Sonam Kapoor, one of the best dressed actors in Bollywood, revealed what led to her obsession with fashion: naked models. "I was attracted to fashion when I saw naked models at a fashion show I had attended," said Kapoor at the two-day Mint Luxury Conference held at Taj Land’s End in Bandra.
Now in its fifth year, the conference brought together heads of some of the biggest brands in the world such as fashion houses Missoni and Diane von Furstenberg on the first day of the conference.
Ashwani Kumar, minister of state for parliamentary affairs and planning, delivered the inaugural address.
“Luxury is not just a style statement or a way of presenting oneself. Luxury is aesthetics and craftsmanship. Money does not guarantee taste; you either have it or not,” Kumar said, pointing out how the middle class was slowly turning into a big market for luxury brands.
If the panelists exuded class, the audience matched them with their designer outfits. Luxury began from the moment you entered the hotel with an Audi displayed right outside the hall.
While the women in the audience flaunted their skirts and dresses, the saree was what the fashion houses discussed the most.
Two leading fashion designers, Diane von Furstenberg and Angela Missoni, expressed their fascination with the six yards of fabric.
As the day progressed, speakers delved into more serious issues such as the future of luxury in India, the impact of 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) on luxury goods and the challenges brands face here.
“The biggest problem in India is customs duties, which are three times more than in the European Union and two times more than in China,” said Armando Branchini, executive director, Fondanzione Altagamma, the Italian association of luxury goods.
“The condition of 30% local sourcing for 100% FDI can also be challenging,” he added.
The post-lunch session witnessed some lighter moments, especially when a gentleman dressed in a kurta-pyjama pointedly asked Stephen Alden of Maybourne Hotel Group if his hotels would entertain people dressed like him.
Although caught off-guard, Alden quickly recovered before complimenting the man on his sartorial taste and assuring him that how a guest dressed was immaterial, provided they knew how to mind their manners.