Ensuring our brand adopts new ways of reaching out to consumer: Ritu Kumar

Radhika Sharma
·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) Veteran couturier Ritu Kumar believes the coronavirus pandemic-hit 2020 was a 'perplexing' year that put everyone to test, but hopes people will utilise this new year to push boundaries.

Kumar is walking the talk with her new collection 'Mismatched' that she presented on Thursday at the FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week 'phygital' edition.

'2020 was a perplexing year that put us and our capabilities to the test. I have never seen situations that made us rise to the challenge and embrace the new normal.

'We see it as a period of pushing the boundaries and expanding our horizons. 2021 has us pushing the pedal on ensuring the brand adopts new ways of reaching out to the consumer,' the 76-year-old fashion designer told PTI in an interview via email.

The fashion gala, which opened Tuesday, is being held in a hybrid format with both virtual and on-ground events in Mumbai.

The celebrated designer, known for dressing stars like Kareena Kapoor Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas among others, said though the energy of the physical show will be missed, the new version highlights the evolving nature of the fashion industry.

'Physical shows had a palpable excitement right from the ideation process and the final journey of the showcase. While the thrill of having people witness your creations face to face will be missing, the hybrid format signifies the strength of the industry to bounce back and adapt to the current situation,' she said.

For the show, Kumar, who owns the eponymous Ritu Kumar label, has associated with TRESemme to bring in the haircare brand's expertise of high fashion hairstyles apt for the runway.

'Overall, we are excited to gauge reactions as people log in virtually,' she added.

According to Kumar, 'Mismatched' takes inspiration from the summer-spring season where light weight fabrics are married with prints and techniques to provide a collection that is easy to dress up or down.

The colour palette, she said, follows the mood board with shades that bring alive nature.

The collection reflects modern minimalism with a bohemian culture and includes yarn dyes, mix and match of floral prints, patchwork with different laces, and geometric designs.

'Each piece from the collection revives the elegance that each woman beholds and comprises statement styles such as the contemporary suit line, organic sarees, the geometric prints line, and more.' For this range, Kumar has also experimented with organic soya fabric, creating sarees, which she said is just another step for the brand in working towards sustainability.

'As a brand, we have always worked with fibres that are as close to nature as possible. Man-made fibres are a small and rare component in the brand's collections if at all. Sustainable solutions require expanding the horizons and looking at innovative fabrics. The use of soya fabrics is part of our action in that direction,' she said.

Soya fabric is derived from the soybean which contains natural fibres within each bean.

'It takes more than a week to make one printed saree, from the print development to the placement and final output,' Kumar explained.

The fashion gala, being organised by Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) and Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), will close on Sunday. PTI RDS SHD RB RB