Abu Jani was born and raised in Mumbai to an affluent Bohra Muslim family. Mumbai was and arguably still remains India's most cosmopolitan city, thanks to its being the financial and glamour capital of the country. From an early age, Abu was exposed to a high style world filled with sophisticated women, cinema and wealth. He wasn't academic, his textbooks filled with doodles and sketches, early signs of the born artist. After graduating from high school he applied to enter Art School but was rejected. A blessing in disguise since it allowed him to move towards the field of Fashion design.
Initially, Abu worked with designer Xerxes Bhatena, a successful film costume designer. He worked with him for five years before branching out on his own. Abu designed all the costumes for the acclaimed musicals Grease Lightning and Alyque Padamsee’s, Evita. The garment export trade came next where he was exposed to embroideries for the first time. It was here that the seeds of a lifelong passion for the finest stitch were sown. The mid 1980s saw Abu freelancing as a ghost designer for several prominent ladies who specialised in exhibitions of pret a porter fashion. His reputation was growing and one of his clients, Gopi Magnani offered to fund a boutique for him. The Summer of 1986 witnessed a chance meeting between Abu and Sandeep. It took only hours for them to strike a creative and personal rapport that they have referred to as "magnetic". A pull that made them decide instantly to combine forces. Their first collaboration a signature collection, which they named, ‘Mata Hari’. And with it the birth of India's leading Couture House.
Abu Jani is a man of reticence and zen-like self-containment. He credits Sandeep Khosla for being the one who dared to 'Go for the bigger dream " since he is cautious by nature. A style icon himself, Abu is passionate about Fine Living, Food, Horlogerie and Antique Jewellery.
Sandeep Khosla is a son of Kapurthala, an erstwhile Principality of Punjab. He attended The Doon School, one of India's most prestigious public schools, where he excelled at the extra curricular, including theatre, tie and dye, batik, drawing, painting and carpentry.
An initial foray into the family leather business where he specialized in carving on leather and dying techniques, to experimenting with fabrics bought from his stipend, which incorporated a mixture of tie and dye, harem pants and satins, is how the Fashion bug first bit Sandeep. A brief stint with an exporter afforded him hands on experience at working with a variety of fabrics and learning the A,B,C's of garment manufacturing. He left Kapurthala to live in Delhi for a year, where he launched his own label "Limelight, which retailed at a popular boutique called ‘Appearances’. A decision to move to Mumbai found him, by sheer coincidence, working with Xerxes Bhatena, the same designer who had given Abu his first break. August, 1986 brought a chance meeting with Abu at a mutual friend's home. And the rest as they say is History.
Sandeep is a born extrovert and possesses an entrepreneurial flair. He gravitates towards risk-taking, something which has helped propel the ambition shared by the duo. He is an Art aficionado and is an inveterate Traveller and CInema buff.