'India is still not a fashion destination'

Designer duo
Last Updated 30 May 2013, 13:52 IST

They have dressed leading sports personalities of the world like Serena Williams, Glen McGrath, Stephen Fleming, Sania Mirza, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan and Bollywood’s A-listers like Hrithik Roshan, Shahrukh Khan, A R Rahman, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone. And, now they are ready to design clothes for young kids. 

The designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil, have come up with a special signature kids line for the winners of Disney Channel’s Jet Set 2! By designing clothes for the winners who will walk the ramp in Mumbai in June, Nikhil says they are planning to foray into kids fashion wear industry and will create their own brand. 

“We are already a part of it. We design clothes for the bride’s brother or sahbala,” says Nikhil, who looks into the creative aspect of the label.  

Shantanu is confident because, “kids fashion is a natural progression. We are a young, urban India where a major proportion of population is between 30-35 who are having kids or will have kids. So, there is a huge market.”

Supporting his brother’s view, Nikhil says, “Youth and kids have become fashionable today. Accordingly, colour palettes, silhouettes and body sizes have also changed.”

These strategies can come only from those who have spent considerable time in the industry and Shantanu and Nikhil are one among them. “Fashion has come a long way in all these years,” says Nikhil. “There has been tremendous growth and fashion has evol­ved in many ways but fashion has still long way to go beca­u­se India is still not a ‘fashion destination’.”

Why not, especially when the number of designers who are taking their brands globally have increased  and fashion shows are now a regular affair. 

“Let’s be honest. India is not a fashion destination because for that we need a strong distribution network. We are talking about organised retail that has to be made strong in all parts of the India. When all these centres get to understand the role of accessibility and marketability, only can fashion be taken seriously,” says Shantanu.

Unlike some of their ilk, Shantanu-Nikhil have not put much effort into the international market but instead are concentrating nationally. “We do a variety of fashion lines but Western and Contemporary comes from us from naturally and this is the trend in our country. So, we are working hard on the domestic front,” says Shantanu. 

This basic understanding has let the designer duo strike a chord with fashion conscious Indians. “We struck that chord 13 years ago through our contemporary fashion line. Initially, we did have trouble doing that but there is no roadblock now,” says Shantanu with a smile. 

(Published 30 May 2013, 13:52 IST)

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