Prime Minister Narendra Modis demonetisation move will lead to a new consumer behaviour pattern among buyers, says Indias ace couturier Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who has carved a place for himself in the fashion world by weaving traditional stories with threads of Indian culture in his ensembles.
The designer, who is now focused on taking his ensembles — which he describes as poetry — to foreign shores, says consumers will be smarter while shopping and they will weigh options carefully before spending money.
His latest collaboration with famous French footwear designer Christian Louboutin for a range of bespoke shoes and handbags, the designer also discussed the ripple effects that the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes could have in the fashion sector of the country.
“Well, there is going to be a new consumer behaviour pattern, especially now. I think it will be pretty much a new buying class. They will be super smart about what they want to buy, at what price they want to buy. They will be very worked out,” Sabyasachi said.
“As far as the market is concerned in India, there will be that kind of depth and width in the market,” he said, adding that for him “having five stores is more than enough”.
Now he is looking for out-of-country expansion — even though he has stores in the US, Dubai and London.
“I am fully charged about taking the India story out of the country in a space I have never tried before,” said Sabyasachi, who started an eponymous label in 1999 and made waves in the international fashion scene by using Indian textiles with a contemporary twist.
His work paved the way for him to showcase at fashion weeks in Milan, New York and London.
After doing “a small little range” running high on dark, gothic and sexual elements with Louboutin last year, the designers have got back together for a second chapter.
“Much before I met Christian, I saw his daffodil shoe. And to me, it looked like a jeweled porcupine. And I remember when I saw it with my friend, I didn’t let her leave the store without buying them.
“And that obsession stayed in my head. When I met Christian, we did a collaboration and I used it in a very little quantity. This time it has been an explosion. It is everywhere.”
Sabyasachi, whose creations have been flaunted by the likes of actresses Shabana Azmi, Renee Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Tabu, Sushmita Sen and Kareena Kapoor Khan, comes from Kolkata, and Louboutin is connected to Paris.
Two different cultures, two different origins, two different styles, and two different countries. And that is what, according to Sabyasachi, gives an edge to the collaboration as it lends itself a “multi-dimensional perspective”.
“My clothes are a little bit like traditional poetry, and his (creations) are extremely modern, punk and goth. Because I am not exposed to that, it was fascinating for me. When Christian comes to India and we go for workshops, I like to see India through his eyes.
“What he picks up, what are the things that I take for granted because I see it every day. But for him, it is a new thing. When somebody from the West is looking at something East or East is looking at the West, you get a multi-dimensional perspective.”
Sabyasachi said what he likes about the collaboration is that “it is as much him as it is me”.