Time to unveil our own Victoria`s Secret: Indian designers
Mumbai: Call it swimwear, beachwear or resort wear -- the market for this segment has so far been neglected in the country but designers feel the demands of travel enthusiasts and a platform like the ongoing India Resort Fashion Week (IRFW) will bring it at par with an international brand like Victoria`s Secret.
So far, designer beachwear has remained low on popularity. Some say this is so due to the conservative Indian culture, where women are apprehensive about showing off their figure in public places. Others blame the lesser number of beaches in India.
But with time, designers have realised they need to move beyond ethnic and bridal wear and focus on swimwear, which is gaining momentum.
"The resort wear market has seen an exponential growth, especially in the women`s wear line. The resort wear industry, unlike the others is non-seasonal and not determined as spring-summer or fall-winter and this feature enables the resort line to be exciting and in demand throughout the year," said Pallav Ojha, director, UVAR Pvt Ltd, one of the organisers of IRFW.
An event like IRFW will prove to be a a stepping stone to accelerate the lingerie and resort wear market in India.
"We do have a lot of Indian designers and exporters in the resort-swimwear-lingerie category who are doing some fabulous work but have never been given a platform to showcase their talent in India. So through this fashion week, we have created an avenue for buyers around the world to witness India`s talent in that area," added Ojha.
However, designer duo Shivan and Narresh, who established one of the first Indian swimwear brands, believe that resort wear market is still in the nascent stage.
"The market is still at its nascent stage but it is definitely showing a great potential for the growth of swimwear and resortwear in the country. The new Indian customer is well travelled. The youngsters are readily exploring coastal lines of India, besides travelling abroad for holidays, honeymoon and family cruises. So, this has introduced Indians to the resort lifestyle," said Narresh.
Internationally, several lingerie brands like Victoria`s Secret, La Perla, Strumpet and Pink, Lovable and Guia La Bruna have made a name for themselves, and attract the Indian buyers too.
But that connect is yet to be established with Indian brands, says Narresh.
"The swimwear and lingerie market requires an indispensable amount of skill, expertise and a great understanding of the Indian body type to master a product that is more performance-based than just being fashionable. That`s why there are just a few brands serving the resort or lingerie wear trend in our country," he added.
Designer Pria Kataria Puri blames obsession for ethnic and bridal wear for obstructing the growth of the resort wear market.
"Resort wear is extremely popular trend world over, but in India, bridal wear is considered as the highest grossing business for Indian designers. So they focus more on that. Resort wear is a new trend in fashion," Puri told IANS.
Designer Savio John agreed and said: "India being bridal and festival driven market, most designers in our country cater to this need. But I am confident that with proper marketing and promotion, this (resortwear) industry has the potential to set a milestone."
With IRFW, designers are hopeful that business will pick up for Indian designers.
"Swimwear is a new sector, but I am very confident that people will love it ..if done tastefully. If Victoria`s Secret lingerie can fascinate Indian women, then why not an Indian brand? So it`s high time, we should start concentrating in bringing an Indian replacement of Victoria`s secret," said designer Felix Bendish.