Return to Main Site

Anila Dhanak

Profile of a Fashion Designer

Winner of Huw Williams Tribute Award for Innovation


Anila d/o of  Shree Pranlal Mavji Devji of Nairobi, Kenya won an Award for Innovation at the 2005  LFF Profile 6  Fashion Show. Her success goes back to her upbringing in Nairobi.  Father Pranlalbhai instilled in all of their children the desire to succeed as he himself overcame many challenges in his life and taught the children not to be afraid of the hurdles that life puts in front of them.


 Anila had always been interested in fashion.  While working in their family jewellery shop, she worked on her own designs and won an international fashion competition.  She came to the UK in 1996 to study and also met her future husband Mitesh Ramji Devraj Dhanak.  He came to UK from Kampala, Uganda in 1972 and has lived in Sittingbourne, Kent since.

She started a company Melanka & Me in partnership with her college friend, Feride Aydemir in January 2005.  Anila and Feride both graduated from the University College for the Creative Arts in 2001 and worked in a series of jobs in the fashion industry.  She worked for Karen Millen, Jenny Packham and Bruce Oldfield in order to gain a broad experience of the industry.  While Anila and Feride both enjoyed working at these firms, their desire was to start their own label.

Anila and Feride launched Melanka and Me Label as women’s and children’s wear label.  The aim was to create refreshingly feminine and unique pieces that celebrated culture, colour and fabric.  Each piece is unusual, individual and beautifully made. Their creations emanate style and elegance with a twist of vintage.



LFFLondon Fashion Forum
Winners of Huw Williams Tribute Award for Innovation

Profile is a trade event which showcases new and vibrant ladieswear, menswear and accessory designers. The event combines a trade exhibition, catwalk show and competition

The total event from trade show to fashion catwalk theatre was heralded as a huge success by designers, attendees and sponsors alike. It was fantastic to see representatives from the Mayors office, Creative London, DCMS attend too. The closer the links Government bodies have with industry the better! The unprecedented support this season from industry shows that Profile has made it onto the fashion books. With a new edge every six months Profile exceeds boundaries and expectations bringing much sort after razz-a-matazto fashion. The days of moody models down a catwalk are over the industry needs excitement with a twist and that's exactly where Profile delivers!    

Melanka & Me - Photo by C.M. Photography

Melanka & Me is a celebration of colour, fabric and cultures.  Handmade in England, the collections of womenswear and childrenswear are one-off designer garments that use luxurious silks, cottons and linen in unusual colour combinations and prints.  The creative cut, detail and fit reflect the demands of today. 

At this year’s London Fashion Forum Profile show, Anila and her friend were thrilled to win the prestigious Huw Williams Tribute Award for Innovation.  The judging panel was led by Isabella Blow and Gerry Deveux – two leading figures in the fashion world.  Isabella has taken a personal interest in their clothes.  She is the Fashion Director at Tatler magazine and is credited with discovering the designer Alexander McQueen. 

Their web-site ( shows some of their clothes. They are in the process of agreeing more retail outlets for Spring/Summer 2006. They are currently stocked at boutiques in Kent and Leamington Spa.


This is indeed is a fantastic achievement and will make all Pattni members extremely proud of the progress made in the field of fashion. We wish Anila the very best and hope she will take her career to a new high.