“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” – Miuccia Prada
Many people think fashion and appearance are superficial. People present themselves to the world and feel good about themselves. In reality, there is a wide range within fashion design itself. From casual wear to haute couture, somebody somewhere envisioned and designed it.
Apart from the glamour quotient attached to this line, it requires a lot of hard work and you definitely have to pay your dues before you showcase your collection under those big tents.
After graduating from college, Rinku Sobti worked with a London based designer. She realised that she was good at it and started enjoying this profession. With no formal course in design, she has been in this line for the last 20 years.
She started with a very small unit and now has a production unit of 200 people.
“I have had my store in south Delhi since the last 20 years and we never moved or tried opening another store. Our clients come to us as we have made them comfortable to a particular kind of space.”
Not many people were into designing when she set up her unit and the competition was much less as it is now. Not laying more focus on either traditional or western culture, she always did fusion.
“I feel people were always receptive of the new style. I was influenced by the work of the first designer I was associated with. People now are looking for more value for money. They are looking for more wearability. I don’t think there is much competition with other designers as such because each designer has his/her own style of working. I think the competition is more with the clients now.”
She launched a new label six months back to showcase handloom on a larger level. As the organic industry is on the rise, handloom sector should be too. She believes it’s time to give back to the society and be rooted with the culture.
“Normally people don’t associate handloom with the collection we have. I think that has picked up well because the youngsters are smart enough to be proud of their roots and at the same time they are exposed to the international trends also.”
E-commerce and fashion industry
Rinku has participated in various international shows, at London, Coterie in New York, Tuileries in Paris, Lakme Fashion week, and many more.
“You can wear anything but you have to make sure that it’s well cut, well stitched, and well structured,” she says.E-commerce, which is providing such a wide range of access to people across the country has helped Rinku in showcasing her collection and be able to reach out to the masses throughout the country.
“We were just happy selling nice, expensive pieces from our boutiques and we used to be satisfied with the income we would get out of it. It has kind of woken us up for the kind of audience that you can get. It’s crazy. We should be priced well. We cant be priced selflessly. I think e-commerce has balanced out everything. The kind of response the designer gets is mindboggling.”
For future, she believes folk combined with contemporary will be in. Featuring folk with international designs will be the new trend in the coming years. Young generation is buying organic and eating organic, so social acceptability of such a blend will be on the rise.
“I have enjoyed my journey. We have had our ups and downs. Something I enjoy doing and I feel lucky to be in a line where I don’t think I am really working. Everyday when I go to work, it’s not as if I am going to work, it’s like I am going to another set up.”