"India's Galliano" says it's all about the product

Tue May 8, 2012 4:05pm EDT
 
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By David Lalmalsawma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian designers are famous for their elaborate embroideries and rich textiles but have yet to come up with products to woo the world's fashion hotspots in the West, says Manish Arora, the international face of India's fashion industry.

Known for his colorful and psychedelic designs, Arora is the only Indian who is a regular at the Paris Fashion Week, and boasts of celebrity clients such as singers Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.

Demand for Indian couture has surged in the Middle East and East Asia in recent years, but the geographically and culturally distant West remains a largely unexplored frontier.

Many designers say they just need exposure to carve out a market in places like Europe and the United States, but Arora disagrees.

"I don't think it's like that (exposure). It's the product which matters at the end of the day," Arora, who just launched his Spring/Summer 2012 collection in India after showcasing it in Paris, told Reuters in an interview.

"If your product is ready for the international market, then it will be there."

While flowing dresses with intricate draping and heavy embroidery mastered over centuries in India may suit rich buyers in Dubai and Riyadh, they remain novelty items in Paris and London, where the avant-garde is celebrated.

Arora, who is often described in the media as India's "John Galliano" for his innovative and bold cuts, said his originality is what earned him recognition in Europe.   Continued...

 
Indian designer Manish Arora appears with a model at the end of his Fall/Winter 2012-2013 women's ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris fashion week March 1, 2012. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe