Selfridges back at fashion week - for new names
It already stocks and sell the masters, and now smart London mega store Selfridges is prowling the fourth Indian fashion week, scouting for new talent.Updated: Jul 20, 2003 19:07 IST
It already stocks and sell the masters, and now smart London mega store Selfridges is prowling the fourth Indian fashion week, scouting for new talent.
"We are not really looking at the big names; we know, understand and sell them," said Sunil Sethi, the India sourcing agent for the store.
"This time we are here for the new names, the young lot, the brat pack," said Sethi.
Helping him select is former Selfridges sourcing manager Kasunchana Wijeyawardena-Kapilasena, who divides her time between Sri Lanka and Britain.
Last year, the store's 23-and-a-half-day Bollywood promotion was a huge success, especially in the fashion segment, and the store decided to keep the work of designers Tarun Tahiliani, Rina Dhaka, Rohit Bal, Rajesh Pratap, Monisha Jaising and Ashish Soni.
"All of them did very well, selling off up to 80 percent of the stock. Some like Ashish Soni sold 100 percent," said Wijeyawardena-Kapilasena.
The store also had great success with designers like Aki Narula and Raghavendra Rathore. "Raghavendra has been associated with Selfridges from the time it came to India for the first time," said Wijeyawardena-Kapilasena.
"And we have always had great faith in his sensibilities. During my time at the store, I placed a blanket order of 10,000 pounds for his clothes without even seeing samples and they sold out."Smiled Sethi: "That's the kind of faith we have in Indian designers and that's why we store all the big names."
But this time it's about the new bunch. "Across Britain, India is becoming bigger and bigger... From a store like Selfridges to the tiny college haunts and touristy places," said Wijeyawardena-Kapilasena.
"And so there's a constant need to innovate and bring in new, fresh stuff."
One person who has caught her eye at the fashion week is Malini Ramani. The funky, new age designer impressed with her collection of freaky Westerns coupled with ethnic chic.
The three-tiered collection called "Jet-Set", "Magical Mughal Mistress" and "Warrior Princess" had everything from disco pants to saris in gushing crimson and lavender, and creams and military greens.
"I think Malini represents a uniquely Indian and young style," said Wijeyawardena-Kapilasena.
Another designer they are looking forward to is Anshu Arora Sen.
"She is another really bright and nifty designer who really understands global demands," said Sethi.
If the pricing matches, Selfridges would be all set to book the brat pack. "After all, if the old masters have succeeded so well, why won't the new generation?" asked Sethi rather dreamily.
First Published: Jul 20, 2003 19:07 IST