akanksha Arora

CEO, Amrapali Jewels

From jet-setting across continents for business trips to dressing up the likes of Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Rihanna and Sonam Kapoor in gleaming gemstones, Arora has been leading a brilliant branding strategy for the 40-year-old jewellery house from Jaipur. She has made internet the coolest place to shop silver, and is now diving deep into designing costume jewellery for films.

Sabyasachi Mukherjee

fashion designer

One of the most sought-after, most influential and most plagiarised designers in India, Sabyasachi is a sharp businessman with a poet’s heart. From the outset, his penchant for hand-woven textiles and chic khadi saris sets him apart from his contemporaries. A Fabindia fan, Mukherjee is not only a revivalist of traditional textiles, but also a patron of unsung artists from West Bengal.

Sanjay Kapoor

MD, Genesis Luxury

This energetic banker-turned-entrepreneur opened doors for global brands like Coach, Burberry, Bottega Veneta and Canali in India almost two decades ago. Cofounder of Indian designer label Satya Paul, Kapoor got Canali, the Italian luxury menswear brand, to design nawab jackets, for the Indian market. When not busy charting out business strategies for international brands, Sanjay loves eating out with friends and unwinding with a run in the neighbourhood park.

Sonal Singh

director and senior specialist, Christie’s India

As a child, Sonal would tag along with her mother to art galleries and museums. Her interest in the subject grew as she studied design at Central Saint Martins and then modern and contemporary art history at Christie’s Education, both in London. The most rewarding aspect of her job, she says, is the access it allows into collectors’ homes across India and the sheer pleasure of discovering their treasure troves.

Roland Folger

MD & CEO, Mercedes (India)

The Mercedes India chief pushed the car brand to perform against all odds and retain pole position for three consecutive years since 2015. All set for his next stint in Thailand, Folger’s schedule is now packed with farewell dinners and trips across the country. Apart from the great Indian cultural diversity, what he will miss the most, he says, is a hearty meal at Mumbai’s seafood restaurant Trishna.

Vineet Bhatia,

celebrity chef

The man who earned the first-ever Michelin star for an Indian restaurant, Bhatia got the world hooked to modern Indian cuisine with his succulent blue cheese naan, crispy chocolate samosa and the ingenious white butter chicken. The celebrity chef runs a chain of ten restaurants across the world, and was recently seen at the Mount Everest Base Camp, laying out a fancy popup dinner for charity.