Known for offering a touch of royalty to his customers with his bespoke ensembles, fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore now plans to give men a complete wardrobe solution through a new ready-to-wear designer label Imperial India Company (IIC), which represents colonial Indo-Western ethos through its product offering.
Rathore felt it was time to grow and extend his reach, and what better way than to get into ready-to-wear space, where the customers can easily walk in and buy products to one’s liking.
"Since the past few years, we have been working on a space which is bespoke and very customised. So I thought… the next level of the space is ready-to-wear, where you can actually walk in and buy (clothes)," he told IANS on the sidelines of his summer-resort edition of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) 2015.
He clarified that it’s not a "pret brand", saying that "the label is positioned between bridge and couture".
Also, since he wants to be "very focussed", he’s making it only a "men-centric label".
"I want to give complete wardrobe solution for men," Rathore said.
It is also fashion with a cause. It uses handloom and fabrics that have a cultural orientation through the Raghavendra Rathore Foundation in large quantities, giving substantial opportunity to weavers and NGOs to grow along with the brand.
The regal, aristocratic styling and accessible designer fashion is its unique characteristic that brings a tasteful appeal to one’s wardrobe.
The designer also showed a glimpse of what the brand will offer in the days to come through his show on the second day of the fashion gala at Hotel Palladium here.
There were two-button off-white jackets, brocade Sherwani, black five-button Jodhpur coat, bandhgala with printed shirt and red trouser as well as a two-button grey suit, adding power to the menswear line.
Rathore also showcased a brown bundi with orange kurta, a spark of white cuffs for mandarin collar shirt, dapper Pathani suit, sherwani with pink cuffs and black velvet collar and a white tuxedo with satin shawl lapel.
He says that with this designer segment, he is here to "compete with all my other colleagues who are working on ready-to-wear".
The versatile designer is known worldwide for his efforts to popularise classic royal dressing with modern twists. He has patented the bandhgala and Jodhpur cuts under his label.
Now with IIC, he has plans to offer men more in terms of being presentable.
"The additions to the clothes will be products like deodorants and soaps. It will be a complete lifestyle space for men who have arrived and just ready to purchase the first Raghavendra Rathore," said the designer, who has dressed up the likes of Saif Ali Khan and Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan, among others.
While a bandhgala may be available for Rs.28,000 under this brand, Rathore says he has not compromised on the fabric used.
"There is a lot of youthfulness, colours and versatility in terms of providing designs and yes we are not going for cheaper fabrics like pret, as it falls apart after sometimes," he said.
The collection will be available first on IIC website, and later it will be shifted to offline stores at different locations, that are yet to be announced.