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Desi hotties reveal style secrets

Desi can never be exclusive, even if it's a big brand from abroad available at a local store. What do our fashionistas do to stay special?

india Updated: May 19, 2006 18:20 IST

Desi can never be exclusive, even if it's a big brand from abroad available at a local store. What do our fashionistas do to stay special?

"Shopping for footwear overseas is more sensible as there's more choice" Sonali Punj, hotelier

"I got this red pair of LV shoes from Paris as the colour wasn't available in India" — Manav Gangwani, designer

"I'm not into big labels but I've a few discreet choices which I don't get here, so I pick them up from abroad" — Malini Ramani, designer

It's anybody's guess what's more fragile — a luxury brand or its snob value. In a city where connoisseurs shift loyalties the moment an uber chic brand lands in the country (to reach out to more customers, of course), the snob value of the brand dips faster than mercury in winter.

Try hanging out at any P3P do, which is never complete without gossips of which brand is opening shop in the country. And then, you won't be surprised to hear a fashionista saying: "Once a label reaches India, the nouveau riche flock to it and I don't belong to that league." Another case of 'I'm different', eh? Lowest common factor The ultra chic fashionistas, who would rather not be caught flaunting what an uppity socialite does, are not ready to patronise any French-Italian brand which is available at local stores though they wouldn't openly say so.
 
Designer and style diva Malini Ramani says, "I'm not into big labels but I've a few discreet choices which I don't get here, so I pick them up abroad." Her latest acquisition is a Balenciaga bag and a Technomarine watch, both bought abroad.

Entrepreneur Shabnam Singhal, who too prefers to fulfill her 'fashion' needs in Europe, says that labels here run the risk of losing their special tag. "I would rather buy a Gucci Gold bag or Etro or Manolo Blahnik pumps, which are not spotted on anyone and everyone here."

Choreographer and former model Anu Ahuja agrees that not many would like to be spotted carrying something easily available here and with some big brands opening shop in India, the possibilities of damage increase.

Rare by default Hotelier Sonali Punj, who does most of her shopping abroad, denies it has anything to do with the fact that luxury brands available in India are beginning to be common. "It's just that I shop whenever I travel abroad." She adds that for footwear, shopping abroad is more sensible as there's more to choose from.

Jewellery designer Mamta Malhotra agrees: "A lot of my friends wouldn't want to be caught flaunting something common but I've no qualms. I shop abroad when I travel for work." Her latest pick is a Prada bag.

So is there a conscious shift amongst the fashionistas for brands that are not yet in India? Says Sonali, "Fashion is not constant. One evolves and brands become hot with changing season.” She recently acquired a Swarovski bag." Adds Shabnam: "I'm a Cavalli fan and Etro is my new love." Malini and Mamta prefer Balenciaga and Prada while Anu wants to pick up a Gucci bag.

Well, ther''s nothing exclusive about desi, right?