As the fashion industry enters the new age and embarks on fulfilling the varied demands of increasing consumers, eminent personalities shared their views at the most recent Chrcha – a networking and discussion forum, on the theme “Changemakers- New Fashion Business Models”.
The discussion in the Chrcha examined the need for fashion brands to take a new course to stay relevant in the light of rapidly changing consumer needs and a thriving market. Ms. Archana Surana, Founder & Director, ARCH led the panel to discuss the value and responsibility that fashion brands can create.
Fashion is not just a trend, it is now a way of expression and illustration of one’s personality. Fashion is not a definable concept as it’s subjective. So, how do brands tap markets that don’t have defined demographic demand?
‘‘By envisioning the mission of the brand, taking the vision behind it into consideration’’ said panelist, Mr. Vishwas Shringi (Founder and CEO, Voylla Fashions Private ltd) ‘’where core values are settled, based on core competencies, the very steps I took, before building a brand like Voylla’’
The ‘State of Fashion 2019’ survey as issued by McKinsey observes “India becomes a focal point for the fashion industry as its middle-class consumer base grows and its manufacturing sector strengthens. Fashion players must redouble their efforts in this highly fragmented and challenging market.”
The skill-set for starting up a venture was another important topic that was addressed by the forum. Mr. Vishwas Shringi advised recognition of the problem and building the solution. He encouraged progress with focus on ‘evolution, innovation and keeping the seeker in you alive’.
The new age brings new challenges and new solutions to those challenges. Technology is one such instrument that has presented itself in varied ways to the fashion industry. Entreating us to, “first identify the problem and then see how technology can be used to solve that problem’’ our fellow panelist Mr. Chintan Bakshi (CEO, Startup Oasis) said that everyone, even a designer, should be aware of what technology can do and how to use it. Mr. Bakshi insisted on gaining exposure by taking up projects and internships. To which, panelist, Ms. Thenny Mejia (Founder and CEO, Fashionabc), added that one can use online courses available for each technology to maximise resources using those technologies.
The Chrcha also discussed fast fashion, the bane of this digital era.
Ms. Archana Surana pointed out that that one should buy less and try to create a look of ones own and cherish each and every item of clothing one has.
Extending our thinking on the role of fashion in an individual’s life, Mr. Bakshi rightly said, “You don’t belong in a cloth, you live in cloth.” Going further, he said entrepreneurs should be able to communicate their story to their customers along with the description of the quality of their product/ service. They should also try to explore and get to the real meaning of sustainability vis a vis the ‘future’
This Chr-cha served an ideal platform to serve the entrepreneurs with knowledge from the industry maestros themselves. The forum led an insightful discussion on what makes on a changemaker in the fashion industry.