Issue 35 / Woman On Top: Pernia Qureshi's Fashionable E-Commerce Empire

Woman On Top: Pernia Qureshi’s Fashionable E-Commerce Empire

Feb 01, 2016

She is considered to be one of the leading style icons in India. Pernia Qureshi is a woman of many talents — a budding entrepreneur, an author, a former stylist and an actress with a published book, Be Stylish (2013), and a premiere e-luxury pop up shop.  There is no question as to why she is considered one of the most powerful women in India.

“I started the business almost three and a half years ago when I came back to India,” says Qureshi. “I was an avid online shopper and realised there was a gap in the market.” Launched in 2012, Pernia's Pop-Up Shop showcases over 100 designers and is accessible globally. All looks online have been curated by Qureshi and are a combination of eastern and western designs of upcoming and seasoned designers in addition to her namesake label.

The site features an array of options from apparel, accessories, shoes and bags. “There was no place to shop Indian designers online,” she explains. “I started Pernia's Pop-Up Shop to bridge this gap and showcase Indian designers on a global platform.” With little experience in running an online business, Qureshi took it upon herself to master all functions of her business; what some take years to learn. “My main struggles were logistics; HR, “she says. “I didn't really have much work experience. I learnt everything on the job.”


L-R: Qureshin in Nachiket Barve, necklace by Isharya and bag by Radha Priya; Vineet Bahl and earrings by Art Karat 

Dresses by Platnoir and Anand Kabra from Pernia's Pop-Up Shop.
Photo Credit: Pernia Qureshi's Instagram

It was a task to pin down Qureshi’s accomplishments as her accolades are never ending. It all started at the age of six, when Qureshi remembers being in awe of her Pakistani mother’s fashion sense. “I have a very stylish mother,” she says. “I grew up in her shadow, which is an extremely fashionable one.” Qureshi attended George Washington University in the United States where she studied English literature, criminal studies and dance.

A fashion internship at Cosmopolitan magazine led her into the world of fashion. She went on to intern with the best in the fashion industry, starting out as an apprentice for French designer Catherine Malandrino which then led her to Condé Nast where she interned as an assistant stylist working with contributing editor Anna Caruso at Harper’s Bazaar. “It was a learning process and set the foundation in the field of fashion," explains Qureshi. “This experience gave me a solid platform to start my career.”

The Magazine editorials on Pernia's Pop Up Shop.
Photo Credit: Pernia Qureshi Instagram

Hi! Blitz Magazine, December 2015 issue.
Photo Credit: Pernia Qureshi Instagram 

At the start of her professional career Qureshi freelanced as a stylist in New York for Condé Nast and worked with notable Indian fashion designers JJ Valaya and Tarun Tahiliani. She reflects on her experiences with the designers and what she gained from the opportunities. “I learnt from JJ to keep a very friendly atmosphere in office and have a good attitude,” she says. “He’s so pleasant to work with and it goes in his favour.” From Tahliani, she pauses. “I learnt the art of sophisticated and understated styling.” When she returned to New Delhi, India, Qureshi was hired on as stylist for Harper’s Bazaar India.

But glossy page editorials were not enough and she craved for something more than tear sheets. Upon leaving Harper’s she landed a role as the costume designer for Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor in the movie Aisha (2010). “Aisha happened to me right after I graduated, it was very unexpected and I did it as an experiment,” explains Qureshi. “I met Rhea at a party and she asked me if I would be a part of the team," she continues. “And I thought why not?”  

Sonam Kapoor in Aisha (2010).
Photo Credit:

Though Qureshi no longer styles for personal clients she is sought out for her expert opinion on style. She’s recently ventured into the world of acting and can been seen on the silver screen in Muzaffar Ali's Jaanissar (2015). “I am an artist, I have been since a very young age," says Qureshi. “The transition from a dance[r] to an actor felt very natural.” When asked if she feels pressured to have it all, she answers: “I don’t feel any pressure to have it all. I always want to do my best and put out good work. I want to be creatively motivated and satisfied.” 

Main Photo Credit:  Elle India and Pernia Qureshi Instagram

Tessa Johnson


Tessa (@tessajstyle) holds a diploma in Fashion Business Management from George Brown College and has Fashion Coordination and Styling certification from Ryerson University. She has been ANOKHI Magazine’s Fashion Editor for the last four years covering the runways from Toronto to India. Her love...


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