There’s something inherently comforting about the clothes that Aneeth Arora makes. The Indian-ness is visible in her choice of textiles that bring in the softest of mulmuls and weaves, complemented with hand embroideries, even though the styling is bohemian. But when it came to putting together her first mass retail collection for Westside, which was announced recently, the designer had to go back to the drawing board.
“The collaboration came post my win at the Vogue India Fashion Fund in 2012. It was a good opportunity to explore the mass retail market and showcase my work,” says Arora. But since it was a collection for Zuba, their premium Indian wear targeting the masses, she had to “compromise” on design to keep costs down. “Keeping an older clientele in mind, I have put together tunics, kurtas, tops and bottomwear using silks such as chanderi, and ajrakh prints. The collection will be priced between Rs 5,000 and 8,000,” says the designer. The colour palette is equally toned down, with the likes of deep maroon, mustard and indigo being used. The collection will be in stores as part of the autumn-winter line-up of the brand.
Interestingly, Arora is keen to explore the mass pret market and is taking baby steps towards it. “I don’t want pricing to be a deterrent for those keen to wear the label,” says Arora, who is exploring an affordable commercial line as an experiment as part of Pero. She also did a trial run at Ogaan’s Artisan Bazaar in Delhi recently and is looking to take the idea forward.
While her menswear and womenswar lines, available in India, have found popularity, the designer has made her kidswear label a success overseas. The skin-friendly fabrics and handmade qualities of her clothing make it ideal for children and the designer has made that her USP.
Chota Pero, an off-shoot of her signature Pero line, is fast gaining a strong hold in the international market. Not many are aware that the brand has participated for eight seasons at Pitti Bimbo, a globally renowned platform for showcasing kidswear held in Florence, Italy. “Even though I launched Chota Pero alongside Pero, it’s now that we are gaining recognition for it,” admits Arora.
The mini version with its cutesy cotton frocks is making a foray into niche stores across 20 countries where Pero is already available, but surprisingly, the designer is yet to retail in India. “I find the market not very accepting towards casual wear for children, especially at higher price points,” says the designer, who despite her success, is yet to have her exclusive store in the country. “I like working in my studio through appointments and it’s primarily to cater to those who want customised sizes,” says the designer.