Swank and Dapper

Designer menswear in India may not be as popular as the women’s segment but the recent LFW proves that men are now warming up to snazzy ensembles.

Written by VIDYA PRABHU | Published:April 8, 2013 1:50 am

WHEN Arjun Khanna presented his menswear line “Out of Sight,Out of Mind” at the recent Summer-Resort ’13 edition of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW),the adrenaline rush that he’d been missing for three years,gripped him all over again. His models cheered,hooted and even carried him on their shoulders,bringing his show to a dramatic end.

“It was great to be back on the ramp. That apart,the collection was well-received,” he says. Khanna adds that the response has made him think of expansion. “There’s great demand for designer menswear — quality clothing,that is. It’s a question of tapping it in the right manner. That’s why I am looking at setting up a store in Delhi,” he says.

His observation sheds light on the designer menswear scenario in India. On one hand,two prominent menswear initiatives — the menswear fashion week and LFW’s menswear day — haven’t returned for several seasons. The former had its last showing in 2011 while the latter hasn’t had the menswear day since 2009.

If the LFW was anything to go by,menswear is showing more promise now. For instance,many womenswear designers have turned to creating men’s clothing as well. Thirteen designers showed men’s clothing ranges at LFW this season,with five of them showing it exclusively. “Menswear holds a lot of potential — a look at the number of premium brands entering the country will tell you that. But it’s only now that designers are waking up to it. If a designer is a successful name in women’s clothing,then the next step is to replicate that success in men’s section as well,” says Narendra Kumar,well-known for his men’s and women’s clothing. Vaishali S,who ventured into menswear with her LFW line,adds,“It was a natural progression for my label.”

The demand for menswear has also been fuelled by a growing clientele for men’s accessories. Designer-turned-Bollywood stylist Kunal Rawal showed a range of headgear (helmets),pocket squares,metal tie-knots and emblems and insignias alongside his clothing line at LFW.

For Jaipur-based Rohit Kamra,it’s the bespoke-loving customer who has contributed to his success. “I have believed in sticking to what I do best and since I am doing well within menswear,I don’t feel the need to look at other segments,” he says.

Designer menswear in India is still far behind the womenswear segment. Khanna and Rawal say the main problem lies in the lack of a strong retail network. “There should be a dedicated space for menswear. Even in multi-designer stores,womenswear gets more importance over men’s fashion,” laments Rawal.

Kumar,meanwhile,emphasises on the need to factor in wearability and versatility at reasonable prices. “More often than not,menswear designers ignore this and insist on offering a dramatic take in the name of fashion. Such collections don’t get a good start,” explains Kumar.

For all the latest Cities News, download Indian Express App

    Express Adda