Greetings,Here’s what struck me when I was watching a show called “The Achiever’s Club”, and the guest being interviewed was (and continues to be) one of India’s top designers:Sabyasachi Mukherjee-Fashion doesn’t fulfill it’s purpose if only a handful of people get to enjoy it.
Mr.Mukherjee graduated from NIFT, and makes brilliant Indian garments.In fact, his first show was such a success that he became an overnight sensation, and all the Bollywood actors love his designs.Here’s what I love about his venture:The fact that his clothes,( which are 100% Indian) has so many wearers.I love that he is trying portray Indian garments in such a aesthetic yet, modern way that women out here, buy his designs.
In today’s India, where most of the people want to own Gucci Bags, Jimmy Choos or Fendi belts, Sabyasachi has an entire clientele who wait to wear his Lehengas,Sarees and Anarkalis.
Another thing I learnt from watching this particular interview, is the importance of the “business” aspect of a fashion venture.When a person thinks about fashion, the first thing that comes to a person’s mind would be:Six feet tall,skinny models,8 inch stilettos and a long runway with gleaming sets, and themed music.
But, here’s a question:Is this really what fashion is about?
To make my question a little more clearer, I’d like to tell you what Sabyasachi said when the interviewer asked him why he made saris only for the upper class, his response was that a business like his would boom initially, only when it catered to that segment of the market.It would slowly gain recognition and then percolate to other segments.
This statement,however true it was, led me to asking myself the above question.Like I’ve said, I’va always wanted to be a designer, but now’s not the time.I don’t come from a extravagantly rich family, my mom and dad are well-off, but this fashion business which I have in mind,should solely be my effort,my money and my determination.And to get there, I need to answer the question that kind of, well, haunted me.
Here’s the answer:Fashion isn’t about the best outfit,alone.(Although so many critics would disagree with me,so many fashionistas may judge me)
Fashion isn’t just for the rich, or the semi-rich.In the status quo, we’ve been led to believe that only a handful of people can buy branded clothes, I believe,very strongly, that fashion would be so much more meaningful, when everyone can access it.After all, all of us want to make a good impression, we all want to look good,whenever possible,so what’s the point of fashion, if it’s not available to everyone?It would mean so much,to make clothes fairly priced so that an average women/ man would wear a design,be complimented or smiled at, and in turn , they smile.
They needn’t wear a gown for the Oscars, or the Grammys, but for a normal Christmas party, or a work event.When this happens, I would embrace fashion so much more.
Sure, the entire business aspect would clash with my views, but think about this.No-one’s asking a designer to price a Rs.50,000($935) dress for Rs.10,000($187) design, but simply make even lower end design look great, so the customer would be elated.
After all, Exclusivity , however important to a designer,shouldn’t be the first preference.
So,Equal Access,is all I’m saying.
Again, from a business perspective, selling five Rs.10,000 dresses is going to fetch you the same cash, and when the public realize that you’re giving them a rather high-end product for a more, fair amount, they will rush to your stores.
To be continued, when I look at more designer interviews, and when I give you more statistics and data in my next post.
Thank you for reading!