Fashion designers foray into lifestyle products

Seeking to cash in on a fast expanding fashion market, Indian designers are foraying into home linen, perfumes, bags and shoe lines after making a mark with their clothing lines.

“The main reason why almost all designers are diversifying their business is because they want to get into lifestyle business,” Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) president Sunil Sethi told IANS.

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While designer Manav Gangwani is planning to introduce his eyewear collection in the Indian market, bridal wear design diva Ritu Kumar is launching her own perfume line called The Tree of Life.

“This is good for their business. Once their basic brand sells, it is a natural progression for a designer to diversify. Once he or she is well established, he can experiment,” Sethi said.

Although the designers primarily look to expand their business with lifestyle products, they say it also satisfies their creative instincts.

Mumbai-based designer Rocky S, known for his Bollywood liaisons, has already dabbled in various markets apart from his clothing line.

“My bags are selling in 70 stores in the country and are doing very well. Considering that fashion has been translated from just clothes to bags, home line (home furnishings) and perfume, they are doing pretty well,” Rocky said.

“It’s a very good trend for other designers to follow. I have a home line, kids wear, evening wear line, club line, couture, perfume, bags … I like to do different things all the time,” Rocky told IANS.

He explained that it “eventually works very well and it has also worked very well with designers abroad”.

Rocky forecasts that Indian designers will also adopt the trend of diversifying into varied creative fields soon because “once a designer has a brand name, as a creative person, he or she can do anything and everything”.

Rahul of designer duo Rahul and Gunjan said: “Designing is not just about clothing. A designer has to grow as a creative artist and should definitely not restrict himself or his creativity to grow as an individual.”

Young designer Amit GT, who started with his focus towards menswear, chose to branch out into designing for women and now also dabbles in home furnishings and accessory designing.

He said: “Every designer has a vision and it is for this that they are foraying into lifestyle luxury products. Lifestyle is a broad category and designers can create wonders with their creativity in various lifestyle sections.”

As for the profits that he is able to garner with his line-up of products, GT explained that it is a profitable and lucrative venture despite the existing cutthroat competition in the market.