Product innovation crucial to brand survival: Lakme Fashion Week seminar

MUMBAI:The last seminar organised by the Fashion Design Council of India at the Lakme India Fashion Week 2002 stressed the importance for product inovation.

Chairperson Anokhi John Singh spoke about the creation and evolution of the label Anokhi: "Brand alone does not keep you in business. Quality and consistent investment in product innovation are essential. They help tide over the ups and downs of demand fluctuations."

Singh said that India's strengths lay in commitment to traditional crafts and the craftsmen as they were nearly impossible to replicate elsewhere. Anokhi he said did not start as a purely commercial venture. Saving the dying art of block printing had been the driving force. Candidly admitting that the initial intention was never to create a designer label Singh spoke of the initial ups and downs, teething problems, hard work and grind that had gone into creating it. "We started with a handful of workers, few colours and basic skills and have now a vast worker base, developed a multitude of colours and effects and pioneered many developments in block printing." He further added.

Commenting on the developments in the market, Singh negated the need to follow set trends to be successful labels. Anokhi did not follow any trends, he said. "People like our work and their acceptance makes it fashionable." The consumer, he further said, was bound to get fed up with mass produced stuff and turn to designs, combinations and blends that simply appealed to their senses in a unique way.

Finally speaking of lessons that could be drawn from the "Anokhi Story", Singh said that brand alone could not sustain the business. Quality, successful use of design and innovation of the same core medium or skill to create variety in a product range was essential to insulate it from the ups and downs of demand

In its third year, the Lakme India Fashion Week 2002 was held from 2-8 August at the Taj Palace Convention Centre in New Delhi.

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