Thailand Seeks to be ASEAN’s Fashion Hub

dfFaced with a fall in exports to the US and EU, Thailand’s textile and garment industry has set its sights on becoming a fashion hub for the ASEAN region. Slowing demand from the US and EU has been offset by a rise in Thailand’s exports to Asia – including China, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan – which now accounts for half the country’s total exports, according to Srirat Rastapana, Director General of Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) at the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand. She said, “Some 23-24% of exports are within ASEAN and China takes up 12% and both are growing. Asia is a huge market with plenty of room for expansion; we will focus our attention and efforts on Asia.”

Rastapana points to Thailand’s advantages, including “its strategic location to become a distribution centre of ASEAN,” product quality, and an array of educati0l1al institutes producing potential personnel in textiles and design. However, the industry faces challenges too, explains Somsak Srisuponvanit, Chairman of the National Federation of Thai Textile Industries. “In order to maintain its position in

Sustainable can be fashionable for brands

csAt the far end of the supply chain

‘Yes I’m very afraid,’ admits Moussa Doumbia. ‘Sometimes I can’t sleep.’ Moussa grows cotton as a cash crop in Mali. He lies awake at night wondering whether he will be able to afford medicine to treat the malaria of himself and his two youngest children, just three and five years old. The three tonnes of cotton Moussa produces gives him an annual income of $322 less than $1 a day.

‘The cotton price is not enough for farmers to cover our needs including school fees and health,’ he says.

So Moussa also farms corn, peanuts, beans and rice to feed his 10-member family. He breeds cattle, sheep and oxen which he sells in dire emergencies. He has to rely on occasional handouts from his two brothers who work abroad one in Cte dIvoire and the other in Spain. And still it’s not enough. “I don’t want my children to be cotton farmers,” he explains. “Because they will have no future.”

Sustainability starts with farmers

Cotton farmers are the invisible foundation of the fashion industry. Transparency and traceability

Braiding infinite patterns with Kumihimo

seEvery piece of clothing, every sample of fabric, every strand of yarn is part of textile’s creativity, as each step to form the final textile product requires a well sketched plan and out of the box ideas to ensure that it stands to the expectations of consumers. The creativity can involve centuries old arts borrowed from various countries. In the 21st century corporate world, there is intense competition to establish and separate brands from the rest and this can be attained by how well the brands use old arts in contemporary style. The textile and fashion world has, thus, recreated the magic of Kumihimo art of braiding, which originated in Japan.

Kumihimo is a Japanese word for threads assembled together. In Kumihimo the strands are interlaced to form a braid. The braids can be simple or complex as per the requirement. The contemporary Kumihimo braids are created on Kumihimo disks, unlike the conventional Kumihimo braids that were made on tools like marudai and takadai. Today the disk used to create braids has a firm but flexible foam plastic with notches and it can be used as a

Amalgamation of global cultures in fashion

sThe global itineraries not only reveal the beauty around the world, but also give a strong presence of mixed cultures and adaptation of art from various countries. This incorporation and merger of traditions is seen chiefly in the fashion that dominates a particular country. Fortunately, with the globalisation, fashion has become a wider term, in the sense that designers are much more open to adopting what they find inspiring in any given culture. Thus, it is no wonder to find patterns in America or Europe that have their roots in Asia or Africa! The fashion evolution has its roots in each and every culture that the world has seen and the difference in cultures, ideas, values, lifestyle et al impart a unique character to the designs.

Indeed the designers do not need to trot the globe to get inspiration, as the world is at the fingertips with so many smart gizmos around. A tour to the world and finding designs that are allied to a particular ethnicity are much simpler to realise. The recent spring 2014 ramps were full of designs created with the help of striking

Normcore a fashion or an anti fashion trend

cFashion has always been repetition of ideas and all about reliving and creating new trends. With every New Year, shoppers and retailers are bombarded with the latest items and looks for the season. Designers and fashion forecasters predict the future of fashion and the styles that will reign on and off the runway. Some styles are classic and linger forever while some are ephemeral. Staying trendy requires one to follow and keep track of the season’s colours, prints, styles, and looks to stay hip.

The latest buzz that has hit the fashion scene is the anti-fashion trend called Normcore. An American trend forecasting team coined the term which is an amalgamation of two main words namely normal and hardcore. They predicted normcore to be the next big fashion movement. The term has caused fashion frenzy and after a leading magazine wrote about the look, it went viral online.

After all what is Normcore? The basic attitude of the normcore style is unlike any fashion trend to look different and stand apart, it is rather a look to fit in the crowd and

7 accessories every girl needs to

ffEvery girl should possess some accessories in her wardrobe that are essential for the fall season. With the cooling temperatures, it is imperative that her choice of clothes also shifts accordingly. As it is not possible to go shopping every change of season; it is always good to keep certain clothes handy to tackle the colder months.

Here are the 7 essential accessories that every girl must have in her wardrobe:

Boots: Be it a pair of high boots or cowboy ones, these look stylish and trendy with different types of dresses. You can wear skin tight jeans along with these, while leggings will also work perfectly fine. Apart from that, you can also pair your denim skirts with these boots. These boots will actually save your feet from rain and early snow in the winter season.

Black dress: If you have heard that a black dress is essential for every woman, you have heard it right. A sleek and elegant black dress can be worn to any formal occasion like a business party or a meeting. You can pair this dress

3D printing Reinventing fashion

fv3D printing is conquering the fashion world. Although the pioneering new technology still has limitations, more designers are today experimenting with it and create entirely new looks. This spring, the first 3D print fashion show was organised in New York, showing what the future of fashion might be like, writes Regina Henkel.

The future scenario in the context of 3D printing is like this: every household will have its own 3D printer, and everyone will be able to design and produce their own products by simply printing them. The consumer will become the producer. Even if the consumer downloads the design from the Internet, the production will easily be done by the printer. It is the last phase of the democratisation of fashion, and the final solution for no-waste-production.

Essentially, 3D printing is an additive method: which means layer upon layer completely new structures can be built in three dimensions and seamlessly – without producing any waste. And, without over-production too. The raw materials for 3D printing are in plastics right now, but metals and even biomass are

Fall Fashion

vgAfter basking in the summer trends for 2014, its time to find out about the reigning styles and silhouettes for fall fashion and embrace them with confidence. It’s almost time to bid adieu to the bright flip-flops and breezy cotton dresses and welcome the fall. The latest in fall classics like coats and boots, new colours and prints, which are emerging for this seasons staples make the stylish. Shed the winter blues with the new and know the fresh trends to stay in style this fall/winter.

The biggest highlight of the rising trends for autumn/winter 2014-2015 is the androgynous take on women’s fashion. Dressing like a man is going to be every fashion obsessing woman’s cup of tea for the soon approaching winters. The silhouettes, colours, and patterns are inspired from it and designers have turned to menswear for sporting a bold and man-kind look.

All the four fashion capitals showcased their love for this blooming trend. This season’s look is more masculine from the past feminine projections of the trend. Fitted suits, boxy tailoring, loose and fitted shirts were largely seen adorned by models on the catwalks. Wide legged pants in various styles

Hemang Agrawal The new age textile designer

55Not every fashion design graduate wants to move out of comfort zones, and out of glitzy metros. Hemang Agrawal was one of those exceptions who did. He went back to his hometown of Varanasi and has since been promoting traditional Indian textiles. In a freewheeling conversation with Meher Castelino, Agrawal speaks about the passion that drew him out of the mundane.

One does not often get to see a fashion design graduate switching weaves, devoting his life to the promotion of Indian textiles. But, that’s exactly what Hemang Agrawal has done.

A 2001 fashion design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Mumbai, Agrawal had been born in a textile family of Varanasi where handloom silks were part and parcel of the family’s daily life. His father, Shyam Krishna Agrawal, was a fine arts student who understood both art and business well. He started a business of saris under the banner of Surekha Arts in 1970, a firm that is today one of the many companies that’s part of the Surekha Group. Textiles, therefore, remained in Hemang’s conscious mind,

What is the next big thing in the 2015 fashion industry?

4rrWith a New Year right here, we are again at that point of the year when we try to figure out what the next big thing in fashion will be. New fashion collections appear for 2015, like Alexander Wang’s, and we all do our best to prepare for a new year of innovation, one that seems to be a lot more interesting than 2014. The fashion world is always evolving. It changes and what is really hot right now will most likely be seen as an old, expired trend tomorrow. Fashion watchers now see the fashion industry practically introducing brand new looks every day to respond to an increase in demands.

The influence of social media

In the past, people were not that aware of trends, and fashion was not as important as it is now. Now, besides reading articles, social networks like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to quickly see fashion show images and videos, changing everything. There is a clear increase in demand and new designers appear, trying to come up with the new look and promoting it further through social media.

Social media also becomes an important medium for the small

Approval procedures need to be swift

7uImprovisation of infrastructure, reforming labour laws, investing in a skilled labour force, implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and most importantly, speedy approvals are some of the measures that domestic brands feel are required for the ‘Make in India’ initiative to be a success, reports Manisha Almadi Midha.

The ‘Make in India’ campaign was launched by the Narendra Modi government for 25 sectors, including the textiles and apparel industry. It focuses on transforming India into a global manufacturing hub by encouraging brands to manufacture in India. The campaign also hopes to attract capital and technological investment into the country, thus spurring GDP growth. While some domestic brands share their views on the campaign, global ones completely shy away from participation. Some say that being MNCs they cannot comment on ‘Make in India’, while others are wary of sharing their feedback on a government policy as it might affect their stake in the market. Fibre2Fashion did a wrap-up of two domestic brands that came forward: Fusion Beats and Riot.

Fusion Beats is a womenswear brand, Western in look but Indian in spirit. It is an amalgamation of ethnic and western wear. 109°F, on the

Fashion gets personal with blogs

thThere was a time when the internet was used to exchange documents and to read up.

As the time passed, it has became a tool to communicate with, shop, influence people and even write online journals. When blogging started as part of an internet activity, it was more of one way communication. Then, interactive features were added making blogs more potent than ever. Readers’ comments on blogs helped spread the word from the horse’s mouth. Blogging is an important activity now, with popular bloggers influencing politics, fashion and every other sphere of society.

Fashion blogs have especially become a way to increase sales, understand customer sentiment and demand, improve product quality and understand future trends for both the buyers and brands. The addition of facilities like uploading photographs, viewers’ comments and queries, as well as expert opinions on a series of topics have opened up a new interactive platform for bloggers.

Strong hold on audience
In the past, fashion magazine editors, super models, designers and movie stars represented and influenced the fashion world. The modern world of fashion has evolved and it takes inspiration from everywhere – from casual street styles to elegant elite

Future of Fashion

gbThe fashion industry with its ever changing trends has had a big role to play in polluting the environment. But with growing awareness among the consumers, many apparel manufacturers have switched to employing eco-friendly methods of production. Saumya Chaturvedi discusses about the sustainable technologies and processes being used in the industry to make fashion green.

 

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, in the way we live and what is happening around us.”- Coco Chanel

 

Fashion is a means to express one’s ideas, culture and values, interests and personality. Fashion has been evolving since the 19th century when Charles Fredrick Worth had labels sewn into garments that he created.

 

Even though fashion has evolved through decades of constantly creating demands by being stylish and fascinating, its impact on the environment is becoming increasingly hazardous. Being one of the biggest players in the global economy, the fashion industry holds the responsibility to protect and save the environment and its precious resources. Insatiable and increasing demands are putting undue pressure on the environment. The culture of affordable shopping has led to increase in the number of shopaholics,

Deciding on the Brand name for your fashion label

22In today’s marketplace with thousands of products and services being rapidly commoditised, a brand name helps to stand out and establish a clear identity in the market. The brand name in itself signifies the existence of a powerful “narrative” link to the brand.

“You must carefully define your attitude, your particular sense of style and fashion, and what sets you apart from the other labels” says Jay Jurisich, Creative Director, Igor, a branding consultancy firm based in San Francisco.

Fashion labels mostly use the designer’s name as the brand name. This helps in creating an association with the quality and uniqueness of the apparels. The value added on the name is to create a hook in order to connect the consumers with the unique identity of the designer in terms of quality and exclusivity. This would help to increase the longevity of the relationship like Giorgio Armani, GUCCI, Prada, etc.

What you may need to know before selecting a brand name

Define your audience archetype

The brand name may be created keeping the consumers in mind. A well researched name helps to associate with a large number of consumers. With a clearly defined name, it is easy

The Little Black Dress

0“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress”, said Karl Lagerfeld. There are few styles that remain forever in the fashion trend cycles and become a staple among the fashion forwards. These classic styles never go out of fashion and are time and again showcased by designers at the runway. The Little Black Dress (LBD) is one such thing that has survived innumerable fashion fads and trends to become a quintessential statement piece in every woman’s wardrobe.

LBD became popular among women because one can dress up or dress down with it. One can never go wrong and easily dodge the fashion police by wearing an elegant and chic LBD for almost all evening occasions. There has been a huge transition in the style and structure of the LBD since its inception. Nonetheless, it holds the same undying charm, versatility, and affordability.

Black was essentially considered to be the color of mourning. A woman in mourning had to follow strict rules of wearing nothing but black dresses for about a year. During the time of the great depression and World War ΙΙ a lot of women wore black and also became

Corporate Wear You Can Buy and Flaunt This Winter Season

xzBased on the corporate wear trend forecast for India this season, here are items you should buy, wear and flaunt:

For Him

Short-collared shirts

Formal shirts with short collars for a sharp office look. They are a lot more functional than other collar lengths and will stay popular over the next few seasons. Go for a short collar on a dressy white shirt (which you wear either with a tux or without) or a smart pastel (blue, grey, mauve) shirt under your favourite business suit.

Three-piece suits

Old-world three-piece suits in classic cuts for the boardroom and business trips are by far one of the strongest trends for men this winter. The waistcoat must be made with the same fabric as the jacket and trouser and should give you a structured and snug fit. Ensure its ‘dressy enough’ to be worn with a full-sleeve shirt, even without a jacket on top.
Slim ties

Broad ties are vintage. Update your tie rack with a collection of slim ties. While a black one is a must, keep a brown, blue, purple and red tie handy to mix and match with all your suits.

Textured & matt fabrics

No shinier, metallic and glossy

Cartoons Enter the Segment of High Fashion Apparel for Grown Ups

xdDisney Consumer Products launches high-fashion apparel for grown-ups

Last year, leading high-fashion retail chains Mango and Zara were in for a surprise in India. Among their top sellers were premium T-shirts featuring popular cartoon character Mickey Mouse meant for grown-ups.

Encouraged by the response the one-off experiment met with, Disney Consumer Products the retail and merchandise arm of Disney UTV, is rolling out high-fashion branded apparel meant for adults featuring Mickey, Minnie and other famous cartoons. Disney hopes the move will help it broad base its consumer base, which is now heavily child-centric, boosting sales and profit margins with the introduction of higher margin products.

In India, the company hopes that adult-targeted products will contribute to 40% of sales within two years, said Roshni Bakshi, managing director, licensing and retail, at Disney UTV.

Earlier this year, Disney tied up with real estate firm Supertech to cash in on demand for branded interiors to launch Disney-themed decor in Delhi-NCR. Mickey and other characters feature on furniture, rugs, tableware, kitchenware, fans, paints, swimming pool and play zones in these homes. Disney has similar tie-ups with two other real estate players

Baring All The Rise & Reveal of the Midriff

d2Hemlines, trouser shapes and sleeve lengths change seasonally, but it takes a little longer for the exposure of a previously covered area to be adopted by the mainstream. Backless, hipster and plunge find themselves returning to trend far less frequently than easier to wear shapes. But there’s one reveal which has made it to rapid success: where did the midriff suddenly spring from?

The exposed midriff has a celebrity endorsement of the highest pedigree, having seen red carpet outings on Gwyneth Paltrow, Rooney Mara, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez and Solange Knowles. A mixed bunch, appealing to a broad assortment of customers. And then there’s Rihanna, who can’t keep her abs in for love nor money (and why would she?!): given her 85 million online followers, there’s a fair few eyeballs on her sartorial choices.

But from where did the trend stem? And once it’s taken away from the honed and toned A-list bods, does it actually sell to the masses? Are consumers willing to part with their cash and parade their ribcages? Examining the data, we expose more than a little flesh.

Look back a year ago

Just How Influential are Trends

xBlogs, street style, emerging art movements and rapidly changing music genres: with the myriad of real-time references influencing fashion today, do mainstream trends really still exist? Or is each brand/retailer able to identify and cater for the demands of their own unique customer base?

We looked at data on last month’s ‘Top Movers’ (as defined by quick sell-through, no discounting and subsequent restocks) from 11 global online retailers across a diverse spread of price points. They were: Topshop, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Net-a-Porter, Bloomingdales, Forever21, Neiman Marcus, Zara, Shopbop, ASOS and Anthropologie.

Selecting the 10 quickest selling garments across all clothing categories gives a compelling insight into which trends each retailer has invested in and how their customer is responding. Comparing top 10 garments across the different retailers then gives a fascinating picture of what is going on in the industry. And what you can very quickly see from the data is that trends are not just alive, they’re seemingly immortal.

Here we analyze the hottest current trends

1.Fringing

In May, fringing featured on sellout garments at Neiman Marcus and H&M. At Zara, two of the month’s ten Top Movers were fringed. Fringing saw a staggering 27,703 online

Exquisite and unique Revisiting ikat design

chIkat has been around since centuries and it is no accident that it is still appreciated and in demand around the world in various forms. Ikat is a popular dyeing technique, which ties the untied threads into a bunch by employing grass or cotton, which is wax treated. Under ikat technique the weaver has to decide where should the dye set in among the loose threads and where the dye should be restrained from setting. It is with the help of this method that the weavers get a suitable pattern when the threads are conclusively woven on a loom. The complication increases when more colours are used to form pattern.

Some ikats only concentrate on dyeing the weft threads, while others focus on colouring the warp yarns. The weft ikats are less precise, thus for more exact patterns, warp threads are dyed and it is difficult to tell in this case that ikat technique has been used. It appears more like block printing, following the precision of design. When weft yarn is dyed the design is clear only when the threads are woven together whereas when warp