Indian handlooms are going global in a big way and have found support in the designer community, with ace labels like Manish Arora, Rohit Bal and Rajesh Pratap Singh figuring among 14 designers from the country, who are set to showcase their clothes and accessories, at the upcoming London Fashion Week beginning September 15.
The initiative is spearheaded by the UK based Conran Shop, which has picked up the 14 designers, including five who specialize in textiles, to travel to Conran Shops in London, Paris, New York and Tokyo.
"Handlooms represent not just an industry but the cultural heritage of India. It needs to chart out a road map for itself. Designers can play a major role in promoting handlooms.
"However, so far we have not been able to utilise our own resources to cope up with the changing lifestyles and aspirations. The handloom industry and the fashion designers should work in coordination to initiate yet another swadeshi movement," Rathi Vinay Jha said at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week held in the capital recently.
Sunil Sethi, CEO Alliance Merchandising company says, "I see a lot of new designers following the trend of handlooms. Major international stores like UK-based Crate and Barrel, the Habitat all brand leaders abroad -are selling stuff by our designers.
"I have done atleast Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) export in handlooms. This only goes on to prove that if we design our product right then the handloom industry has tremendous scope," he says.