How India is playing muse to global fashion

How India is playing muse to global fashion
How India is playing muse to global fashion

No country in the world is as diverse as ours and no country in the world can imprint indigenous textile and craft history that is still thriving.

It’s a fantastic space to be in. Fashion in India is constantly evolving. On the streets, in its wardrobes, and in the backyards of fashion designers, the nation wants to weave a new story. The numbers and figures are mindboggling in reports. Its one of the few industries and businesses that has seen no recession, and had seen year on year growth. What’s the tale of Indian fashion? No country in the world is as diverse as ours and no country in the world can imprint indigenous textile and craft history that is still thriving.

The pertinent question then is why very few Indian talent have broken through seamlessly into the global designer fashion market. Every other international brand, and design icons have worked extensively with India and its crafts.

Few years ago, Roberto Cavalli confessed in an interview to me: “Every time I think of a new collection India is what comes to my mind first, and that has been the case since the ’70s when I first came visiting to work an all leather collection.”

How India is playing muse to global fashion
How India is playing muse to global fashion
How India is playing muse to global fashion
How India is playing muse to global fashion
Credit: Reuters

How India is playing muse to global fashion

India has played muse like no other country to the fashion world globally.

FDCI just completed 17 years of India Fashion Week (28 editions since inception in 2000) and it has played a huge role in spotting and grooming talent, and in providing the springboard to design talent from all over India to bloom and flourish. The first part of the decade saw the established designers asserting their supremacy and market bandwidth, while interestingly under its current President Sunil Sethi the past eight years has seen young talent find their voice.

Designers that help: How India is playing muse to global fashion

Samant Chauhan, Rahul Mishra, Aneeth Arora, Arjun Saluja, Gaurav Jai Gupta, Pallavi Mohan, Suket Dhir, Amit Aggarwal, Gaurav Gupta are some of the names that have etched their strong identities and market nationally and internationally, and have continued to showcase at the fashion weeks to bring focus to their work that has strong identity and signature reeking of the “Make in India”/ “Made in India” tag.

Designerwear retail is yet to evolve within the country and that to large extent prevents the market from expanding exponentially or bring in the investors. Scalability of the business is paramount for the next story to unfold. Anita Dongre is by far the most successful in establishing a multibrand retail structure with nearly 700 points of sale with – 185 exclusive brand stores and 600 multi-brand large format stores in 84 cities! None come close to that, even though Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra rake in sales of 100 crores plus.

Designers need the vision that would bring in investors to fund manufacturing and retail fronts.

Role Of Indian Handlooms : How India is playing muse to global fashion

The focus on Indian handlooms is surely adding value to the weavers and their efforts but, contextually, it also needs to filter down to employment generation, and sustainability. In 2008, soon after returning from Milan, Rahul Mishra, had confided he would be a global name in the following ten years and he will carve his identity with a strong Indian soul.

He did that in about six years by winning the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, the first Asian to do so, and in the process today has pushed his agenda by selling worldwide through all top end fashion stores. The story that works for him and in India’s favour is his philosophy to engage, employ, empower with concern to environment. This idea can make Indian fashion designers on to a global stage where in the soul of the garments are Indian, yet it could be sold and worn anywhere in the world.

It’s 30 years since the Japanese “Shock Wave” invaded Paris, but it came with a flock of design talent, emerging at the same time. Time is ready and now for young Indian talent to do that. And their armoury is the deep wealth in Indian crafts.

Source: How India is playing muse to global fashion-DailyO

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