Bollywood’s leading ladies are no more just the face of fancy brands — they’re doing everything from designing exclusive collections to collaborating with major labels. But how far does this involvement really go?
Actor Shilpa Shetty, who launched a line of saris with an e-portal, says, “As a brand ambassador, you just add your name to the product. But for this line, I’ve been thoroughly involved from the inception — in sourcing, picking colour combinations and designs, and checking the quality of saris.”
While actor Sonam Kapoor and her sister Rhea launched their own fashion line Rheson late last year, actor Shraddha Kapoor launched Imara and actor Alia Bhatt’s collection recently hit stores. Kareena Kapoor Khan has been associated with Globus. Director Karan Johar has also churned out a collection for Vero Moda. “When we suggested a dress in a typical shade of red for the festive season, Johar countered that we do it in a jewel-toned blue instead. He would send the team sketches along with detailed instructions about the fabric he had in mind,” says Vineet Gautam, CEO of the brand, explaining the level of the filmmaker’s involvement. The fraternity feels it’s good for the industry anyway. “They may not know the technical nuances that go into constructing a garment but their designs and star presence is sure to work,” says designer Anju Modi.
But does this starry edge really work for sales? “The e-portal would normally sell up to 1000 saris per day. But the day my line was launched there, they sold out over 6000 saris within an hour,” says Shilpa Shetty. Cricketer Virat Kohli’s line Wrogn sold out limited edition shirts within the first 48 hours and closed sales close to `30 lakh within a few days, claims Anjana Reddy of the brand.
However, some experts think otherwise. Brand expert Saurabh Uboweja says, “The celebrity’s role is limited to curating rather than creating. Monetary returns in this case usually come in three ways – the signing fee, equity and recurring sales. But I feel that within six months, every celeb will launch their own line, and people will lose interest.”