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Brands, designers team up for business

Friday, 05 August 2011

Gone are the days where fashion designers were meant for just showcasing their designs on the ramp. Now brands are getting designers on board to be associated with the latest in fashion. Wills Signature line has been made with the help of top fashion designers. Lakme announced the launch of Lakme Absolute, a high performance long wear make-up line co-created by fashion designer Manish Malhotra. Timex’ bridal line of jeweled watches has been designed by Tarun Tahiliani. Last year, sportswear and apparel maker Adidas signed a five-year strategic partnership with Delhi-based fashion designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil to launch the S&N Adidas line for Adidas Style Essentials. Sabyasachi Mukherjee designed an exclusive signature line of bed sheets and towels for Bombay Dyeing in 2007. In fact, what began as a tentative move with watchmaker Titan roping in designer Rohit Bal to create a range of luxury watches in 2003 has now become a trend.

That’s not all! These and other examples prove Indian designers are the best bet for building brand loyalty and attachment since they have a specific style and can fuse Indian and international designs brilliantly to develop an aspirational product. Indian shoppers tend to shop for designer brands to advertise their status. There’s a belief designer brands offer a better quality than standard brands. There are buyers who are particular about the impression they make. For instance, they want the watch they are wearing to be recognized as a signature collection by this or that designer. They don’t mind paying a premium to stand out in a crowd. What is driving this new-found love for designer lines are increasing fashion awareness and discretionary spending on the part of consumers, and marketers’ need to differentiate in an increasingly crowded and commoditized market.

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