Was in shock when I joined Indian fashion market: International designer Hemant Sagar

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) After successfully making its name in the Paris fashion scene, French Haute Couture house Lecoanet Hemant took an important step forward with the opening of its headquarters in India in 2008. But designer Hemant Sagar says he was in shock when he joined the Indian fashion industry as people here hardly appreciated clothes and were only interested in price points.

"It was very difficult when we entered the industry. I had a shock because there was no fashion market as there was just Karma and Ogaan (the multi-designer boutiques)... That's it, and I couldn't understand why no one was talking about style, the cut, the procedure and no one was interested either. It was so funny.

"I used to think, 'Are these people going to wear price tag or garment'. I still don't understand. What I am trying to say is that the appreciation of garment is really important, but things are changing now," Sagar told IANS.

Lecoanet Hemant ceased its activities in Paris in March 2000 to move into a totally new business of ready-to-wear in India. The decision was taken when Didier Lecoanet and Sagar opted to launch a new industrial couture line and saw Asia as the ideal launchpad for their registered fashion brand.

From their first fashion show held in Paris in 1981 to making space for their brand in India -- they have had a glorious journey. They have completed 38 years in the industry. To celebrate that, the designer duo curated an exhibition showcasing some of their finest pieces.

The exhibition highlighted the designers' creative work, their legacy and their efforts in contributing towards placing India on the global fashion map. On display at the exhibition were 30 to 40 creations, half of which were made in Paris (1984-2000) and the other half at their Gurgaon Atelier (2000-2017).

Sagar describes the journey as peaceful.

"It was like sitting in your compartment in a train and watching times go by, but (you) continue doing your work. We were very dedicated to our idea, which is based on a sari. I don't think there is anything more sexier in the whole world than the sari; so we have been having a love affair with what a sari could be, since our beginning. We talked about travel, India and sari and we are still doing that," he said.

"It was also based on the story of making the garment and giving it a twist of fusion wear," he added.

So what's the vision of brand Lecoanet Hemant?

"The vision is to become a lifestyle brand and this exhibition has been a big step towards the same. There is a cosmetic series, Ayurvedic collection, that is to come out. All these things are lifestyle products which will come together and I plan to make this all into a lifestyle space," Sagar told IANS.