ED recently attended the Young Makers Conclave as media, and while there, one of the speakers was Ritu Beri.
Now, I was a bit skeptical over what exactly could she say that would be important to us, but surprisingly, it was only her that spoke something that resonated with me.
She spoke of her experience at this international fashion event, and over there she seemed to notice, for perhaps the first time that, India was no where in the list of fashion capital countries.
In her answer, she spoke of the fact that small countries like Switzerland and more were there, whereas India, for all the fashion and diversity within fashion that it has, was not even on the list of countries who count in the luxury fashion industry, having created luxury in the first place.
She then went on to say that, it was this experience that gave her a wake up call of sorts and it was because of this that she associated with the government in order to promote Indian brands and clothes.
In my opinion, the point she touched upon here, was a very valid and frankly extremely relevant one.
And somehow, I cannot help but think that we as a nation, have not changed that much since before the English invaded us.
Wait wait… let me finish.
Now, there is no denying that India is full of almost everything, wealth, culture, talent and man power.
But isn’t there a saying that goes like ‘ghar ki murgi dal barabar’, well, I think that very astutely applies to us.
We have gotten so acclimatized to all that we as a nation have that, we do not really notice it anymore.
But on the other hand, outsiders do notice all that we have to offer, and being smart business people, make the most of it and gain immense profits from it.
That is why, she insisted that we should start to give more credence to our own brands and clothes, starting firstly with khadi.
She also touched up the fact that instead of going after others and saying that they stole something from us or making a hoopla of how bad westerners are, we should instead actually do something about it.
Starting with stop aping the west, Indians should start to embrace the Indian culture and brands.
As in, we need to start focusing on India and what it requires, for example, India does not have a varied amount of weather, unlike the west, we do not really experience fall, winter, spring as separate times. Most of the year Indian has summer as the main weather condition, then we have barely a month or so of autumn weather before we go into winters, and even in that we have very erratic winters.
So in that case, Fashion Weeks and fashion shows aping the west will not really help us, since we do not experience the same things they do.
Instead, Indian brands and designers must look at how India works, its various festivals and traditions and based on that create campaigns for fashion weeks.
Now, as much as I would want that, however for the metro people, it would be extremely difficult to just altogether stop buying western garments and go full Indian.
However, I also think that we should definitely start to relegate those brands to the background and for the majority part go for domestic Indian brands.
Signing off, I would just like to say that, this topic does not refer to only fashion, it could also be applied to several other areas that we as Indians take for granted about our country.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.