‘Péro’, which means ‘to wear’ in Marwari, is a label launched by Aneeth Arora, a textile design graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and a fashion design graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology.In conversation with Abhilasha Dafria from YourStory.in, this textile and fashion designer tells us more about the plethora of opportunities the textile industry offers. Read on!
Aneeth Arora was the winner of British Council’s Young Fashion Entrepreneur Awards, 2011. To know more about the Young Fashion Entrepreneur Awards, click here. Follow the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards (YCE) on Facebook
Aneeth, if someone asked you tell them about Pero in less than 50 words, what would you say?
‘Péro’ interprets international aesthetic using local material and skills and takes inspiration from what surrounds us to make a product that connects with people across the world. The Indianness of Péro rests in the textile process where materials and techniques have been passed down generations from one craftsperson to the other thereby carrying forward the Indian tradition of handmade textiles and creating pieces that are at once unique.
Was it difficult to introduce the concept of traditional fabrics to the international market?
It was not difficult to introduce the concept of traditional fabric to the international market at all. On the contrary, it is difficult to get Indians to understand that our textiles can be very trendy if incorporated in fashion in the right way because they mistake traditional with ethnic. Something that is traditional for India is a very unique, beautifully-crafted piece of textile for the international market.
I work with weavers all over India, the most important centres being Chanderi, Maheshwar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. I have worked with ‘gamcha’ weavers in Assam as well. I have a team of 10 people excluding the women who do handwork for me. Everything else, such as stitching is outsourced.
How many retail outlets do you have across India? Which cities in India and other countries do you predominantly sell to?
Péro is sold through close to 15 retail outlets in India. Internationally, it is sold in 20 countries, including Japan, Italy, France and UK, through 60 shops.
Could you tell us about your tie-ups? Which stores must one visit to pick up a Pero outfit?
I am currently functioning independently, without any tie-ups apart from a distribution firm in Italy that distributes the label exclusively throughout the world except India. In India, the label can be found at stores like Ogaan, Ensemble, Melange, Cinnamon, Amethyst, Evoluzione etc.
Are you also looking at launching an online store soon?
Since the label is already present in 20 countries and all stores have their different mark up strategy, it is not possible to sell the product online at a price which will be very different from the price it is sold for in different countries. Hence, we ruled out the e-commerce way of doing business.
Could you share some interesting trends about the market you are trying to capture?
What fascinates and inspires me most is the way people in India and the world style themselves. They are effortlessly trendy, thereby making them real trend setters of the time. The resulting garment evokes some sense of culture from which it originates. This culture communicates internationally in a way that the wearer looks equally at ease on the streets of Paris or London, as she does here in India. The look is not about an age group or season; it is about a mindset, a willingness to incorporate the effortless style of local people in ones attire.
What is your USP?Péro’s USP is the fact that each textile is especially made for each collection. The design process starts at the fabric stage and sometimes even at the yarn stage. It is almost like an artist weaving his own canvas before he starts to paint on it.
How did you acquire the capital to startup?
I was working for a year-and-a-half before I started my label. Savings from my earlier job helped me start my label. If we get any interesting offers from any investors, we would definitely consider it.
Any vital tips for budding entrepreneurs in your industry?
I would just like to say that ‘look around, the inspiration lies all around you. Get inspired and influenced and you will be surprised with what you can create if you are true to yourself.’
Lastly, could you tell us about your experience with YCE?
My experience with YCE was a very enriching one. It was good to meet 23 other designers from 19 other countries and know about their culture and above all, understand their outlook on design. It was an eye-opener to see so many talented people and each one was special in their own way.
Do check out www.pero.co.in for some stylish outfits!