New Cut: Retailers And Designers Come Closer

Mumbai: | Updated: Jan 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
The next time you decide on loosening your purse strings to acquire a new look, be assured that there are options waiting to be explored. Thats because organised retailers and fashion designers are now tailoring a host of new gameplans to provide that extra choice to the fashion conscious women in India.

Why now and whats really been different till date one may ask Well, here goes a view from BS Nagesh, managing director, Shoppers Stop Ltd: Currently, there are very few options available for westernised Indian women when it comes to shopping for the right kind of branded outfit. Further, fashion designers and retail experts opine -talk of shopping for womens wears and the westernised apparels are showcased more on the ramps than on the shopping windows.

Moreover, Mr.Nagesh affirms that the market for western outfits for women is now on an upswing and this implies that even the traditional Indian women is now ready to switch-over from the conventional wears to clothes that are contemporary and aesthetic.

As for the role of fashion designers, says Mr Ashish Soni, a leading fashion designer based in Delhi:Those consumers from the upper middle class segment whom we would have earlier written-off as belonging to the Salwar Kameez Dupatta (SKD) category is also on a look out for a wider array of outfits irrespective of the price rangeall because it can lend a touch of class of modernity. And this is precisely what we are trying to render through our own imaginative designs.

But how do the retail players plan to tap the untapped opportunity This will be made possible with the proliferation of the number of malls that offer more western labels with a whole range of value propositions,says Mr.Nagesh.

However, retail professionals believe that although, the upper middle class segment is on a look out for trendy western wears, the fact remains that even the retail and the manufacturing fraternity lacks the requisite knowledge and understanding about international brands.

Says Mr Chetan Shah, managing director, PJL Clothing (India) Ltd: It is not only the lack of adequate availability of westernised outfits for Indian women, which makes them a neglected lot, but also the inadequate knowledge about various international branded westernised women outfits among retailers and manufacturers in lending the Indian women that extra choice.

According Mr.Shah, things are now a changing what with manufacturers and retailers focussing at both knowledge and creativity in designing the branded outfits so as to meet the evolving needs of westernised Indian women. So lets watch out whether the retail fraternity and fashion designers can really be successful in practicing what they preach, specially when it comes to offering the desi women an array of international choice.