Fashion now much more democratic, say designers

Ankur and Priyanka Modi
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By Nivedita

New Delhi–Ankur and Priyanka Modi’s journey in the fashion world along with their brand AM:PM has a history of 12 years. Over the years, they have noticed that fashion nowadays is sought, bought and worn more to express oneself as compared to the days when Indian women were dictated by an “implicit convention”.

“Until a few years back, Indian women were dictated by an implicit convention. They were dressing according to society’s expectation of them.

Ankur and Priyanka Modi
Ankur and Priyanka Modi

“Women today, on the other hand, are out there working, travelling and consuming the newest trends off international runways on their phones. Thanks to the world becoming flatter, fashion is now so much more democratic,” Ankur, son of ace designer Anju Modi, told IANS in an email interview.

The biggest change, he said, is the mind-shift.

“The modern Indian woman is dressing her personality. Thus, the fashion industry has become more dynamic, and we as designers have to constantly evolve to keep up with the same,” Ankur added.

His wife Priyanka, who is one-half of their widely popular AM:PM brand — which specialises in luxury pret — also feels that Indian textile is getting the right attention. However, she feels there is a lot more that needs to be done.

“Designers are always looking to innovate and evolve. Doing that with indigenous textiles or crafts is always a great idea. This drive of modernising Indian handicrafts will surely benefit weavers and craftsmen around the country, though impact on designers who are doing this to attract international attention, according to us, will be minimal.

“This is not to say that it won’t peek any interest, but we shouldn’t mistake interest with any intent of doing significant business. It’s an exotic product for them (foreigners) and hence, will likely only appeal to that very small niche,” Priyanka said.

At the same time, she also feels it only makes sense for fashion industry players and leaders to “introspect” why the talent does not translate into promising and encouraging numbers in terms of business.

“Of course, with all the positives, also come the negative,” Priyanka said, and added: “We feel there is a lot still to be desired in terms of how we approach the business as an industry. Everyday, we see new labels being launched, new designers becoming entrepreneurs, but the total size of the fashion design industry is roughly Rs 1,200 crore.

“We must collectively introspect and understand why it is when we have all the talent, we have no real bearing on the retail market? These are pertinent questions which need to be answered and urgently.”

As a dynamic team, Ankur and Priyanka Modi work together in a way that they complement each other’s skills and areas of expertise.

Their AM:PM brand has grown steadily, with the headquarters in New Delhi, and retailing out of a total of 25 stores across 15 major cities in India. Internationally, AM:PM can be found at select stores in the US, Britain, Russia, Brazil, and the Middle-East.

Now they’re eyeing major expansion as they “realise the expandability quotient of the brand and the fact that it can venture into so many more verticals of fashion and lifestyle”.

“Going forward, it would probably be the most crucial asset we possess,” said Ankur.

“We are slated to open 20 more exclusive-AM:PM stores within the next three years in India, Dubai, Singapore, US and Britain. Apart from this, we retail from 15 of the most exclusive multi-designer boutiques nationally and internationally and are also available on premium online portals,” said Priyanka.

For young aspirants in the fashion world, they have a word of advice.

“It is very important for a designer to believe in creating their own language and remaining true to that.” (IANS)



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