Focus on brand building at mens week (Review)

September 5th, 2011 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Karan Johar New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) Branding more important than business seems the mantra for deisgners making men?s wear in the country! There were not too many buyers at the just concluded third edition of the Van Heusen India Mens Week (VHIMW), but connoisseurs of fashion are not complaining as the event provided the right platform to build their brands and create awareness.

“I want to tell you one thing that it is not a business-to-business event right now. In one way, it is, but that is when these designers are approached independently by their clients who have seen their collections either on the ramp or at their stores,? Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India that organised the event, told IANS.

“The sole aim right now is to promote both - brands and designers - and tell the people that our designers are creative and have come out with best possible designs for men in India. So the people should know that men too can wear fashionable clothes. It’s no more a females’ domain,? he added.

Despite being young, the three-day event saw collections from 17 top-notch designers, who brightened up the stage with clothes in earthy tones to red, from seductive blue to funky yellow! In short, the men had it all of it on their side.

Mumbai-based designer Troy Costa, who focused on the nerdy look by dressing models in business suits and accessorising the look with stylish bow-ties and large-framed glasses, is set to open his first flagship store in Mumbai in October.

The young designer isn’t worried about the fact that there were not enough buyers.

“If you are good, business follows. This has always been my mantra. Today, the internet is the biggest buyer, so if someone has liked your collection, they can easily get in touch with you from any part of the world. The fact that men’s fashion week is happening in India, it automatically gives us an excellent platform to reach out to more people,? Costa told IANS.

Manoviraj Khosla too feels that the men’s fashion week is “more of a brand establishment platform. People read in newspapers and magazines or watch your collection online or on TV, the word is spread - so the people who want to buy will come to you automatically”.

Interestingly, the event had very few Bollywood faces and, therefore, the focus remained on the garments and the designers. And for the mother-daughter duo of Ankita and Anjana Bhargav, who presented a casual and chic line for men, taking part in the men’s fashion week make sense.

“It is a great platform because the people we are targeting are watching the show. We are not looking at the mass market, we want intelligent buyers who understand fashion. This event exposes you to a larger audience and hence, business follows,? said Anjana.

The event also kept to its promise of throwing up fashion trends for men. So whether it was teaming up a simple kurta with a torn-jean or a Nehru-collar jacket or waist-coats with dhotis or Jodhpuris - the men’s fashion evolved with each presentation.

If the main wardrobe was taken care of, accessories too were in focus and designers used rounds hats, funky glares, a lot of metal, scarves and bags as the props.

Designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Ashish Soni, Arjun Khanna, Rajvi Mohan, Shantanu and Nikhil, Krishna Mehta, Varun Bahl+Karan Johar and Zubair Kirmani showcased at the gala event.

Importantly, all the designers focused on the wearability factor of their garments and accessories.

“We want our clothes to be wearable. This is very important because designer men’s wear in India is already a niche market. So if you are making something for men, it has to be wearable which they can wear on any occasion. So whether it is evening wear or club wear, the clothes should be such that they stand out by little mixing and matching,? said Ankita.

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