The Private Equity (PE) arm of Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton – L Capital with Ravi Thakran at the helm of affairs gave a lot of hope to the Indian Fashion Fraternity to see ‘corporatisation’ of Indian Fashion Industry. Ravi Thakran being an Indian led the Desi fash-frat to unjustifiably believe that L Capital with a corpus fund of $ 650 Million would really see some huge investment in Indian Designer Labels. But as I mentioned – it was an‘unjustifiable’ expectation.
L Capital heavily invested in Genesis Luxury and took 25.5% stake in the company. Here I must say that Sanjay Kapoor of Genesis Luxury who is a former banker must have used his financial expertise to secure that huge chunk of investment from L Capital. Other brand where L Capital picked up stakes was Fabindia – L Capital holds 8% stake.
Finally L Capital turned its focus to the niche segment of Indian designer-wear. The reports of L Capital investing in Rohit Bal and Sabyasachi Mukherjee and in multi-designer retail chain – Evoluzione still stands unconfirmed. The talks are in final stages is what we still hear. This news sparked off various unconfirmed reports that Sabyasachi’s brand has been valued much higher than that of Rohit Bal’s and why Evoluzione and why not Ensemble. Ravi Thakran and Rohit Bal are old friends and when Thakran was heading Omega Watches, he sponsored a grand show of Bal’s at the American Ambassador’s (The Lundquists!) residence where Shahrukh Khan was the show-stopper. Murmurs of L Capital investing in Rohit Bal because Thakran and Bal are buddies had been floating but I personally discount it as gossip as PE firm of L Capital’s stature don’t do business on the basis of friendship. Gossip on why Evoluzione and why not Ensemble has many conspiracy theories.
But it’s high time L Capital comes out with a status report on what’s happening with the investments in Rohit Bal, Sabysachi Mukherjee and Evoluzione. Also how significant is the news that L Capital is planning to replicate the LVMH model in India? This is what I am reading - “Along with consolidating their separate labels under a single corporate structure, each of them will get a chance to scale up and reach domestic as well as global markets. L Capital plans to invest close to Rs 200 crores in the venture, which is being planned as a company that will own significant minority stakes in the design houses of these well-known designers and will forge a joint venture with Evoluzione for back-end distribution business. Gradually, more known designers will be brought on board to expand the business horizons.” Well if this happens I feel it is something the Indian designers always needed and it will definitely be an impetus to the desi designers. If LVMH-type structure comes up in India, it would definitely assist in consolidating and projecting Indian fashion to the world, besides helping brands with marketing, retailing and identifying suitable real estate to increase scale, pare costs, improve operating efficiency and boost profits.
Nothing like sipping bubbly and watching some great creations on the ramp. Well that exactly was what we were treated to on the 2nd Day at PCJ Delhi Couture Week 2012 at Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta’s ‘off-site’ show at Evoluzione at The Kila in Mehrauli. Anamika Khanna’s couture collection was simply fabulous. The intricate texturisation, innovative silhouettes, great assortment of fabrics, amazing colour story and of course perfect tailoring made Anamika’s collection a treat to the eyes. Well crafted jackets over lehengas or magnificent floor-duster coats gave a modern touch to traditional Indian ensembles. Sheer Salmon pink dupattas or layerings over ivory coloured ensembles livened up the look dramatically. Evoluzione has got an ace up their sleeves by securing the rights to sell the magnificent Couture Collection of Anamika Khanna.
Earlier on Day 2 at DCW 2012 the designer-duo of Ashima-Leena garnered applause for their collection that was very classy and stylish. The show opened with sequence in ivory/white where tonal embroidery using pearls interspersed with emerald stones and muted Gota work embelllished the sarees, churidaar-kurtas and lehengas. Deft juxtaposition of ornate blouses with plain sarees, kurtis with kerchief hemlines, sheer Tulle bodices and innovative designs like lehenga-saree were some high-points of the beautiful collection. Kudos to Ashima – Leena for showcasing a beautiful collection.
Over the years ‘Off-Site’ shows during Delhi Couture Week and the bi-annual Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week has assumed great importance as they are taken to be as ‘premium’ shows. Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal and Rajesh Pratap Singh have had the honour of doing ‘off-site’ shows earlier.
The idea behind ‘off-site’ shows are primarily to allow the designer the leverage of having and creating an ambience of their choice. But in India it is also seen as matter of prestige. It is like, ‘I have arrived if I am doing an off-site show.’
For the upcoming Delhi Couture Week 2012 scheduled between August 8 to August 12 2012 designers Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta are ‘blessed’ with the ‘off-site’ show. The duo will have their showing at the expansive fashion store – Evoluzione at the One Style Mile in Mehrauli.