No matter how good they are, paranoia seems to follow most Indian designers

A couple of days ago, I was at a designer store in Delhi. While browsing through the hangers, I thought I will take a picture of me holding an outfit and send it the designer… Just for fun.

I asked a friend to click the photo. The moment it happened, the manager of the store sprung to her feet and said to me, “you have taken a photo? You know you are not supposed to do that?” Then, pointing a signage on the wall she continued, “See it’s all written there…”

There were three other ladies there that time. They all looked at me for my reaction. All off a sudden I felt like a villager in a fancy store… someone who has done something that he wasn’t supposed to! I told the manager, “I am fashion editor of Hindustan Times and I know the designer well and the picture I have taken is for sending to the designer.”

Of course the manager was nice enough to apologise and explain the reason why she had to say such things to me. According to her and the designer, some clients go to the store and click pictures of the creations and the copy the same!

I was amused. Of course this wasn’t the first time that I have heard of such paranoia from some of our fashion designers. One of the most interesting things I had heard was when a designer told me, “Can you imagine… Some people come and buy several outfits and then copy the same and sell them at less than half my prices…” Oh well, aren’t you happy that you managed to sell several of your creations? Isn’t this also called a sale? Or is there any rule that these outfits will only be sold to those this designer has a liking or approval… Like that of a scheduled drug?

C’mon guys… These kinds of acts trivialise the fashion industry. Don’t you know that a wealthy industrialist will only come to you for your creation and not to those who (if at all) imitates yours? The fake ones hover around only in areas where these designers have no interest in… socially and economically. And how many of our designers have taken these fake rackets head on?

I would much rather not see anyone telling people not to take photos or display such warnings on the walls as if it’s a space station where photography can be prohibited for national security! If they are so worried how will they ever sell through online? By not showing their merchandise?!

Such apprehensions and the subsequent actions that lead to such warnings and display boards will only make such designers a laughing matter. End of the day what sells is what is real when it comes to real business. Fakes are everywhere, whether you let them take picture or not. But as they say, ‘a fake can never be as good as its original.”

Then why worry?

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