Designer wear becomes affordable

New Delhi: Want to own a Rohit Bal or JJ Valaya creation for just about Rs.5,000-Rs.6,000 ($100)? It`s possible now with fashion house owner Pradeep Hirani getting intellectual property rights (IPR) from leading designers and then manufacturing the garments before retailing at his new outlet Karmik.

The business model that Karmik follows is simple, explains Hirani.

"We get the designers to make a sample, and then we get it manufactured, produced and distributed. We also take care of unsold stock. Usually, all these things are done by designers themselves. So, we take the burden off from their shoulders," Hirani told IANS from Mumbai.

"Selling their IPR means designers give us a sample and leave everything to us. In the end, the designer gets revenue, which is equal to profit," he added.

Hirani, best known for Kimaya, one of the largest fashion houses in the country, wants to keep up with the changing times by offering affordable designer wear to the increasing numbers of fashion aficionados here. Through his initiative, the first of its kind in the India, he also hopes to tie up with designers from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Hirani has already opened six Karmik stores within India. There are two stores in Delhi, and one each in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Ludhiana.

By the end of 2012, Hirani aims to open 60 Karmik stores across India.

The idea of launching a pret label like Karmik came after a detailed survey that indicated how women in tier I and tier II cities aspired to own designer wear. They had the money but not the avenues.

The IPR model, it appears, has turned out to be a win-win situation for everyone - the designers, the consumers as well as the retail house.

"Through our survey, we realised that the Indian consumer aims for three things when it comes to fashion - aspiration, affordability and accessibility.

"Gone are the days when Delhi and Mumbai were the only hub for shopping. The fashion scene in India has taken a 360 degree turn in the past five years. Hence, we realised that price is a big factor to lure consumers," said Hirani.

Karmik right now retails the creations of 12 Indian designers. One can lay hands on exotic designs from the house of Rohit Bal, JJ Valaya, Anamika Khanna, Rina Dhaka, Ranna Gill, Shantanu-Nikhil, Neeta Lulla, Rocky S and Falguni-Shane Peacock among others.

This comes at a time the Indian government is toying with the idea of starting FDI with Pakistan. The IPR module will only make it easier for Pakistani designers who want to sell in India.

"As of now, we will be getting three designers from Pakistan and one from Dhaka," said Hirani, who remained tightlipped about the name of the designers.

"I don`t want negotiations to go haywire; so I will announce their names once we finalise the deal," he added.

Hirani also wants Indian fashion to spread its wings and is looking for franchisee partners to open stores in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"We want the people in these countries to get a taste of our fashion too. Fashion doesn`t understand geographical boundaries. Once we find the right partners, we are ready to take the brand forward," he added.

News of Hirani`s initiative has Pakistan designers enthused.

"We all want to grow and this is a fantastic idea to reach out to the Indian consumer. A designer is known for his creativity and if you manage to understand the Indian audience and their sensibilities, it surely is a win-win situation for all," Karachi-based designer Huma Adnan told IANS.

"I would definitely want to sell my IPR and see my business grow. It is a great opportunity and a wonderful idea, indeed," added Adnan.


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