Indians willing to splurge on luxury: Designer Shantanu Goenka (IANS Interview)

Kolkata, Feb 28 (IANS) Fashion designer Shantanu Goenka, whose designs exude Kolkata’s old world charm and aesthetics with a mix of global culture, feels Indian customers are ready to splurge heavily on luxury garments and accessories provided they are served “right”.

“Indian customers are very enamoured by clothes, but they need something different. They are ready to spend but they need right luxury mixed well with right details and taste,” Goenka told IANS here.
“I feel they have money to spend on expensive things and if international brands are doing so well here, I don’t think Indians are not willing to pay for luxury,” added the designer, whose latest collection, ‘Fashioning Fariytales’, is an amalgamation of vintage feel of old Bengal and a lot of British influence.
According to an ASSOCHAM-Yes Bank joint report released in January 2015, the Indian luxury market is estimated to be worth $18 billion by 2017 from the current $14 billion, with unprecedented growth in luxury categories including fashion, automobiles and fine dining.
On his part, Goenka, known for his luxury and haute couture line, ensures the use of fine materials, delicate embroidery and intricate details to maintain femininity in his apparels to draw clientele. High quality finish and flawless workmanship are also his key concern.
An alumnus of the inaugural batch of the National Institute of Fashion Technology – Kolkata, he retails his creations under his label ‘Shantanu Goenka’ and operates from his studio here.
What makes Kolkata unique?
“I think Kolkata is more classy and (its people are) choosy in what they wear and how they carry themselves. Everyone has different choices,” he said, adding that their aesthetics “reflect in their clothing, jewellery and the way they put everything together”.
Over the past few years, Goenka has cultivated a set of both national and international clients. But he has been absent from ramp shows during the past few editions of fashion weeks in Delhi and Mumbai.
He says “fashion week has become more about pret, diffusion lines and more for ready to wear garments.”
“My clothes don’t fit into that parameter of the fashion weeks. I’m doing very high-end couture bespoke clothing (and so a fashion week) is not the right platform for me to do showcase (my creations),” he said.
However, it’s a case of ‘never say never’ for Goenka.
“You never know I might diversify with diffusion and pret line, then I might come back (to fashion weeks) in days to come. We might do a couture week. However, putting together a haute couture collection takes a lot of time.
“Doing a collection gets very taxing, especially when you are caught between weddings and personalised orders. You have to fulfill your client’s demands and you can’t miss the wedding season too,” he said.
And like many other designers, any plans for him to take up costume styling for Bollywood?
“I am not very bent on Bollywood scene. I would not do a romantic film, but if it’s a period costume drama like ‘Devdas’, I might do it.”
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>)