Indian designers unfazed by Hermes sari plans

October 16th, 2011 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) With French luxury brand Hermes launching a limited edition sari range, designers in India feel this will bring healthy competition in the market. They believe it will open the doors for extra creativity and experimentation.

“If they are launching saris in India then it is definitely for the Indian market. Of course, they have understood the taste and what kind of customer they want to target; so it will really be fun to watch,” designer Samant Chauhan told IANS.

“Also, it will be beneficial for the Indian designers because it will increase competition and somehow it will push them to bring on new and experimental things in their designs,” he added.

Hermes India had opened its first store in India in 2008 in the Oberoi hotel and after recently opening another store in Mumbai, it has launched these exclusive saris.

There are a total of 28 saris that are priced between Rs.300,000 and Rs.400,000, making the choice restricted to the wealthy lot.

Designer Anand Bhushan, a known name in the fashion world in Delhi and Mumbai, feels such a move is welcomed in the world of cut-throat competition.

“We have been taking our clothes internationally and selling it around the globe to their women. So they too are entitled to do the same. It’s cut-throat business and you take it as it comes. The only thing an Indian designer can do is to make a more interesting and creative collection,” he said.

But this is not the first attempt by the international luxury chains to woo the Indian audience. In the past, luxury brands such as Etro, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna have rolled out India-inspired products. From clutches and watches to shoes and jackets - they want to woo the Indian customer with the Indian stamp.

But Hermes is the first ever luxury label to introduce a complete sari range.

Before this, Italian designer Valentino had designed a sari dress for Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy in the 1950’s. About five decades later in 2008, French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier had showcased a line of sari dresses in his spring summer collection.

Designer Charu Parashar feels that Indian saris are considered as the global attire and an international brand taking inspiration from the dress is a great idea.

“Indian saris are such a classic way of drape that if Hermes has taken a step to adapt it, it’s great. I think saris are something that is never going to go out of fashion; so the more the merrier. There are 100 ways of doing sari; so it really doesn’t matter,” she said.

“However, it’s great that international designers are doing saris and I think competition is always healthier. If you don’t have competition then you will be dead,” she said.

Designer Anupama Dayal feels Indians are biased towards international brands because though the saris are very expensive yet there will be takers.

“I really wonder why spending becomes restricted when a person has to choose between an Indian designer and an international brand. We are still at a point where Indian designer wear is very reasonably priced and what you are getting is treasure,” she said.

“Indian designer brands are priced according to our quality, aesthetics, but we are not less than international brands. So my advice to people is to buy us while you still can,” she added.

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