Lakme Fashion week has just finished and is where Sao Paulo fashion week was 15 -20 years ago - ie on the up and biting at the heels of London, Paris and New York. In it's 13th year Lakme was the most successful yet reflecting the economic growth of India and the rise in prosperity of the aspirational middle and upper class in this post colonial country hungry to look stylish and not afraid to spend money to do so.
The Wills Lifestyle store (above )champions home grown Indian designer talent.
It was reported that some 95% of business conducted as a result of fashion week was domestic.
Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee remarked that he sells to around 17,000 clients every year. Given India's population, this it not a big number. However, consider the average cost of a Sabyasachi shalwar kameez, around $500 (£308), and it is clear that he tailors his garments to attract India's monied elite.
Some say Indian designers need the Wests guidance as they still struggle with the fundamental ideals of what makes an international fashion label successful: Professionalism, reliability, and quality. Also the extreme lead times required following the fast fashion trend lead by Zara in the late 90s.
I suspect that this will not hold them back and that before we know it it will be a famous Indian brand that is leading the way in the International high end fashion world.
For Indian designers, the possibilities on either side of the equation are large: A domestic market with more than one billion potential clients, as well as an international market keen to see them combine traditional flare with Western commercial viability.
Ones to watch.....
Rajesh Pratap Singh
This is a great web site - I love it !