Indian designers should modernise, not westernise: Manish Arora

March 25th, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Known for his flamboyant and futuristic designs and creative skills, designer Manish Arora feels that Indian designers are still confused between the modernization and the westernization of their garments, which in turn hampers their growth internationally.
“All Indian designers need to understand the fact that in order to excel in the international market, we all have to focus on the modernity of the garment and not on the Western look. This means that we have to take Western ideas and use Indian sensibilities to make it a global product,” Arora suggested while speaking at the International Herald Tribune Sustainable Luxury Summit here Wednesday.

“Unfortunately most of the Indian designers are confused between these two different terms, which in turn affects their global presence,” he added.

The session, on “Building a global Indian Brand” also focused on the fact that collaborating with various brands also helps in creating an international brand image for a designer.

Arora has collaborated for the ‘Fish Fry’ brand with Reebok under which he has created women’s party wear shoes. Apart from this, he is associated with brands like cosmetics giant MAC, Walt Disney, Nivea and a few more.

“Creative collaborations do help in building a brand and make your global presence felt. To be a known face in the international market is not an easy job but these associations with big names gives you loads of exposure and also helps you personally to use your creativity in a different manner,” Arora maintained.

“The first step towards this brand building is to know where you excel and what your vision is. You have to be creative enough to sustain the value of that brand,” he added.

The maverick designer also felt that a new star will be born after the recession as it is a testing time for every designer to excel in their creative skills.

“Right now, consumers are buying those items that give them value for money. So, we(designers) have to roll up our sleeves and offer them the best thing. It is a testing time for creativity also. Not everyone can survive,” Arora said.

In this context, developing multiple lines was also important, he pointed out.

“Understanding your customer is also very important to sell your brand globally. The collection which we show on the runway is just a concept. You then build on that theme and make different lines suiting customers from different regions. What sells in Japan doesn’t sell in the Middle East. Designers have to understand this,” he added.

Arora also felt that it was high time for all Indian designers to explore different embroidery and textiles as Indians know this art better than anyone in this world.

“It is very unfortunate that when various countries are focusing on Indian embroidery, we are aping the West. We were born with certain skills, so we all should try to reinvent this traditional craft of India and use it in the best possible way,” he contended.

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