“I hope to give Indian men an option"
Indian fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani has opened up about the struggles of menswear in the Indian fashion industry.
Tahiliani believes that menswear is “grossly underserviced”, which is what led him to his new partnership.
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) recently bought a 33% stake in Tarun Tahiliani’s existing business.
This, according to Tahiliani, will result in a new subsidiary that focuses on affordable menswear.
Talking about his hopes for his new venture, Tarun Tahiliani told Forbes India:
“One of the many reasons that made me say yes to this partnership is that I strongly believe that Indian fashion and its consumer base, especially men, are ready for this step up.
“In my opinion, this section is grossly underserviced and the collaboration permits me the financial freedom to focus on designing and creating outfits for it.
“I hope to give Indian men an option that they do not, I believe, have today.
“I think it is a new dimension for me and in India particularly because you will get outstanding quality at great pricing from this new venture.
“Meanwhile, the current Tarun Tahiliani brand will continue to do high-end luxury.”
Tarun Tahiliani promoted his new Spring/Summer 2021 collection, titled ‘Timelessness’, on social media due to the pandemic.
He introduced it on Instagram via a virtual fashion show in March 2021.
The collection supports local craftsmen and artisans and includes ideal pieces for weddings.
Speaking of how he has adapted his promotional strategies to suit the current pandemic, Tahiliani said:
“The magic that one can create with fashion in person will be a challenge to put forth digitally as everyone will be trying to do the same and it will be difficult to engage viewers without causing fatigue.
“Nevertheless, digital is definitely the way forward and we are collectively working on how to offer a different experience through our website, Instagram or Facebook.
“We are trying to think of ways of making our e-commerce experience more convenient for our customers.
“Our sales team is available to our customers on WhatsApp as well, showing them clothes, holding trials, etc.”
Tarun Tahiliani also talked about the struggles the fashion industry is facing due to Covid-19.
He believes that it is mainly due to the industry catering to events that are currently not being held.
“The Indian fashion industry is not faring well because it primarily dresses people for special occasions, weddings and a lot of dressy socialising.
“The industry is not geared towards athleisure or loungewear, which is what people have used in the past year.”
This has led Tarun Tahiliani away from the ‘seasonless’ route that many designers are taking.
Despite wedding attire being a large part of his brand, Tahiliani wants his pieces to be timeless – hence the title of his newest collection.
“We have not gone seasonless and don’t plan to either as we believe that there is a main festive/bridal season in India, with a shorter Spring/Summer season every year, so what we produce right now will be run from July 2021 through to March 2022.
“That said, a lot of our evening wear is seasonless and is bought by people from around the world, so while it could be one season here in India, it is a very different season somewhere else.”
According to Tarun Tahiliani, he hopes that the pandemic has forced people to think about their identities.
He says that, because life has changed, “fashion must change too”.