Jun. 1, 2017
repost from Lassi with Lavina
Who is Mac Duggal? You could say he’s the world-famous designer you don’t know anything about – although Americans from celebrities to prom queens swear by his creations.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Beal and Carmen Electra have headlined the stage in his couture; Tina Turner, Bette Midler and Aretha Franklin have been seen on the red carpet in Mac Duggal, as have Carrie Underwood, Shakira, Khloe Kardashian and Paris Hilton. His clothes are in major stores from Nordstrom to Lord & Taylor. He’s dressed beauty queens across the world, including Miss America and Miss USA, and his gowns have been seen in films like Titanic and Oceans 11.
Mac Duggal With 2016 Miss USA Contestants
The Mac Duggal multimillion dollar fashion house, based in Chicago, is at the apex of the women’s special occasion dress market and includes eleven different collections sold in countries from the US to Dubai to Russia and Japan. It has carved out a sizable chunk of the fashion formal wear market and is the top name in the prom and pageant wear industry. At any given time he has over 100,000 gowns in his warehouses.
During New York Fashion Week in February, Duggal for the first time brought his 2017 collection to the beautiful art deco Angel Orensanz space downtown, to a packed audience, with crowds still waiting to get in.
So who is the man behind the Mac Duggal brand?
America is all about reinvention and Duggal’s is the refreshing story of an enterprising immigrant who boldly re-imagined himself from a desi engineer into the American creator of women’s slinky dresses, “ changing the world one dress at a time.” In the process he has built a thriving business empire, creating a hugely successful American company with international links.
The Duggal family – Yuvraj, Bubbly, Mac and Ieena
In fact, Duggal will be honored by the prestigious Smithsonian at the permanent exhibit Many Voices, One Nation,which opens at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC this summer. It highlights citizens who have impacted America with their contributions. Along with Abe Lincoln’s hat and Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from Oz, a memento from Duggal and other noteworthy immigrants will also be on exhibit.
If Mac sounds All-American, his real name is Manmohan Singh and he could be any smiling, humble Sikh gentleman from Patiala or Jullundur. He was actually born in New Delhi in 1960. “I grew up in a very spiritual, loving family with my respected grandfather, father and elder brother who were spiritual teachers and taught meditation to millions of people,” he says. “So meditation was a key part of my upbringing and helped me to connect with my inner self.”
Design by Mac Duggal. Photo credit: Manjari Sharma
So how did he come to America? He says: “I never wanted to come to America – my soul belonged to India. I was an engineering student (where did he study) and wanted to start my own business and carve my own path, make my own mark. I never wanted to work for anyone and to this day I never have – not even for one single day. However, my father wanted me to join my brother in Chicago and complete my studies there.”
In Chicago Duggal saw a lot of opportunities to be the entrepreneur he had always wanted to be. Hand beading was a trending fashion in India and he and his brother started importing women’s evening wear, investing $300 in renting an exhibition booth at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Buyers had never seen anything like these embellished gowns and the response was overwhelming. The next he knew he was showing in New York where a chance meeting with a buyer for Home Shopping Network led to sales on the channel and to major stores .
Remembering those halcyon early days, Duggal who was in his 20’s when he started, says, “I had this special energy bottled inside me. I could work 22 hours a day and I felt unstoppable! Soon I was known for my flamboyant styles. It was the mid-80’s and people were intrigued by the mystique of India I had brought with me.”
When he started in 1984, the business took off like a dream, and everything he touched was gold. Until it wasn’t. After 10 years of heady success, came the collapse, when styles changed and the flamboyant beading was out of favor.
“I had to struggle to keep afloat,” Duggal honestly admits. “I sat up nights thinking about new things, innovative things – but nothing worked. Loans were piling up and everything seemed gloomy but I never gave up. I had to practically start all over again with new strategies.” It took five long years to turn things around and in the process Mac Duggal the brand became stronger and more resilient for when he made his comeback.
Learning from mistakes and always believing in himself are two factors Duggal credits for his success but also the fact that he was able to embrace both the design elements and the business strategies necessary for a business to be in the black.
Indeed, in America the two most important gowns in a woman’s life are the prom gown and the wedding gown – and Mac Duggal has them both covered, and offers them a quality stylish product at a price point that all women can afford. This niche market is Duggal’s strength.
Duggal may be an American success story but he has kept his Indian roots intact. He has been happily married for 30 years to his wife Bubbly who has stood through all the ups and downs, far from her beloved Kashmir where she was born and brought up. Their daughter Ieena collaborates with her father on her own line while their son Yuvraj is studying apparel merchandising and plans to join the business. There are plans to find partners to bring Mac Duggal with its young and forward evening wear to India.
Mac also has a max heart, giving to many causes. Recently he presented free prom gowns to all the students at a school in a low-income area where the prom was about to canceled. He stated: “I believe this is the circle of life. I might be gone but I am sure one of these 200 girls will give back thousands some day. This philosophy has worked all my life.”
Mac Duggal Models on the runway
At the recent New York show, models took to the ramp one after, and you noticed something significantly different from other designers’ shows which only flaunt tall Amazons who are all size 0 or 2. Duggal’s models are a reflection of the real women he dresses – some are tall and skinny but others are petite and short and yes, there are also plus size women all on the same runway. In fact, when a big-built model in a gorgeous ball gown entered the space, there was huge, delighted applause. Women are finally getting to see women like themselves on the fashion ramp, and they feel validated.
“I truly think all women are beautiful and size should not define who they are,” he says. “You don’t have to be a Size 0 to be beautiful. Girls come out crying from dressing rooms in boutiques when they actually find a gown that fits them perfectly! Just as the Higher Power has all sizes and shapes on the planet, I want to integrate all sizes and shapes on the runway.”
Mac Duggal designs on the runway
I don’t have to look for fashion inspirations – it is all around me. It’s in the fine details of life.
* Bold, empowering women of today.
*Traveling and understanding flavors of different cultures.
*Vibrant, high energy of the younger generation.
*Nature itself – most beautiful fusions of colors and shapes
*As my life is on the go – my best ideas come in stillness.
This article was originally published in India Today’s Spice magazine
May. 18, 2017
The new Miss USA was crowned in front of a national audience on Sunday night (5/14/17). It was a long road for the contestants, from their state pageants all the way through the past week of preliminaries leading up to the crowning moment.
Mac Duggal played a prominent role in the road to the crown, as the choice of several of these talented women for what to wear to represent themselves and their state in this 66-year-old tradition of pageantry, scholarship, and female empowerment all rolled into one.
Mac Duggal gowns were the choice of 2 of the top 5 contestants. And during the evening gown competition, nine state title holders took to the stage in Mac Duggal creations.
|Meridith Gould – Miss Minnesota||Whitney Wandland – Miss Illinois||Sabrina Janssen – Miss Colorado|
|Cassie Lewis – Miss Idaho||Kelsey Weier – Miss Iowa||Brooke Bezanson – Miss Montana|
|Liz Denny – Miss Oregon||Kelsey Swanson – Miss Rhode Island||Skylar Witte – Miss Wisconsin|
Congratulations to the 2nd Runner-up, Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould and Top 5 finalist Miss Illinois Whitney Wandland.
Meridith rocked a Mac Duggal custom haute couture style 3D floral gown with a secret sheer jumpsuit. And Whitney lit up the the stage in a fringe dress featuring a mix of a deep gold Swarovski beads and light gold bugle bead fringe.
ThePageantPlanet reviewed these stunning dresses in their post 5 Trends Found On Mac Duggal Gowns Worn At Miss USA 2017
Mar. 6, 2017
The Academy Awards is the biggest night in Hollywood. The world’s largest celebrities gather to support the films and walk the red carpet in the latest fashions. The whole world is looking at the best dressed celebrities to see what trends will be for the rest of the year. Here are some tips for you to look just as fabulous at your 2017 prom as the A-list celebrities.
Beaded ivory dresses were a huge trend on the red carpet. Take inspiration from Felicity Jones, Isabelle Huppert and Hailee Steinfeld. Achieve this look for prom:
Talk about true Hollywood glamour! Nobody can go wrong with a classic black evening gown. We are totally in love with the looks of Alicia Vikander, Brie Larson and Kristen Durst. Achieve this look for prom:
There is no way to talk about dresses at the Oscars without mentioning this year’s winner Emma Stone. She looked totally amazing in a fringed dress and you can follow this style with our fully fringe dress Style 80716. Shake it!
When the carpet isn’t red, you can easily rock the volcanic color. At the Vanity Fair after party it was the bold color that stole the spotlight. Achieve this look for prom:
See more on www.macduggal.com
Feb. 6, 2017
Republished with permission of Unapologetically Paola
I was first introduced to Mac Duggal when his first ever Plus Size “This Is Why I’m Fabulous” Campaign and model search was launched. The man behind the brand, Manmohan Duggal, is someone who is passionate about fashion and wants to innovate the prom market and break barriers with his designs catered to plus size women, “rather than simply upsizing a dress suited for a smaller frame.” The line will be available for sizes 14W-30W and will include hot prints, fully beaded, two piece, high slits and other on trend designs that other designers steer away from.
I had the opportunity to chat with Mac and speak more in-depth on what inspired him to create a line exclusively for plus size teens and women who often go unrepresented in the fashion industry, as well as what makes this campaign special.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your brand?
My given name is Manmohan Duggal but my friends have always called me Mac. I was born in New Delhi, India in 1960.
About the Brand
The Mac Duggal brand is positioned at the high end of the women’s special occasion dress market and includes eleven different collections driven by Designer Mac Duggal’s artistic, modern and luxurious design with couture-inspired fit and sizing. Today, Mac presents a collection of classic designs curated with a youthful sophistication that both marks the moment and redefines tomorrow.
Mac Duggal opened the first design house just over 30 years ago in Chicago, Illinois. It is Mac Duggal’s one-of-a-kind styles, sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic and influential designs that have made them a staple in Couture wear spanning the globe in over 5 continents and 32 countries. From fashion editor to celebrity stylist, movie star to headline entertainer, pageant winner to prom queen – Mac Duggal’s designs are spotlighted, worn and coveted around the globe.
Mac Duggals first collection, Creative Creations, was a line of dazzling gowns blending Indian beauty and elegance with Western styling. Proud of his heritage, Mac Duggal has always designed using glorious fabrics and colors that are hot and spicy like the fashion and cuisine of his homeland. Today, Mac Duggal continues to provide fresh inspiration and set trends in silhouette, color, and designs.
Why did you choose fashion as your creative outlet?
It came from within; I just wanted to just go and create something on my own. I didn’t even know what I was going to create. I was just going to carve my own path and make my mark. I had this energy inside of me. I could work twenty-two hours and not even feel the need to sleep, get up, and do it all over again. I felt unstoppable. I was just going to do it. If I failed I was going to keep on going and create something new. I always knew I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur and I could never resist the “smell” of rhinestones, sparkle and glitter.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I believe there are two dresses every woman in America remembers: her prom gown; and her wedding gown. In the last three decades, my gowns have contributed to these women’s unforgettable experiences. I am thrilled that thousands of people have made me a part of their important milestones. All during their lives, when they look back at pictures or reflect on those precious moments, Mac Duggal will be the one helping to put a smile on their faces.
What changes do you most want to see in the fashion industry?
Fashion is a fast changing industry. It changes before you can blink, and it keeps you on your toes. I needed to work with a lot of integrity and a clear vision. When we started, I was known for my embellishments, my flamboyant styles, and I have changed with the times. I always had a great love and passion for style all of my life. I get my inspiration from women themselves. Knowing your clientele is so important and if you love fashion as I do you can transform these beautiful women through fashion. I am inspired by the challenge of changing trends and keeping the designs fashion forward. From sleek and streamlined silhouettes to intricate drapings and body conscious shapes that garner attention to more jeweled, beaded, embroidered and embellished styles – each present an early indicator to the upcoming season’s trends with an exquisite attention to detail that are the hallmark of an authentic Mac Duggal design.
What exactly will be This Is Why I’m Fabulous and what inspired you to launch such a campaign?
Over the course of the last two years a revolution has emerged in the plus size market, however, this revolution has not reached the teen age market. We are launching this campaign [This Is Why I’m Fabulous] to find everyday, real plus size models; no matter height or size breaking the barriers of what a “true” plus size model should be in the fashion industry. Plus size is not a size 8 or 10 like so many of the plus size super models. We are looking for two or three models who can serve as ambassadors to the program.
Do you think you will receive criticism for promoting plus-sized fashion?
We must believe in ourselves and do everything through our heart. If we want to succeed we must focus on our passion and give it all we have. I believe some door or somebody’s door will open up somewhere and show us the light and guide us on our own beautiful path. From what I have seen, no two people in the world take the same journey. Remember everybody has this energy, just listen to it carefully. This voice will always guide you on the right path. I believe a loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice even if it is a whisper. Just relax, sit back, and let the journey unfold.
What do you think is the most special part about designing for plus size women?
I have found that more teen girls than ever are buying plus size gowns for prom. This comes from a teenage customers desire to be able to buy the same clothing as their friends, plus size or not. Today’s young consumers know what they want and won’t settle for less. Our customer wants to feel on trend. This may includes ruffles, off the shoulder tops and yes, even the crop top, which might surprise some plus size skeptics.
In my plus size collection “Fabulouss” we design to encourage self love. We are about body positivity. I love to hear that girls have come out of a retailer’s dressing room and start to cry because they finally have clothing that fits them and makes them feel good.
You can follow Mac Duggal on social media as @macduggal and see what’s new at www.macduggal.com. If you’re interested in becoming a positive and strong role models for young girls and apply to their camping, visit macduggalblog.com/this-is-why-im-fabulous. The submission deadline is January 27, 2017.
Jan. 20, 2017
I am so thrilled to share with you my recent collaboration with the Mac Duggal Design House. If you don’t know his designs yet then you should check out his beautiful collections of dresses that are perfect for a variety of events. His company is based just outside of Chicago in Burr Ridge, IL and his work has been seen at a variety of celebrity red carpet events and on screen productions by several famous actresses and recording artists.
Today, I am featuring this flattering Mac Duggal “After 5” collection dress that will be sure to turn heads. This fit and flare dress is available in either emerald or fuschia in color and can mimic an hourglass shape no matter your size. I love how it cinches and holds my waist while creating an illusion of a smaller torso. The details of this dress are where it really shines. The added black crystals, beads, and threaded ribbon chains add a subtle touch of glamour to this chic and classy dress. It’s perfect for a red carpet event, a night out with that special someone, or an upcoming formal event.
I had so much fun doing this photo shoot. Everything about this dress gave me a boost of confidence that I can’t help but smile. I felt beautiful and confident wearing this and that is so important to me in what I choose to wear. Look for clothes and go out and do things that make you feel confident, because “When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.” – Joe Namath
Dress by Mac Duggal | Shoes by B P.
Photographed by Brian Mattinson
More dresses on www.macduggal.com
Jan. 5, 2017
The U.S. fashion industry is bedeviled by counterfeiters. This is a particularly severe problem for prom dress retailers. A common occurrence is for a teenage girl to come into their boutique, look at a designer dress, and then “showroom” the boutique by searching on Google, where they can find links to websites of offshore online stores with photo’s of the exact same dress, and buy it for less than half the price. Of course, the result of buying a special occasion dress from an offshore retailer is fairly similar to that of buying a “rolex” from a New York street peddler. When the dress arrives, if it does arrive, there are lots of tears flowing from the naive teenager buyer who wanted a special dress for her once in a lifetime experience of going to prom.
Side by side comparison of a Mac Duggal original design and a poorly made, badly fitted counterfeit copy. Sold as Mac Duggal 3434A, the counterfeit copy barely zipped up and severely bunched at the hips for an unflattering look.
Provided below are reports from retailers on counterfeit prom dress nightmares:
Several young girls have stopped by my Prom dress stores recently. They shared their experience with ordering counterfeit dresses from one of these countless faceless websites that seem to be popping up all over the internet like weeds. The dress was too short — and the girl is only 5’6”. And the dress looked like crap. She had to take Benadryl because she broke out in red hives. At first I wasn’t sure if I was the dress or the anxiety from getting ripped-off. It seems her skin was only red in the areas where she had contact with the dress. I hope she doesn’t forget to take her Benadryl on Prom night.
Another customer told me her daughter received her dress and the dress was beautiful and of fine quality but it was made for a 12” doll.
We recently had a local Marine’s wife come in urgent need to purchase a dress for their military ball that weekend. Being on a tight budget she had shopped on line and found a deeply discounted a “designer” dress. She loved it and placed the order a month before the event. Worries that it may not arrive in time started when she learned it was being sent from China. She was relieved when it was delivered just 4 days before the ball. But nightmare really started when she put it on….. While the dress was fully lined and appeared to be well sewn, it would have only fit a “lopsided alien”. She quickly took it to see if she could have it altered, but was told it was too far out of shape for any Human Being”. That is when she came through our doors nearly in tears. She found a beautiful dress, but this soldier’s family, in trying to save some money ended up getting ripped off by a website selling counterfeit dresses.
Creations by sECOnd Evolution
I own a prom dress store and also do alterations in my store. I had a least a dozen girls come in last year that had a bad experience from what we call “china” dresses. Everything from not receiving the dress on time (or at all) and purchased a second dress from me; or it came in the wrong size, color, damaged or unfinished. I actually had to fix one dress that came in still with the pins in it, holding it together. I would estimate that 75% of these dresses that I did see, I would not sell in my store. The quality, weight of fabric, color, and/or embellishment was a joke. I actually had to change the alteration policy for my store, and now will only alter the dresses that are purchased from my store. There were too many “bad” dresses or last minute (day before) dresses to deal with.
Every year we hear the same story from dozens of customers. In an attempt to save money, they purchase a prom dress from what appears to be a legitimate website selling their dream dress at an unbelievable price. These counterfeit websites operate outside the U.S. and steal copyrighted images of designer prom dresses enabling them to sell their inferior copies. If the customer receives their dress at all, it is poorly made and unwearable.These counterfeit websites use Google Adwords to advertise which confers legitimacy on their business and gains the trust of unsuspecting customers while American Prom Designers and Retailers lose business to these illegitimate websites every day.
Last prom season, we saw at least a dozen girls who thought they were ordering a designers’ prom gown on line. A couple of girls never got their dresses; they tried to check on the status of their dresses only to find that the web sites they ordered from were no longer there. Several others received dresses that didn’t look anything like the dresses they had ordered. They then had to contend with trying to return the dresses and get their money back.
A Day To Remember Bridal Boutique and Uniquely Couture Bridal
It is heartbreaking to have girls come into the store in tears because they ordered their prom gown from a knockoff website and the size, quality, etc. is horrible, nothing like it was advertised. I track gowns to make sure I sell them only once to each school so when they come in at the last minute to find a new gown, their selection is limited. They should not have to experience such disappointment!
Wedding Expressions by Geri
We have been selling prom dresses online since 2004. Over the past few years, we have had an increase in the number of girls contacting us to ask whether or not the dresses we sell are authentic. They say the exact same dress can be purchased on other websites for half the price as ours. They end up purchasing their dream dress from a fake/scam site and call us back in tears telling us their prom has been ruined.
Who’s to blame for this horrible experience? Google is! As an advertiser with Google I know that the larger my daily budget, the higher my product ranking will be and the more impressions my ad will receive. Buyer Beware – just because you see an ad in Google at the top doesn’t always mean the products the site is selling are legit.
We received a call from a desperate girl in Brazil. She had gone through our site trying to find a dress, but, she ended up buying from another site that had the same image we had on our store, but the dress was literally 20% of our price. 5 days before her graduation she received her dress from the other site, but the dress was nothing like the one advertised. The beads were off, the fabric was horrible. She called crying. She needed another dress in Brazil in less than 5 days.
We overnighted a dress and she received the correct dress on the day of her graduation, with no time for any adjustments, but at least she could wear the dress she wanted so badly. In the end she had paid for the counterfeited dress, the original dress, plus all the overnight shipping costs.
A girl came into our store last prom season, carrying a box, and told me she had bought a S____ H___ dress online, and this is what she received. All it contained was cut pieces of fabric and some sequins & stones. Since I was an “authorized” retailer of this designer, would I assemble this dress for her?? Obviously, this was not possible, and when I tried to explain this was not possible, the customer became upset, when I had to tell her that authorized retailers only sold authentic designs, and that websites featuring pirated images, offering “too good to be true” prices were preying on people like her to make their living. Unfortunately, this customer felt that I was the cause of their problem, since I wouldn’t fix their mistake. Their perception of who was the culprit in this mess caused a problem in my ability to assist them properly. No customer or retailer should ever be put in this position!
Isabella Grape Boutique
I have had several girls that came in after purchasing from one of these sites. The complaints included the quality, beadwork and fit, and not being able to contact anyone to return the gowns. They use the actual gown photos to lure people in with a ridiculously lower price.
The girl ordered a dress from an online company . It showed a designer ombré prom dress, but did not name the designer. When it arrived, the material was faded cotton !!!
The buyer thought they were getting a dress that would look just like the designer’s dress at a fraction of the cost because the counterfeiter used the designer’s photo to advertise and sell the dress. What the buyer received looked nothing like the designer dress. The dress advertised was loaded with stones and the dress they received was embroidered.
Chloe’s Choice Formals
Many girls that have come into our store have had horrible experiences with these chinese counterfeiters. We have had girls say they thought they were ordering from a website in the U.S. because it looked so similar to the authorized retailers they had checked out. They saw the great price and ordered before realizing that this was not the same website they visited before. Others have said the item they received looks nothing like the photo and does not fit like they expected. One girl reported that she had received materials with instructions on how to sew the dress together herself. All of the girls have agreed that the deceptively low price and the belief that they were buying authentic designer dresses were the factors in why they made their purchase. Google’s poor search results have caused the heartache for these girls. Google has allowed these overseas retailers to dominate the paid results as well as the organic results. For many websites it takes years of hard work to reach top results in Google search but somehow these counterfeiters manage to rank well for websites that are just weeks old. These counterfeiters push out new websites nearly every week and Google is not doing their part to protect legitimate businesses and consumers.
I own a dress store in New York. These websites are hurting Americans in so many ways. By selling direct to the public they are cutting out many jobs for people in this country that really need them. The stores get less and less business, they have to cut back on their staff and eventually go out of business themselves. The customer receives a dress that no way resembles the dress they ordered if they get the dress at all. These websites go down as soon as they are found out about, leaving the customer no way to contact them. Now the customer has to buy another dress and they originally bought from one of theses sites because they were cheap and they have to spend more money for another dress. A lot of times the girls can’t afford it and end up not going to their event.
I had this experience myself before being a retailer. I wanted to get a sample of the dresses and ordered from 2 websites that I found on Google for evening dresses that said they had Mac Duggal, Jovani, and BG Haute dresses. I paid for both. One of the websites took the money and I never saw the dress or heard from them, and the other website sent me a cheap dress that didn’t look at like the one in the photo. It is not even worth $1.00. I can’t even give it to anyone because its so bad!! Since opening my own store, I have had a number of customers complaining about the same problem.
Credit card was stolen. Never got dress.
Dress looked nothing like the picture on the website, no zipper, no liner and dress was not sewn well.
A prom girl came in 1 week before her prom and still had not received her dress and had no way of contacting the company she had ordered from. A bogus site.
I never thought that trying on a prom dress could be hazardous to my health. But, then again, I had never before tried on a Chinese counterfeit dress. Not only was this dress the wrong color, but it was also too small for the size four that I ordered. Worst of all, the tiny sequins scratched against my skin. I still have scratch marks on my arms even though I tried the dress on yesterday. After taking off the dress, I realized the dress had caused me to break out in hives all along my arms and sides. Trying on that dress was totally embarrassing and I have the scars to prove it.
Mac Duggal Social Media Manager
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