Needle and Beyond: Designers Adopted Newer Mediums in 2012
Green Room by Wendell Rodricks
From entering lifestyle spaces, writing books to becoming entrepreneurs, this year saw a bevy of designers like Rohit Bal, Suneet Varma and Ritu Beri exploring new creative mediums.
"Creativity is not restricted to the ramp only. As a designer, it is a natural progression to go into other creative mediums," explained Bal. The designer has a wide range of collaborations to his credit - Hidesign, Oriflame, Mitsubishi Outlander and Zippo, to name a few. His most recent associations include Ege, a Danish multinational carpet company, a luxury hotel in Goa and a host of shoe and jewellery brands. He has also lent his signature touch of lotus and peacock marks to a limited edition package of Chivas – the luxury Scotch whisky brand.
Designer Suneet Varma is another who believes in keeping pace with the changing times. He opened a firm, Unique Eye Luxury Apparel Pvt. Ltd, and bagged the Indian franchise for Armani Junior. "As a designer, we understand people's expectations and the market conditions. For me, creativity goes beyond just making designer outfits. Yes, there is different fun in this, but one has to be creative enough with business ideas as well to grow in this field. The idea is to think a little bit ahead and be creative about your business," he said.
Designer Manav Gangwani recently set up Infinite Luxury Brands Pvt. Ltd. along with Dubai-based entrepreneur Sahiba Narang and finance expert Rahul Kapoor. The company is responsible for bringing the Italian luxury brand Roberto Cavalli to the Indian fashion market.
Happy Holi - Manish Arora'a collaboration with Happy Socks
Manish Arora, who has made his presence felt internationally, believes it is about creating your own world. "I want everybody to have a Manish Arora even if it is not in the form of fashion. It could be a bed-sheet or simply a piece of crockery.” This year, the designer collaborated with Happy Socks to launch "Happy Holi", a special three-pair pack from the popular sock brand.
Ritu Beri, one of the pioneers of the Indian fashion industry, recently revealed her desire to open a lifestyle boutique all over the world. “The store will cater to everything that a person needs - from clothes, accessories to footwear, perfume and food. The idea is to bring everything under one roof.” The designer also has a book to her credit. ‘Firefly – A Fairytale’ traces her journey in the design world.
Other industry veterans to have penned down their thoughts include Wendell Rodricks, Pallavi Jaikishen and Samant Chauhan. "I am an opportunist when it comes to a design challenge. My world is not just about clothes. I am a Gemini and can multi-task fluidly," said Rodricks. His book The Green Room made its debut this August.
“Tree of Life” marks Ritu Kumar’s foray into fragrance world. “Becoming an entrepreneur is a natural progression. One needs to expand to other mediums to explore the vast Indian textiles and culture. That's why I also love designing for home furnishing and interiors. It helps experiment with newer mediums within your own field.”
Designer Ravi Bajaj, who co-own a wine bar Soak, believes designers are exploring new mediums, but they are not moving away from their ultimate passion. "Fashion is all about aesthetics. Although the dynamics are different, there is a common thread that runs through it. In the end, every creative person has more than one tangent,” he finished.