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Ritu Beri is set to design uniforms for nearly five lakh Indian Railway staff. The initiative is part of project Swarn is expected to be launched on October 2nd, Gandhi Jayanti. To begin with staff on Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains are expected to wear Beri’s uniforms, later all of five lakh railway staff including station masters, guards, ticket inspectors, caterers and drivers will wear them. The designs will be inspired by Indian art and culture itself.

While Beri’s mood boards are full of vibrant Indian culture, the practicalities of train uniforms must also be considered. One of the concepts given to the railway ministry was reflector jackets and T-shirts, which enables an identity creation and would be easily recognisable in the crowd. Beri’s collection is part of an effort of the Modi government to reduce India’s slow growth and Beri agreed, where she believes the railways are the key to economic growth.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu recently stated the government was taking steps to revitalise the railways and Beri’s collaboration will ensure at least that the staff have a professional new look. Delhi-based designer Ritu Beri launched her eponymous label in India in 1990 and was the first Asian designer to head a French fashion brand, Jean-Louis Scherrer in 2002. Beri works with the Blessed Hearts Foundation which is currently working to raise awareness about autism and for this she will show her children’s wear on the catwalk for the upcoming Blessed Hearts Event in New Delhi.