‘Young designers shouldn’t feel threatened’
Playing mentor to Lakme Fashion Week’s Gen Next designers, Wendell Rodricks talks about what India’s budding design talent needs.india Updated: Jul 22, 2010 15:28 IST
Designer Wendell Rodricks is renewing his role as the mentor for Lakme Fashion Week’s (LFW) Gen Next show — a showcase for young designers. With the pre-selection process for Gen Next having concluded, Rodricks explains that the new generation of designers is very clear on what they want to do and are determined to make their presence felt on the fashion scene.
Rodricks says, “Designers like Masaba Richards, Swapnil Shinde and Nachiket Barve have amazing talent.” When asked whether the influx of major international brands like Zara and Diesel, which have similar price points and a global appeal, threatens these smaller designers, he responds, “There is no need for these designers to be worried by international brands coming to India. They have already created their own niche. Besides, high fashion Indian garments cannot be compared to foreign brands.”It is very important to Rodricks that young designers be trained to price their garments appropriately. "They must know how to take their creativity and convert it into sales. I train them to deal with buyers effectively," he mentions, adding, "This is one of the easiest industries to start off in, so I would not be worried if I were a young designer."
Even though Wendell Rodricks is busy with the Men’s Fashion Week in Delhi this August, he was present at the pre-selection process of Gen Next. “I would love to see the newcomers concentrate their creativity into something individualistic for the country,” he says. He explains his resignation from the LFW advisory board, saying, “I chose to resign due to prior commitments.
It wouldn’t have been fair to remain on the Board,” he says.
Although he has no plans to set up a fashion school in the near future, Rodricks has toyed with the idea. “Mumbai and Delhi might be the fashion hubs, but if I ever do start a teaching venture, it would be most definitely in Goa.”