Fashion Designer

Burberry targets Indian high net worth individuals

British luxury brand Burberry is making a concerted effort to reach out to high net worth individuals (HNIs) in India and China, even as investors have hammered the company’s stock 30% since July due to its expansion plans in Asia.


Angela Ahrendts, the American CEO of the 155-year-old firm, said the company is relying on social media to connect with Asian HNIs who are on average 15 years younger than their counterparts in the developed economies. She said the company is also aligning its product mix for these markets.



“In India, there is a very strong male market, as in China, so we have had to relook at our men’s offering. We are listening to our customers here, and have started our accessories business,” Ahrendts said. Asia contributes a third to the revenues to the company, which sells trench coats, scarves and umbrellas with a unique tartan pattern, besides fragrance and fashion accessories.


Ahrendts said Asia’s share is set to rise further, with countries like India and China producing more billionaires than the rest of the world. “China is one of the fastest growing markets in the world…growing at the same rate as India.


But it has a 30-year headstart,” Ahrendts said, comparing the firm’s 60 stores across China with the seven in India. “We have a five-year plan for India, of which we have barely covered half. But we expect India to be a big market.”


In India, Burberry already has more than half a million Facebook fans. Apart from its Facebook and Twitter campaigns, in China the company is using four local social media sites. Burberry has changed its global product as well as marketing strategy in accordance with the demographic changes in these growth markets.


In the last two years, the company has added new product categories to its catalogue like menswear, men’s accessories and fragrances. The products have been added to the global portfolio as a lot of Burberry’s buyers travel around the globe and make purchases there.


“These buyers will look for the same products, though their counterparts in some other markets may be looking for something else,” she explained. Ahrendts said she expected the key markets within China to outperform the country as a whole.

“We are not focused on China the way everyone is perceiving right now,” she explained, “I have told investors that just because they see that the growth in China is dipping from 9% to 8%, does not mean everybody needs to panic. It is a big country. Those are aggregate numbers.


The big flagship markets that people are migrating into like Beijing and Shanghai are typically in a higher growth than the country is.” The CEO said she was confident that the flagship markets would continue to grow. “That is one reason we decided in the beginning to target the millennium consumers,” she said.


“Our experience is that the HNIs the world over are recession-proof. We don’t have 80% of our products in one division. That would scare me. We are also very balanced by product and region.” However, she added that the company was well prepared for a downturn if there is one.


Originally published in the Economic Times dated October 11th, 2011, the Economic Times Bureau, New Delhi.

Fashion Designer

Retro-Chic Rules, Indian Designers Go Back To Roots

Raw silk, cotton, jute, Indias traditional fabrics are finding favour among top designers raring to break new ground in the highly competitive Indian fashion market.


The tendency to ape Western cuts and style in recent years has seen the country’s own rich craftsmanship take a backseat.


But a reversal in the trend was evident at this year’s Wills India Fashion Week, where classic couturier Tarun Tahiliani marked the return to traditional craft with hand-made Indian fabrics and embroidery in his signature draping style.


“I consciously used Indian fabric. I feel we’ve been a little too Western,” Tahiliani said after his show at the event, one of the two most prestigious events on the Indian fashion calendar. Tahiliani’s theme at the show was “Return to The Craft” highlighting qualities that he said had been lost in the “hyper-explosion of brands, stores, distribution and price wars”. In keeping with his theme, the designer showcased gilets (sleeveless jackets) over tiny T-shirts, sarongs and his trademark sari drapes held together by embroidered belts. Tahiliani, whose previous shows had a more international flavour, is not alone in his new-found mission.


A host of upcoming and promising designers are looking to affirm their cultural heritage and break free from the Western mould to carve out “Indian” identities.


Samant Chauhan, from the impoverished eastern state of Bihar, is trying to revive the handloom industry by focusing on raw silk and making it appealing to the global market.


Another example is designer Nitin Bal Chauhan, who gave up a scholarship offer to study fashion abroad and went back to his village in northern Himachal Pradesh, where the skills of local craftsmen were dying.


“I have been promoting raw silk and using it a lot in texturing, interlacing and knits to create layered outfits,” said Samant Chauhan. “The silk I use has been hand-woven and made from an eco-friendly process without the use of any dyes. “I have been working on raw silk ever since I was in college because I could see that the craftsmen, in spite of being so talented, were not getting their due. So I decided to do something about it through my work.”


Samant Chauhan said designers need not look westwards for inspiration as India has a rich history of craftsmanship.


“Our designs are so intricate and rich that international designers can never match us. We must take our traditional craftsmanship forward and present it in a way that it is liked in the international market,” he said.


Tahiliani, whose elaborate golden bridal outfit for Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty was a hit among wealthy socialites, said most designers resisted working with handloom materials because they do not “construct too well.” “It is beautiful to wear as a sari or as a dupatta (stole), but if you want to make different clothes with it, you can’t. You can’t have perfect fits with handloom as it doesn’t mould like the fabrics you get abroad.


“In fact, our fabrics were never made for tailoring. And I like my clothes to be structured. For me structure and fit are very important. So I have used quilting in my clothes this season.


“We need to reinvent Indian crafts and churn it up for something new. A lot of Indian designers are now moving towards using Indian fabrics and designs with a western touch.”

Fashion Designer

Looking fashionable can also be affordable



Another important source for western casuals selling on Indian streets are cheap imports from the US and Europe. “These clothes are brought into India, cleaned properly and then is sold across the country,” says Ravi Shankar Rao, managing director of Magenta Fashions, a Noida-based export house.


There are also retail companies such as Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloon Retail and online firms like Yepme and Myntra that ink distribution deals with Bollywood production companies to roll out fashion clothing inspired by films.


Once those designs reach the organized retail market, it does not only make fashion clothing accessible to consumers at an affordable rates, but also helps the unorganized or fake marketers to produce copies at even cheaper price.


This article was originally published in the Economic Times dated 13th May, 2013, written by Vijaya Rathore, associated with the Economic Times Bureau.

Fashion Designer

Designers: The Gods of Fashion Industry

Fashion designers help create the billions of clothing articles, shoes, and accessories purchased every year by consumers. Fashion designers working for apparel wholesalers or manufacturers create designs for the mass market. Fashion designers are the people who create the elegant, whimsical, fun, silly, and often expensive clothes we see parading down runways twice a year. Fashion designers design and create clothing and accessories for men, women and children. Some high-fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores.



Fashion design is the applied art dedicated to the design of clothing and lifestyle accessories created within the cultural and social influences of a specific time. Fashion designers have brought about a storm in this glamour world with their commendably fabulous variety. Fashion industry has always welcomed new talent giving rise to the budding stars of tomorrow. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.


Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Throughout the early 20th century, practically all high fashion originated in Paris, and to a lesser extent London. At this time in fashion history the division between haute couture and ready-to-wear was not sharply defined.




Designers know they have this power, and will continue to use it to influence global fashions throughout the eras. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions for the mass market. Designer brands which have a ‘name’ as their brand such as Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a designer director. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.


Popular Western styles were adopted all over the world, and many designers from outside of the West had a profound impact on fashion. Currently, modern fashion has seen a reference to technology such as designers Hussein Chalayan and Miuccia Prada who have introduced industrial textiles and modern technology into their fall collections. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by the famous names in fashion. Increasingly, many modern high-end designers are now beginning to turn to mass market retailers to produce lower-priced merchandise, and to broaden their customer base. Perhaps most importantly, designers use their imaginations to come up with new ideas.


There are a number of well known fashion design schools worldwide. Most fashion design courses last for three years. As well as teaching students about the artistic and technical side of the subject, some courses include a year working in the fashion industry, to give students a taste of commercial fashion design. Others offer the chance to visit fashion houses abroad.

Fashion Designer

Reclaiming the Substance of Clothing : The Surreal Spectacle of Lady Gaga

This paper is motivated by the spectacular appearances of Lady Gaga, and the frequent misconception of her as a split personality and artificial copycat. The aim of the paper is to explore the difference between fashion as image and fashion as embodied experience, in an attempt to reclaim the substance of clothing. Although reclaiming the substance of clothing through an analysis of spectacular appearances may seem like a contradiction, it is possible by combining practical experience with philosophical considerations of clothes in conjunction with the act of dressing. Adapting a phenomenological perspective enables us to consider clothes as objects and their significance to human life. Through Surrealism’s original engagement with fashion, we come to understand fashion and its instruments as the correlation between objects of the mind and the real world. Through a philosophical notion of the depth of life revealed in the spectacle, it all comes together, as I argue that Lady Gaga, through her engagement with clothes reclaims the substance of clothing.




It is often said that fashion is a superficial pursuit of the vain. As if being conscious about ones appearance is a one-dimensional and shallow affair. I argue that there is nothing superficial about fashion itself, but that one can choose to have a superficial engagement with fashion.


This article was originally published in “Fashion Colloquia – London, September, 2011”.

Fashion Designer

First Ladies of USA – The Style Icons

First ladies of America have a history of being ‘style icons’. Their style is imitated by women all over the world. Jacqueline Kennedy, the thirty fifth first lady of America, was a fashion symbol for the country. She was popular for her bright colored evening gowns. The wife of the sixteenth President of USA (Abraham Lincoln) had an exotic taste for clothing. But her dressing sense could be termed ‘overdressed’. She wore expensive clothes that attracted positive as well as negative attention.

American women have copied the likes of their first ladies and rejected their dislikes. Bustle gowns completely lost its place in USA; simply because a rumor spread in the country that Frances Cleveland, the twenty seventh first lady of USA, did not like to wear bustle gowns and she was not going to wear them anymore. First ladies were dressed exotically all the time. The current first lady of USA, Michelle Obama, is also no less a style icon! She fearlessly wears bright colored clothes, despite her complexion.

Fashion Designer

Selecting the Right Apparel: The Buddha Approach

Why would Buddha go for shopping anytime? What does he has to do with apparel selection? Here are eight facts, like the eight fold path, to be considered while selecting the right type of fabric or apparel.


Evaluating the Wardrobe:


Before planning for shopping, it is essential to check out the wardrobe. Otherwise the shopper ends up spending money for nothing. Checking out the apparels in the wardrobe will enable a person to access the available costumes and will help in further planning.


Choosing the right type of Fabric:


Fabric selection can be little complex. One should select the fabric according to the climate, occasion and the wearers own body structure. A right type of fabric will enhance the look of the person, whereas a wrong selection will work otherwise. Various fabrics such as tulle, organza, satin, lace, chiffon, and taffeta are available, which will give a shining look to the apparel. Embellished with beads, appliqu, and sequins, the apparels will all the more appealing. The fabric should be selected in a way that it complements with the style of the apparel. A slim cut dress requires a smooth fabric with flat surface, while chiffon or satin would be good for a costume with layers.



Apparel should complement with the wearers physique:


Garments should be chosen in a way so as to enhance the appearance of the person. Apparels with dark hues will give a slimming effect as they absorb rays and give an illusion of thin appearance. Wearing apparel which has the same color from top to bottom will elongate the slim look, but care should be taken to select only dark and neutral hues. For women with skinny legs a mid calf skirt with a hem that stops at the shapeliest part of the calf will look good.


Choose the Apparel which has a Right Fit:


Everyone is not gifted with a physique that goes with all types of style and fabric. Apparels should have the right fit. Bigger clothes will make a person look bigger, especially if the person is having a fuller figure. Similarly, tighter clothes will give a squeezed in look which will give a bigger and ridiculous appearance to the wearer.


Right Budget:


This in fact is the most important factor that manipulates the buying decisions. A casual dress does not require an extravagant amount of money. A simple can be made to look ravishing with the right combination of accessories. Formal attire would require much concern and cash, as it defines the wearers personality in the work place, and other official get to gathers. Depending on the type of profession, the right type of outfit should be purchased.


Complementing with the Right Accessories:


Accessories are obligatory to complement with clothing. It gives a fashionable and stylish appearance, while harmonizing ones personality. A wide range of accessories are available for both men and women. Scarves, handbags, earrings, etc are available for women, while wallet, tie pins, and bracelets are available for men. Ankle bracelets will be a complementing accessory for a woman. Thin and feminine anklets will give a flattering look. A right selection of accessories will adorn a person with both professional and fashionable look.

Fashion Designer

Saris from Tamilnadu

India is a diverse country and the uniqueness of this nation is a garment called SAREE OR SARI, draped by the Indian women. The draping style of the sari is different in every state as well as by different communities. The Sari can be worn over a choli or blouse which forms the upper garment and can be draped around a lower garment the petticoat.


Saris form the culture in India and each State and its many regions are known for their specific saris. A sari makes a women complete by its drape, accentuating her feminine curves, yet giving her altogether a graceful touch.


The border style isoneof the basic points of distinguish between different sarees from the South Indian region. While contrasting wide borders are popular styles for some of these varieties, there are others with borders not wider than 1 inch. Wrap patterning, dyeing and weaving are the popular practices for designing different types of borders for these sarees.


Coimbatore Sarees:


Coimbatore is the North West region of the state of Tamil Nadu and produces a very fine cotton cloth in an amazing range of traditional and artisan styles. The sarees are all 48″ width or more and the standard six yards. Soft cotton handloom sarees are the specialty of Coimbatore.


Chettinad Sarees:


Chettinad is a region of the Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state, India. Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad. The uniqueness of these sarees is their bold colors and patterns of checks and stripes in contrasting hues. These sarees are slightly heavier or rather thick and that is one of the reason they are not so much in demand in this fast modern lifestyles.

Fashion Designer

Enduring Fashion Inspiration I – Egypt

Egypt is a country of kingship and divinity. 5000 years of civilization has contributed to their cultural heritage. Ancient Egyptians loved fashionable clothes and fashion related accessories. Egyptian clothing style is simple and elegant. They are more focused in grooming their appearance, and their clothing is designed, crafted, and worn with great thought and care. Their choice of clothing endowed Egypt with a unique place in the fashion industry.

Apparels of Egypt are designed to be light weight to suit the hot climate of the country. A vast majority of their clothes are made from plant fibres. They wore clothes made of linen throughout the hot weather. Today, fashion trends change in a wink. But in the 5000 year old Egyptian history, fashion has changed very little. During the Old Kingdom, people wore simple garments without much sewing. Egyptian clothes were mostly of the draping type, held in place by knots, and waist belts placed in the fabric itself. Mostly white in shade, people of the higher society wore long, pleated, and see-through robes.

Fashion designers from across the globe take their inspiration today from Egyptian styles to create their dream collection. The Egyptian cannon or proportion, the aesthetic of strong muscular shoulder and attention to proportional balance is adopted by designers. The biggest of Egyptian influences on contemporary fashion trends is the feminine silhouette.

Fashion Designer

Design a Line of Party Wear Garment by Using Nature as a Theme & Zodiac signs as an Inspiration

The study was under taken to design a line of party wear garments by using nature as a theme and zodiac as an inspiration to prepare a range of cocktail dresses for college going girls. A cocktail dress or cocktail gown is a short-length ladies gown worn at cocktail parties and other semi-formal occasions. In this study, the first questionnaire was filled by 100 college going girls of 6 different colleges in Moradabad.

After that design for party wear dresses and bags were selected from respondent preferences. Further, in 12 zodiac category dresses based on zodiac colors were rendered on fashion croquies. So during this practice 36 fashion croquies were prepared which means in each zodiac sign, 3 dresses of the same zodiac color were rendered. After that survey was done to select 1 dress in each zodiac sign on the basis of aesthetic appeal, uniqueness and style.

Than 12 zodiac dresses were stitched, these dresses were complimented with potli bags, over which quilting and stencil printing of zodiac signs was done. Finally, the line is evaluated among college going girls of Moradabad on the basis of cost, marketability & rank. So now you are ready to go in a glamorous cocktail party is still in a fantastic way to entertain.