In his over two decades long career, Narendra Kumar has seen the India fashion industry grow into a huge market but the designer says couturiers in the country are still afraid to experiment with their design sensibilities.
The designer says he also had similar notions about fashion but has come to the realisation being fashionable is not governed by size and colour.
Kumar will be presenting his first ever plus size range in collaboration with leading Plus Size Store aLL Primero at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018.
"We are still lagging behind when it comes to the idea of 'fashion for all'. It is because a lot of designers and labels still live in the perception or fear that if they do something different 'what will people think about their design sensibilities'.
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"I won't be lying that at some point, I also used to think like that. But this was the opportunity to move ahead for me and get out of that space in which I had limited myself," Kumar told PTI in an interview.
The designer said with his new collection, titled 'Never Hyde', he wanted "to explore how fashion means the same for everyone and whatever size you are you wear fashion for the sake of fashion and not for the sake of hiding your body."
Kumar said the fact that fashion as a concept evolved in the West long before it became important India is also one of the reasons why Indian market is still not considering plus size people as their target customers.
"The trend has come in India now and the labels are realising that they need to bring the niche to the mainstream. And this change is driven by the attitude of society, the acceptability of the choices people make. It is a happy moment that people are now so confident about their appearance and want to make efforts to look fashionable."
He also believes that the growth of plus size clothing market and people being fashion conscious is directly proportional to each other.
"The fact that fashion labels are now making clothes for plus size people has made them confident. At the same time, fashion industry has also realised that it is an opportunity for them to break through the mould. The designers have understood that it is the potential market which they need to look at. It is an opportunity both ways."
Kumar's LFW collection offers a variety of styles like athleisure, day and evening wear. The range is driven by multiple fabrics that are easy to wear and durable such as Ponte Roma, interlock knit, jacquard, terry wool, looper knit, moss crepe and cotton linen.
The designer said the collection also aims to break the stereotype that "a plus size person should wear black. The focus of this collection is to break all conventions by adding a lot of colour, eccentric prints, and silhouettes."
Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018 runs from August 22 to 26.