It`s time India sets the trends: Neeru Kumar
New Delhi: Designer Neeru Kumar believes this is the right time for the Indian fashion industry to set the trends as the world respects this country`s design capabilities."Earlier we were treated like a manufacturing hub but today the world respects us for our design capabilities and that is what is important," Kumar told reporters in an interview.
"I think it`s time that India sets the trends. We are capable and the world is willing to accept our designs and creativity," added Kumar, whose show Wednesday kicked off the autumn/winter edition of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW).
"Also we have all the requirements, like availability of talented crafts people and skills. It is for us to take it further and set the trends. Let the people know that this is what is possible here rather than aping the west," Kumar said.
Indian designers should be proud of their skills, materials and references, she added.
Kumar has been in the industry for 30 years, but till Wednesday, had never showcased at a fashion week.
Through her show, she paid a tribute to Indian fabrics. The eco-friendly materials were transformed into saris, maxi-dresses, tunics, skirts, jodhpuri trousers and shirts.
She is known as one of the most creative designers in India for hand woven textiles.
Not only has she done dedicated work in terms of textiles but also explored and experimented with the vast wealth available in India in terms of skills, materials and references. This led her to launch her Neeru Kumar label in 1982.
The label is sold in Le Bon Marche in France, Liberty & Selfridges in Britain and Bloomingdale in the US. Apart from that, Kumar also works with designer labels such as Maki Textile Studio in Japan and Jack Larsen in the US.
The designer believes her collection is totally aesthetic and can work in any scenario, whether it`s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week or any Indian fashion week because there is nothing that has been outsourced.
The designer believes that India is full of talent and creativity with weavers possessing amazing skills.
"I work with weavers in Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh). When I started off, I realised India has immense weaving skills but this hasn`t been explored by many.
"So I decided to reinvent and present Indian fabrics and works in contemporary forms and I am glad it was loved by everyone," Kumar added.
Asked about the affordability factor of her designs, she said: "We are also artists for the common people and we want everybody to wear good designs. So, affordability has always been taken into consideration while I design."
"But yes, if lot of work and work-hours go into something, then people will have to pay for it," she added.