Raghavendra Rathore walks the ramp with Jahnavi Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Anil Kapoor. Rathore has dressed the likes of Sonam Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, among others, has understood the dynamics of the fashion industry ahead of the curve and understood the scope of scalability.(Instagram/ Raghavendra Rathore)

Designer Raghavendra Rathore’s eponymous label is the only Indian fashion label to have attracted an International investor, that too nothing less than a brand like Zegna.

One reason could be the commonalities — understated style, superior quality and bespoke tailoring. The other is quite simply that Rathore has understood the dynamics of the fashion industry ahead of the curve and understood the scope of scalability.

There is something to be said, for people like yourself who have stayed true to their signature style. Is this the reason you have left many of your contemporaries behind?

RR: Building a brand is a constant process; the architecture and the core value system of the marquee needs to have long-term vision. In other words, a blue print with desirable milestones in place, which need to be met with precision.

For an entrepreneur, it is a must to keep a good balance between the creative and the business hemisphere, encourage team leadership, and most importantly create a business model that is not dependent on one individual, and at the same time it must be scalable.

You are the only Indian brand which has attracted an international investor. Why do you think this is so?

RR: The legacy that the brand has achieved with its focus and a trusted bespoke menswear clientele are a good value proposition for an investment. Moreover, the brand though steeped in heritage, has a product offering which resonates a global appeal. This, coupled with its classic and timeless ethics, allows stability for the like minded partners. Many of the contemporary home grown brands share the same sentiments and see a corporatisation trend as an inevitable progression for their growth.

Social media, paid partnerships and influencers are a thing of the present or a ticking time bomb?

RR: Messaging and communication in the future will have similar and more demanding requisites as today, anticipating more disruptions via technology and being prepared to experiment with the change is the new norm. We have to keep in mind that we are a very expressive culture which feeds on curiosity – whether it is festivals, Bollywood, or cricket, we will always have a need to aspire, enquire and be aware and in many cases social media provides that platform—needless to say balance is key.

You are planning to expand in a big way, kindly share some of the details.

RR: Our approach is unconventional due to the nature of the bespoke business; the focus presently is on providing an exclusive experience to the customer, whether here or globally, which is a natural extension as we celebrate 25 years of the brand.

Man maketh the clothes or vice versa. Please comment.

RR: Bespoke menswear is an investment in one’s personality, lifestyle products designed exclusively for an individual will no doubt elevate one’s persona. What you wear and who wears it go hand in glove, hence, the concept becomes a personification of one’s personal style.

The fashion industry is one of the largest pollutants in the world. How does your brand handle fashion waste?

RR: Consciously, everything that an individual does has an effect on the long term impact of our planet. Better policies, a more conscious use of resources, discerning choice of lifestyle products, openness to recognizing carbon footprints and tax, are some factors amongst many which we as consumers must be aware of. At a brand level, instilling conscious habits and early awareness amongst all can help start the trend.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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First Published: Sep 12, 2019 15:50 IST


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