About Vinod Nair

Stepping into fashion was pre-meditated for Vinod Nair. Hailing from a small town in Kerala, where men wore dhotis like mini skirts, most women smelt like drums of coconut oil, he thought the only way to size up pretty girls and still not get hit by their stilettos was by writing about them. So he started that in 1991 when fashion was still small here. Writing, of course, was incidental. In 2004, Vinod Nair was awarded “Best Fashion Journalist” at the first fashion awards in the country, F-Awards. Fashion has gone a long way since then… but he still stands where he started…

Delhi played host to many fashion and luxury events in the past. But this week, it hosted not just one, but three high profile events one day after the other.

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A very interesting and yet disgusting thing about India… some men think boxer shorts are meant for wearing in public. Well, yes, they are in a way, but better hidden under your trousers. But no… some guys think they are just shorts… and they can be flaunted in public… Well… [Read more]

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I quite liked the Mint Luxury Conference this time. And it’s not because I was part of organising the same. It was different in more ways than one this time.

I have seen many politicians on such platforms as this. And they are often reluctant to talk on things luxury for fear that they get branded as elitists and for the same reason they won’t win the next elections. But, this time, India’s new commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman who inaugurated the conference went on to prove that even a minister can talk positive on such topics and draw the appreciation from every single person present at the conference.

Probably the minister sensed the good things that the country can get if this industry progresses here.

Amitabh Kant, Indian government’s Secretary (DIPP), was yet another speaker who enthralled the audience with not only his knowledge on the luxury industry, but with his befitting answers to some of the tough questions posed by the industry leaders.

For the fashion lovers, there were enough to chew on as well this time. The legendary Didier Grumbach, who recently stepped down from the post of French fashion federations President that he held for 15-long years, spoke on the history of haute couture.

Didier Grumbach

Stephane Wargnier, who recently stepped into the Federation as its Executive President, spoke on his organisations plans to find and give platform to showcase good talents from this region. The young Asian fashion designer Prabhal Gurung was yet another star attraction at the event.

Stephane Wargnier

Joanne Milner, CEO of Debrett’s London spoke on the importance of etiquette in today’s life and Ian Wood from the UK law firm Charles Russell spoke on the counterfeit products and how it affect the economy. It was a fascinating yet intriguing speech by the brand ambassador of Clive Christian, Victoria Christian. Imagine a Clive Christian No 1 bottle on your dressing table… it’s the most expensive fragrance in the world carrying a price tag of 3,000 UK pound sterling (Rs 3 lakh)!

Victoria Christian

Deliberations by Altagamma VC Armando Branchini and Walpole director Charlotte Keesing on India’s duty structure and infrastructure for luxury retail a fascinating look into the world of investments in the field of luxury by Savigny Partners boss Pierre Mallevays, ITC Group executive director Nakul Anand’s talk on responsible luxury et al were indeed interesting and insightful.

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The seventh Mint Luxury Conference will be held on October 31 and November 1 at the Palladium Hotel Mumbai. This conference is interesting in more ways than one as there are top people from all walks of luxury – from fashion and food to luxury associations and brands that are associated with luxury living taking part in the event.

Didier Grumbach, the doyen of the fashion world, being one of the speakers at the conference, will touch upon on the world of haute couture. He had held the helm of Paris Fashion Week for over 14 years as the President of Federation Francaise de la Couture and has immense and valuable knowledge on haute couture.

Yet another interesting aspect is the recent launch of his book ‘History of Fashion’ in India. He will be accompanied by Stephane Wargnier, the new Executive President of the Federation, who will speak on the Federations interests in India.

Then there are speakers like Prabhal Grurung, who successfully established his fashion business in the US, Joanne Milner from the British etiquette publishing company Debrett’s, Victoria Christian of the Clive Christian perfumes (some of the cost over a lakh of rupees for a bottle!).

Of course there are other interesting speakers from the world of hospitality like ITC Hotels chairman Nakul Anand, San Pellegrino’s Stephano Agostini who will talk on the art of fine dining, Pierre Mallevays on investments in the field of fashion and luxury, Michael Hadida on the importance of launching and nurturing newer talents in fashion, etc.

The policies and tariffs that India offers at the moment many find it hard to chew when it comes to luxury retail here. Policies they say are not exactly friendly and tariffs and duties and rather high.

These issues along with other problems faced by the luxury brands will be discussed at a session with the Government of India Secretary (DIPP) Amitabh Kant along with the British luxury association director Charlotte Keesing and her Italian counterpart Armando Branchini.

The conference in fact will have something interesting for every one – for those are creative, the creative talks, those in business will have some part totally devoted on the business of luxury and for a consumer, the fascinating aspects on the world of luxury.

The conference will be inaugurated by India’s commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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When I met Rahul Mishra, the Indian fashion designer who got accolades from around the world, including from the legendary Suzy Menkes of Conde Nast for his maiden show on a Parisienne runway, I noticed him because he was new and different.

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