Fabian Lintott: Foreign brands drawn by Indian fashion market

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New Delhi: London-based designer Fabian Lintott, who is also the creative mind behind Hidesign men’s bags and accessories, says India’s middle class market is a big draw for foreign brands to set up business here. And the recent arrival of Gap and H&M in India is proof of the country’s growing appetite for new fashion styles and statements.

“The international brands are attracted by the sheer size and growth of the Indian fashion market. They want to come into India and build their brand presence so that they can woo India’s middle class into buying their wares,” Lintott told IANS in an email interview from London.

“I would say, not many care about India, above that it is a place they see as the next gold rush. I think the potential for growth is what companies coming into India are looking at and there is definitely still potential for massive growth in India,” he added.

Lintott is also surprised with the “diversity” of the Indian marketplace, where the fashion industry is reportedly estimated to be worth over Rs.720 crore.

“I think the speed at which the market changes, is unbelievable. This is especially evident from the e-commerce revolution that has hit the marketplace recently,” added the designer, who has been an essential part of Hidesign’s international team since 2006.

Lintott, graduate from the Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, is Hidesign’s lead international designer for men.

He feels that men today are no longer hesitant to experiment with their looks — even if it means accessorising like never before.

“‘Bags are just for women’ is old thinking, I think. Men are increasingly looking for accessories to help carry their ever-increasing tech with them.”

“They also want to ensure they look stylish while doing so. I think the men’s category growth, both in India and internationally, is testament to the modern man’s needs,” he said.

However, he pointed out that “designing for men is more about practicality than to stand out from the crowd”.

“Men want bags with little details that make them feel good about their purchase, but not too overtly flamboyant,” added Lintott.

The designer also feels that there is “a rise in homegrown young Indian designers twisting Western and Indian style references to create really interesting pieces”.

“Masaba Gupta and Nikhil Thampi are designers I like at the moment. I like the twists of the modern with traditional and playing with east and west,” he said, adding that “Indian fashion is entering exciting times”.

“I think there are a few really interesting young designers coming through, who are providing interesting directions. Let’s see where it goes, but one thing is for sure – the journey is going to be noisy, exciting and colourful.”

Globally too, that’s the trend.

“You only have to compare catwalks of today with a few years back, to see that there is much more colour play evident across the globe,” he said.

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