Target Indian Diaspora: Leena Singh
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Target Indian Diaspora: Leena Singh

Indian fashion designers must target the diaspora instead of just focusing on the West, feels Leena Singh.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 17:00 IST

Indian fashion designers should target the huge diaspora worldwide instead of just focusing on the West, feels Leena Singh of the Ashima-Leena duo.

"The diaspora is a huge captive market that has not been tapped. The real money is with the Indians settled abroad, who love to wear Indian clothes," said Singh.

"I travel every summer for a month-and-a-half to reach out to the Indian American community. They don't have the zeal to come back, but they still love their culture very much," she said.

"Our designers have not reached out to them, and when I go they get so excited. They think it is not possible to talk to an Indian designer and for them it is a dream to see an Indian designer," said Singh.

"Even Americans are wearing saris. I've dressed them to give them a taste of what it means to wear Indian attire," Singh said.

Given this, Singh quite naturally disagreed with suggestions made during the fashion week by French and other experts that Indian designers would have to adopt the international idiom if they were to make a mark in the west.

"Our craft and heritage is so rich that we must take this abroad in the form of international or Indian garments," she asserted.

"For me, the stamp of India is very important. I'm truly Indian and I like to project my country in international markets," Singh declared.

Singh said that with the India Fashion Week concept having established itself, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) that organises the event should now shift its focus to developing fashion parks across the country to provide designers a complete range of facilities under one roof.

As for the India Fashion Week, now in its seventh year, she described it as a "seed that has not only become a tree but we now see the tree giving a lot of fruit".

"There's been an exponential rise in business. If we were only hanging around in the first year, today our stall is full of buyers - buyers from not only the Middle East, but buyers from all over the world, as also domestic buyers.

"From the first week, from the first day of the current week, figures have been going up everyday. Buyers were ready from day one, and this shows how serious they were about the event," Singh maintained.

First Published: Apr 09, 2006 16:15 IST