India’s growing appetite for luxury brands

British Designer Alice Temperley

British Designer Alice Temperley
British Designer Alice Temperley

By Nivedita

A growing clientele with an appetite for luxury products makes India a conducive market for global fashion designers to make inroads, says British designer Alice Temperley, whose creations have been worn by the likes of The Duchess of Cambridge, Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez.

She has launched her fashion brand Temperley London in the Indian market.

An annual visitor to India, she feels that over the years, the country’s market has turned ripe for fashion-related engagements.

“I have been to India at least once a year for the last 15 years and I have loved seeing the market place change,” Temperley said in an email interview from London.

“The first big European flagship stores, the first mall and now more eclectic designer boutiques. It is the right time to engage with the Indian consumer as there is a clear appetite for luxury brands and a discerning customer base who are influenced by global fashion trends.

“I think the Indian market is ready to engage with new brands – our product and attention to detail is perfect for the market. The brand has a great story and I am sure we will have a strong resonance with the Indian consumer,” added the women’s wear designer.

The year 2015 marks the brand’s 15th anniversary, and the designer feels that her latest collection is perfect to make its mark in India.

“Right now our products are stronger than ever and Summer 2015 feels like a great collection to launch our brand in India, with fresh colours, light fabrics, beautiful tailoring and great functional separates,” she said.

The Temperley brand has made its India foray via multi-designer store Kitsch, a property co-owned by Priya and Charu Sachdev.

“I am happy to be launching in Kitsch and excited to see the response. I look forward to my trip to India later in the year,” said the designer, and praised Indian designers Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherji for their “great talent and brilliant craftsmanship”.

Over the years, several international designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Chanel and Givenchy, took inspiration from India’s rich culture and heritage for some of their offerings. Temperley too hopes to take a ‘desi’ cue.

“I am continually inspired by my surroundings, especially through my travels. I am lucky that everything around me can provide inspiration. I will of course be looking at what the Indian consumer likes within the collection and will keep this in mind with future collections,” said the designer, who will be visiting the country later this year.

She started her label Temperley London in 2000. She hosted her first fashion show in Notting Hill in 2003 and later showcased her work in New York.

The brand is currently sold in 300 stores in 37 countries.

Asked about one vital factor she keeps in mind while designing her clothes, she said: “I always have the Temperley woman in mind.”

Her “Temperley woman”, she said, is “Feminine, confident and ethereal with an eye for detail.”

Talking about what works for the brand’s design aesthetic among Indian women is the fact that ladies here are “savvy, sophisticated and appreciate details and colour.”

She feels Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, often called the Hindi films’ fashion icon, reflects a true Temperley woman.

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