Interview – Sabyasachi Mukherjee: Fashion should be democratic

17_thumb_071614113155His sartorial creations infused with tradition and feminism helped Sabyasachi Mukherjee take over the fashion domain with panache. And now he is on a mission to bring a revolution in the fashion world by bridging the gap between luxury and pret collection. The ace designer says there should be no boundaries in fashion as it should be “democratic”.

And to make this a reality, he is working on creating an affordable line.

“We are completely working on that (affordable range). In fact, this year we have started doing a line of affordable bridal wear. I believe that fashion should be democratic.

“If we are doing something very beautiful then you should make it accessible to more and more people and that is something the brand has constantly worked on,” Sabyasachi said.

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Sabyasachi, who is heading back to the small screen as a mentor in the upcoming sixth edition of the TV show “Band Baajaa Bride”, asserts that he is not neglecting any of the market.

“We work on higher end market and also try to do lower end. We try to elasticize the brand by catering to both the markets. Normally, our wedding lehenga starts around Rs.3 to Rs.4 lakh, but now we are planning to come up with a lehenga of about a lakh.

“And, hopefully we will come up with a lehenga worth Rs.65,000 or Rs.70,000 in the next two to three years.

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“We also do bridal saris and this time we have started a range of bridal wear saris which are woven Benarasi saris with hand embroidered borders and blouses which start from around Rs.65,000,” he added.

Sabyasachi, who started an eponymous label in 1999, made waves in the international fashion scene by using Indian textiles with a contemporary twist that earned him the distinction of being one of the few names in the history of Indian fashion to participate at fashion weeks in Milan, New York and London.

He uses his philosophy and scissors to create ensembles for women, men and even plunged into kidswear.

Sabyasachi notes that though women’s collection takes away most of the spotlight, menswear is something to watch out for as “it is going to be the next big thing”.

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“Women label is the most popular, but having said that menswear is also becoming very strong. I want to focus a lot on it because I enjoy doing menswear,” he said.

Going back in time, Sabyasachi shared that he came out with ‘Chota Sabya’ in 2012 to instil “cultural connect” in children, and he will give all his attention to the label after establishing his menswear.

“’Chota Sabya’ is something which I did because I wanted children to have a cultural connect. Once men’s wear is consolidated then I will work on that as well,” said Sabyasachi, who has styled for some of the popular Bollywood actresses including Vidya Balan, Tabu, Shabana Azmi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor Khan.

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Any expansion plans?

“I have plugged in stores to east, west, north and south. I’m making it a little easier for people to be able to shop — people from the eastern states can go to Kolkata; south can go to Hyderabad, western to Mumbai and north to Delhi.

“I donÂ’t want to expand it further because I don’t want to create dilution of services,” he said, adding that he is actively thinking of opening an online store and will get there soon.

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Talking about his forthcoming TV show, which will go on air on Friday on NDTV Good Times”, Sabyasachi said: “The whole journey of mentoring brides is very emotional. The season brings Ambika Anand back as anchor so it gets the original trio– me, Ambika and Bharat Arora (anchor). So, it is wonderful”.

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