Durga Sundaram was born and raised in the US, greatly influenced by her Indian heritage. Her mother wore a sari everyday regardless of the uncomprehending looks she sometimes received. The sari is one of the main influences on Durga’s design aesthetic. The draping of the sari accentuated the beautiful elements of a woman’s body and is versatile enough to flatter her no matter what shape or size. It was her father’s business mindedness that encouraged her to attend Cornell University, where she concentrated on business classes and the design program. It is the pair of parents’ influence that led her to launch durga-kali. Duality is a theme that underscores her approach and designs.
Hearing numerous friends complain about the trials of being a bridesmaid or having to buy a dress for a single black tie event that they would never wear again, Durga started to think of a creative solution- a fashionable, flexible alternative. Deciding everyone can always use a little black dress she came up with the idea of a reversible dress that doubles as an elegant black dress. To further enhance its two-in-one mileage, she devised some dresses that can be converted into something short and chic. Drawing upon the knowledge and work experience designing at Macy’s and a private label company, Durga is tackling the never ending problems facing evening gown and bridesmaid consumers and giving them a stylish, affordable option