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The man behind Indian Couture 2023

Sunil Sethi, Chairman of the Fashion Design Council is the man behind the magic of Indian Couture Week. The capital city of India is all set to host yet another season of India’s biggest event centered around avant-garde fashion.

Sethi has been the catalyst behind nurturing and representing Indian fashion designers and the fashion industry as a whole. He has worked tirelessly to get Indian couture to its current position with articulated measures of luxury fashion.  Leading to the expansion of Indian fashion through many ingenious and victorious initiatives, he has also been called the Golden Star in the Indian fashion industry. 

The man has turned the Council into a design powerhouse that nurtures new aptitude and generates business opportunities for its designer members and brands. Let us know from Sunil Sethi about the Indian Fashion community.

Conversation with the man behind Indian Couture

Q. How far we have come as a fashion community from India when it comes to Indian Couture since many designers showcasing on global platforms? How do you differentiate from now to 15 years ago?

SS: India has always been extremely relevant in the fashion space as we are craft based. And our huge artisanal strength is what also brought many global design houses here 15 or even three decades back.

Not only do we have a treasure trove of fabrics but also natural processes of design, which is what we will all have to move towards seeing the severity of climate change.

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Now tables have turned and we are in a position where Indian designers are taking on the global runways with conceptual ideas, intermixing traditional techniques with a contemporary flavor.

A show now is not just about fashion. It’s a conversation, and if you look at both the designers, who have made their presence felt in Paris, they have been deeply influenced by Indian mythology and ideology, there is also a spiritual quotient in there. And that is the huge shift in thinking that I have observed.

Q. Tell us about your journey in the fashion industry.

SS: I started doing interesting India Centric exhibitions in stores abroad like Selfridges London and Coin Italy, Habitat, etc more than two decades ago when India was perceived as impenetrable. I exposed the global markets to the robustness and versatility of Indian crafts whether it was khadi, Baneras, kalamkari, et al.

I wanted to create a distinct identity for Indian design whether it was in fashion, culture, art, or decor and I have traversed all these fields taking India to a wider audience that admires and desires laborious processes, and its innate beauty, for the last four decades.

My role in FDCI has been multifaceted. From starting India Couture Week 15 years ago to going digital when the pandemic struck, I have always been a believer in the India story which is about celebrating culture with craft and this is what I’ve attempted to do along the way. Not delinking both but making them walk hand-in-hand.

New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) has announced its association with Reliance Brands for the Hyundai India Couture Week, scheduled to be held in the national capital from July 25 to August 2 at the Taj Palace Hotel.

Q. What do you think of fashion waste and its ongoing debate?

SS: It’s imperative to control the impact of fast fashion on the environment as well as consumer behavior. Many couturiers have embraced this dire need to create something new from something vintage.

Clients coming with older wedding pieces and wanting to redraft them is an interesting move as it combines memories with sustainability.

The younger generation is seriously looking at the need to control consumption patterns and is upcycling and recycling as well as mending for longevity. The debate of buying quality and choosing to buy less has been an ongoing one and will continue to bring in responsible and intelligent design in the framework of fashion.

Q. What do you expect from Indian fashion designers?

SS: To be original and relevant. Provide design solutions for a seasonless wardrobe that serenades the needs of an aware global customer. I believe we have the know-how as well as the mindfulness to achieve excellence in design thinking backed by a legacy of crafts and weaves.

Q. Please define India Couture Week.

SS: Couture is a language of luxury. It is about handcrafting, made to measure, thought-provoking and it is an individualistic style. I would say it is personality-based and made exclusively keeping in mind, the profile and choices of the wearer. The biggest change I have seen in the last few years is in menswear — their openness and willingness to experiment with newer ideas are exemplary.

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