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Fashion Designer

High-street labels roll out made-to-measure outfits

High-street labels like Armani, Gucci & Zegna roll out made-to-measure outfits to suit unshapely Indians

 

It was only a matter of time before they hit the middle ground. But the Italians were uncompromising to begin with – in such things Rome draws the line, they said – and fervently hoped Indians would lose the stomach for anything bigger. We held on, now the Italians are back, with a tape and a tailor in tow.
In a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how the Armanis, Guccis and the Zegnas of Italian high-street fashion lost their war with the stubborn Indian potbelly as they set out to clothe one of the biggest emerging markets for Rs 1 lakh-plus suits and trousers. As the realisation sunk in that India’s wealthiest men – from Altamount Road’s pedigreed industrialists to Gurgaon’s nouveau riche builders – are so unshapely for their dapper ready-made suits, the Romans have decided to stretch that famous Italian stitch a bit more.
Enter MTM (made-to-measure) offerings – clothing that is sewn to fit each customer individually. A typical Armani or Zegna suit will come for Rs 1 lakh, if you are unwilling to go easy on the desi ghee stuff, no problem, but be willing to shell out Rs 30,000 more for an MTM one of your favourite brand.

 

Armani, Gucci, Zegna, Corneliani, Canali, you name it, the MTM offering comes alongside these days, even for the very British Burberry’s.
Big demand for 48-52 waist sizes
Canali, which is a popular brand among the youth, had a team of stylists fly down from Italy for an MTM event recently.
A store manager told ET the average Indian waist size is between 40 and 44 inches, but there is a big demand for larger sizes between 48 and 52. “Many of my clients, which include top businessmen whom I cannot name, order suits and have to wait for two months for them to be delivered from Italy, and they pay 20-25% more,” he says. “Most of the classic luxury menswear brands get 50-52 sizes in India,” says Salesh Grover, business head of OSL Luxury, a Delhi-based firm that sells Corneliani.
“When a shopper spends that kind of money to buy a suit, he does not mind paying 20-25% more for made-to-measure to get that perfect fit,” says a Zegna spokesperson in India. Zegna is aggressively promoting its made-to-measure suits. “This service will help us reach out to consumers in markets where we do not have stores,” Gildo Zegna, chief executive of Ermenegildo Zegna, which has a 51:49 joint venture with Reliance Retail in India, had told ET in an interview a month ago.
Corneliani has begun to offer its customers a range of fabrics that are sent to its headquarters in Mantua, where the garment is cut, sewn and delivered in three weeks at a starting price of Rs 1.25 lakh, costlier than ready-to-wear pieces. An MTM usually comes with the personalised service offered by the staff, a selection of fabric, stitching at the headquarters, and also the client’s initials at times.

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Fashion Designer

The End of Old Luxury and the Rise of the New Paradigms of Fashion

The aim of this talk is to focus on the future paradigms of the fashion world: creativity and innovation, sustainability and beauty, the richness of differences, local roots. The future opportunities of menswear (and the fashion business in general) are to be identified in the fine tuning of ethics and aesthetics, sustainability and talent, so to search for a model of excellence that is founded on the passion for making things, on the quality of relationships and suggesting links that will release the beauty and quality of life. The Italian Renaissance model is pivotal: some case histories of Italian fashion companies will be described in order to show how its possible to shift from the concept of luxury to the idea of taste.

 

The End of Old Luxury

 

Todays fashion system is undergoing radical changes, both in terms of economy and ideas. In order to fully understand the current evolution, it is necessary to retrace the dynamics that in recent years have characterized this sector, recognizing the pre-crisis and post-crisis phases.

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Fashion Designer

A Review on Midlife Body Changes and Clothing Needs

Indian women of 35-55 years of age witness many physical changes in the body. These body changes causes shift in clothing patterns and apparel preferences. These women require major adjustment in the available readymade garments which have many fitting problems. Younger women are lapping up the merchandise on offer by the women’s apparel brand but the mature women are still hesitant in accepting the readymade garments because sizes and dimensions of the readymade garments are not suitable for their body. This is the reason why this age group still prefer customized fitting of their garments. The present paper deals with the reviews on midlife body changes and clothing needs of the people.

 

Introduction

 

Demographic studies all around the world show that the world is ageing. Population aging is going to be most prominent global phenomenon of the 21st century. This process of aging is going to continue for next few decades. Median age that divides the population of the country in half, is an indicator of aging of the population, is also gradually increasing. Europe has the median age of 39 years and Japan which has the worlds oldest population has median age 43 years. Median age for India is 26.2 years and China has a median age of 33 years.

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Fashion Designer

Europe Vs US : fashion wars

Fashion brands from Europe and US are at war when it comes to attracting their customers online, in China, Brazil, Russia and a few other emerging markets. A survey take by The Digital Luxury Group, states that European brands do a better business in attracting customers online and in the emerging BRIC markets. American brands are lagging behind when it comes to emerging markets.

Regarding US fashion brands, only 7.5% of global searches are from BRIC countries. 69.8% are from the US itself, and 20.7% are from Europe. On the contrary, 30.5% of the searches for European brands are from BRIC countries, 24.7% are from Europe, and 41.5% are from the US. European brands such as Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Gucci, had the most 24.5% share from their home regions. This can be compared with the 30.5% share of the BRIC countries, and 41.5% in the US, and 3.5% in Japan. China remains as one of the primary luxury market at a global level. For fashion brands established or exploring their market in China, recent survey results indicate that sales are slowing down. Chinese market is going through a rapid transformation, and to be successful in the fast changing China, brands require refocusing their attention on China.

There are conventional cultural differences between EU and US. European brands have, and are faring much better than their US counterparts. While Europe is closely associated with high fashion, preppy, casual wear are favored by American brands.

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Fashion Designer

Sustainability to be the Focus of Interstoff Asia Essential Autumn 2012

Interstoff Asia Essential, Hong Kong’s only specialist fashion, functional and eco textile trade fair, opens from 3 – 5 October 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Showcasing the latest fashion, functional and eco textiles and accessories, the three- day event occupies 9,000 sqm of trade space and offers visitors insight into the latest trends and innovations in the world of fabrics.

 

Sustainability is at the heart of this year’s event as, for the first time ever, show organizer Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd teams up with Textile Exchange, Ecotextile News and Planet Textiles to organize the 2012 Sustainable Textiles Conference, which takes place in conjunction with the exhibition on 4 and 5 October. The event will bring together key players and industry leaders to tackle the issue of sustainability in textiles.

 

Attendees can expect to acquire knowledge, while also contributing their own expertise, through a series of plenary and breakout sessions designed to address the specific needs of those within the industry. Topics up for discussion are designed to accelerate sustainable business practices across the board and include innovation in investment and finance, industry alignment on environment, and social impacts and solutions.

Show organizers anticipate the conference to be the premier event of the year for those involved in textile sustainability. Wendy Wen, Trade Fair Director for Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, said: “Interstoff is an important industry platform for buyers worldwide and with garment export in Hong Kong up by two percent in 2011, it is clear the city maintains its position as a sourcing hub in Asia. With this in mind, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to address the important issue of sustainability in textiles at our Hong Kong show.”

 

La Rhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange, adds: “This year’s conference will provide the foundation for attendees to engage in productive conversations aimed at making positive changes across the industry in terms of adopting sustainable business practices. We are pleased to give them the opportunity to share their ideas and play a role in shaping tomorrow’s solutions.”

 

Autumn/Winter 2013/14 trend forecast at show

 

International textile and trend expert Ms Sachiko Inoue from I.S. Planning Japan will present the Autumn/ Winter 2013/14 apparel fabric trends at Interstoff Asia Essential – Autumn running from 3 to 5 October 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

 

Interstoff Asia Essential is organized by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd which also created the Directions Trend Committee featuring some of the world’s top fashion trend forecasters from major fashion capital cities, including Ms Inoue from IS Planning (Tokyo), NellyRodi Agency (Paris), Elementi Moda (Milan) and Doneger Creative Services (New York).

Chief Designer for this season’s trend forecast, Kai Chow, Creative Director for Doneger Creative Services led the committee and has interpreted the coming season’s fashion point of view through a series of seamlessly connected themes using colour, texture and mood as follows:

 

  • Bedrock – A mix of earthy neutral tones and subdued maroon and mossy colors, with a focus on binding boucle, basket weaves, fibrous and woolly fabrics.
  • Illusion – A range of romantic and dream-like pastel colors with a focus on shiny, floral jacquards, soft knits, soothing mohair and fluid silk with textured weeds.
  • Masquerade – A rich and dramatic gem stone palette evoked from deep dark colors, with a focus on taffeta, lacquered jacquards, matelasse and burnished brocade, coated fur and plush velvet.
  • Revolution – Bright and vivid palettes: bold chartreuse, fire engine red, cobalt blue and sizzling red orange, mixed with black and brown colors, with a focus on colour blocked and compact jerseys, multicolored tweeds, vibrant plaids and checks and multi-functional plush.

 

Commenting on the Autumn/Winter 2013/14 apparel fabric trends, Ms Sachiko Inoue from Tokyo’s IS Planning, who directs the on-site trend forum display said: “It is based on the overall concept of ‘mixing and balancing sensibility’ with two key words ‘key’ and ‘door’, entering the four trend sections named ‘Bedrock’, ‘Illusion’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Revolution’. We hope that visitors will enjoy our display as in each section they will experience different scenes from natural basics and whimsical fancies, to mysterious darkness and vibrant fusion.”


This article was originally published in The Stitch Times magazine, October, 2012.

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Fashion Designer

Noida comes under the fashion spotlight

Starting with simple business models, designers here have given a new definition to the designer wear market. Most of them have similar stories to tell. “I started my business in 2007 with a small investment. I had one tailor and there was no setup. Capsule collections were made as per requirements. Over a period of time, my business grew and now I create around 50 pieces per month. I use silk, cutworks and georgette for my clothing line. My client list has grown big, with the international client percentage increasing every day,” says Mrinalini Gupta, a designer.

 

Noida factor

 

Sunil Sethi, President, Fashion Design Council of India said that availability of laborers and affordable real estate prices make Noida a favorite among designers. “Since some parts of Noida, like Sector 15, are still lal-dora areas, there isn’t much problem of legal and commercial issues. Water, electricity, space, workers and managers are easily available here,” says Sunil Sethi.

 

Lal Dora literally means red thread, which was in use in the past for demarking the jurisdiction of a village. Presently, it denotes the boundary of the territory of village within which norms and controls of municipality or urban development authority is not applicable.Ranawat said that he finds this region far more accessible and planned to get into designing business as compared to Gurgaon. I set up a small business in 2004 which is now growing at the rate of 18-27 percent annually, with a business turnover of about ` 1.28 crore. And the production level has gone up to over 150 units per month.

 

“Noida, being a part of NCR, definitely helps to promote the business and it’s extremely suitable to set-up a fashion house because of the local sourcing and HR advantages,” said Goraya, a designer, Noida.

 

There are around 20 fashion houses in Noida which employ around 45 to 50 people. Many industry experts say that the total market size of fashion sector in India is approximately ` 20,000 crore. The Indian fashion industry has the potential to increase from its net worth of ` 200 crore to ` 1,000 crore in the next five to ten years.

But, basic problems like labour union issue, insufficient local suppliers and fabric houses and unavailability of local contractors in Noida might prove to be a deterrent. “Also, the problem everyone faces here is that of electricity. The energy supply is very poor and there are power cuts every now and then. This is one area where the local government needs to work,” said Goraya.

 

This article was originally published in the Economic Times dated 12th July, 2012, written by Mohini Mishra, associated with the Economic Times Bureau, Noida.

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Fashion Designer

Inside the Royal wardrobes

Royal fashion has always been the focus of the world, particularly the fashion industry. Adored as a symbol of sophistication and elegance, royal clothing styles have been an eye catcher for fashionistas and celebrities. Fashion savvy people follow the ideas and looks of the royal clothing styles to experience and enjoy the lavishness of the kings and queens. Though much associated with the royal families, and not meant for commoners, still people are always interested to know and follow their fashion styles.

Regal trends have come through sea changes in the span of time, keeping in par with conventional traditions. Their robes are adorned with gold thread, pearls, and expensive stones making it a complete; imperial outfit. Many of their attire are praised as exquisite creations by today’s fashion designers. Imperial costumes are also a form of expression of their personality. Taking themselves to bask in glory or power, they ensured that their legacy would remain for eternity. Much of the costumes in ancient times were made using organic materials. Four major types of fabrics used are cotton, linen, wool, and silk. Nature of these materials makes it complicated for preservation as they are biodegradable. Ancient Peruvian imperial textiles consist of elaborate fabrics, their textile designing to underpin and shape all kinds of material culture. They clothing styles provide evidence of development in their textile technology over the millennia.

Article discusses about the royal couture, types of fabric used, and clothing styles of the imperials as a form of expressing their personality traits.

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Fashion Designer

The Fashion Ballet : sustainability brings back slow fashion

Sustainability has shifted the focus of fashion industry from Fast to Slow fashion. Apparel and fashion sectors are influenced by each other. Recent economy had influenced people’s mindset, and the way they plan to spend their money for clothing. Consumer pressure is always not a main driver for fashion industry. With the environmental concerns intensifying with every passing day, factors such as environmental regulations, trade agreements, and other safety standards also play a crucial role in shaping the industry. Sustainable practices adopted in the apparel, and textile sector has its impact in the fashion sector too.

Fast fashion is more about speed; selling more in short time, and making more money. And in the pursuit of more profits, along with time, other factors such as labor, capital, and natural resources also gets squeezed. Shorter lead times and inexpensive clothes lead to exploitation of labor and other resources. It was much in practice during the past decade. Clothes were worn for a short time, and dumped quickly. Fast fashion involves high speed and high volume of production, consumption and disposal. Customers are not aware of the negative ethical environmental impacts. Fast fashion culture creates customers who shop at alarming rates, and quickly dispose them to landfill.

The future of fashion looks more radical with new technological innovations, environmental focus, and transformation in cultural norms which holds a rosy hope for the fashion industry to change beyond recognition. Along with respecting the apparel worker’s rights, and the environment, beautiful and elegant apparels can be manufactured.

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Fashion Designer

Fruity Fashion for 2012

Fashion is always a multi-way process; including the customer’s perception, current trends, designer’s creativity, and runway displays. Runways and catwalks posses the vibrant melting pot known as panache which proves to be a source of inspiration for customer’s to set their choices. Fashion designers stimulate their creativity making a colorful wardrobe. Key fashion trends for 2012 indicate the obsession of fashionistas for a full blown fruit fashion for apparels, and fashion accessories.

Cherries of crimson, succulent strawberries and other eye catching; exotic tropical fruits fill the runways making their way into apparels and accessories. Runways are blazing with frutilicious prints. A bowl of citrus, oranges, and grapefruits walk on the runway; although inedible. Zingy citrus prints in double split and backless silk dress and pleat insert versions make a fruity summer trend. Debuting on the runways, fruity trends of apple, cherry, lemon, and orange are making their way into jewelry, shoes, clips, earrings, handbags, headbands, scarves, and many more. Fruity fashion accessories with well placed appliques, and juicy colors give a flirty and girlish inspiration.

Fashion’s likeness for creativity has filled the coming season with delicious fruity prints. Fruits are delicious, appealing, and a major fashion trend for 2012.

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Fashion Designer

Innovative Elements Reinforce Hong Kong’s Status as Asia’s Fashion Trend-setting Hub

Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer will take place from 3 to 6 July, 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). In its 19th edition the fair will introduce exciting new elements and present a great variety of finished garments, designer collections and fashion accessories, providing platform for both trading and design inspiration for industry players.
As the world’s 2nd largest exporter of clothing, Hong Kong is a major trading hub for the garment industry. Total exports of clothing and clothing accessories from Hong Kong in 2011 amounted to USD 24.44 billion, an increase by 2% year-on-year. This is a good result given the lacklustre global economic environment.
With its status as a global sourcing hub in Asia, Hong Kong attracts trading houses and major retailers-buyers from American and European department stores, discount stores, specialty chains, mail order houses and important designer labels. They come to source not just traditional fashion items and accessories, but also products targeting emerging market segments such as the teenager market, the male market, the silver market, as well as eco-friendly products and garments.
Last year, Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer attracted over 1,300 exhibitors from 24 countries and regions. It is expected that this year’s fair will continue to attract exhibitors from different parts of the world, and strengthening the event’s proven effectiveness in serving the garment and fashion design industry.
Hong Kong Fashion Week is zoned to provide maximum exposure for different sectors of the industry. Among them are three new zones, namely Salon of Scarves & Shawls, World of Youth Collection and Fashion Jewellery Feast, which serve the latest trends and current market demand.

Salon of Scarves & Shawls will bring together a huge array of items including silk squares, wool ponchos, evening wraps, knitted scarves, pashminas, embroidered stoles and many more.
World of Youth Collection highlights the profusion of looks for the young market one of the most vibrant sectors in fashion today.
Fashion Jewellery Feast will focus on trendy, hip pieces designed to bring an extra touch of style to outfits.
Joining hands with the new zones, two zones that made a very prominent debut in January at Hong Kong Fashion Week for Fall/Winter will return: Denim Arcade, Handbags Select, will be joined by other zones, namely Brand Name Gallery, featuring premium, high-end brands; International Fashion Designers’ Showcase, which focuses on collections from top talents; Fashion Gallery, showcasing trendy garments; and Garment Mart, catering to mass market fashion. Other featured zones cover Bridal & Evening Wear, Infant & Children’s Wear, Intimate & Swim Wear, World of Fashion Accessories, Fabrics & Yarn, Sewing Supplies.
Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer is the region’s premier sourcing and marketing hub as well as its platform for information exchange and trend preview. Exhibitors will enjoy maximum exposure for brand building and promotion by participating in fashion parades which will be staged throughout the fair period. Buyers can learn from a series of seminars featuring presentations by international trend-forecasters and key fashion business leaders covering the coming trends in fashion and lifestyle, as well as current hot topics such as Reducing Textile Waste through Sustainable Design and Key Style Trends for 2013. A networking reception will be organised to help industry players expand their business network.

 

This article was originally published in “The Stitch Times”, June, 2012.