Trending in a different direction

June 7, 2013 , by DREAMS, Leave your thoughts
Trending in a different direction » My Dreams Mag
As the fashion industry in Nepal continues to unfold and expand, Trendsetters has taken a step in a different direction by having different Nepalese labels available under one roof. Hear what two of the designers have to say about the move and why they’re in.

Fashion is fierce and competitive, but in spite of that (or perhaps because of it) the Trendsetters Retail Outlet was launched housing the designs and products of Nepal’s top designers. With so many competing labels and names under one roof there is much to be lauded, but there are many questions that arise. Dreams sat down with two of the designers, Bina Ghale of Gabi, and Tenzin Tseten Bhutia of Tenzin Tsten Bhutia Creations, to hear their thoughts on the merged outlet.

Why did you decide to join and collaborate instead of focusing on promoting your own label?

Bina Ghaley: The whole concept of Trendsetters is to make the public aware that the Nepalese Fashion industry now exists. Before there were only boutiques but now this is a store front with ready to wear designer cloths for the masses.

If it was up to me I would rather have all the designers under one label creating different clothing for the brand rather than having difference brands under one roof. But I guess this is a start and I’m happy to involve Gabi as a part of this new way of introducing Nepal’s fashion industry.

I’m still working on my own store front, it’ll take a little while for me to bring Gabi out to the mass public yet but it’s definitely coming soon.

Tenzin Tseten Bhutia: Well, Trendsetters is at the forefront of any organization or company to take initiative to set a place for all fashion designers to come under one roof, and as an individual invested in the future of fashion I feel we shouldn’t neglect the initiative.

So, that’s why I decided to join the venture and I think collaborating with the brand Trendsetters will not only focus on the individual brand but all of the fashion designers’ brands will be uplifted.

What does this collaboration say about healthy competition?

Bina: The Nepalese fashion industry is a big pond and there isn’t much competition going on. We all have different tastes and different customer base. But even then, this collaboration has surely got me on my toes to produce more quality, finesse work, and designs, and I think is very good for the future.

All the designers are showcasing their designs at the same venue for people to see, judge, and own. So I think it’s a very bold statement as a whole that the Nepalese fashion industry is united and here for all. We’re setting new trends through Trendsetters.

Tenzin: Yes, there is always healthy competition between designers whether this store is there or not, so I don’t think it really matters—if you’re good at what you are doing it actually makes it easier for the customers to shop at one place with all the designers’ creativity together.

Will you be designing anything exclusively for the Trendsetters showroom or will it just be a place to sell items you’ve designed for elsewhere?

Bina: I have been working on some products just for Trendsetters, a summer collection is in the line up and will be out soon.  Right now, the first collection of summer Gabi’s summer pants are in store and it’s been getting positive feedback, next is Gabi’s summer coat collection.

Having an outlet is definitely helping me explore new things in the market, I know more about what the public wants, and I get to see if my designs are liked by the public. The store also has my recent Love for Dresses collection and some other designs I have made.

Tenzin: Both! I will be showcasing the collections that I have already presented in other shows, and I will be adding new designs to the store as well if everything works out fine.

There are many designers with many concepts and a wide price range–what do you think are the pros and cons of this?

Bina: Well everybody has their own business models and tastes in mind. I feel it’s more of an art field than a business venture at this point in time and on occasion it is very hard to put a price on the masterpieces you create. But the public doesn’t always understand that–they are used to seeing and purchasing imported product prices.

Eventually, I guess we have to decide if we should go by quality or quantity. An average shopper carries X amount of cash when they go shopping so if the price is too high they might not be able to afford an item even if they want it. It’s very different from a client coming to you and having a custom design made for them with the budget they’ve already set.

We are trying to come up with a solution for it because production in Nepal is very expensive and we definitely don’t want to compromise on the quality, but we do have to keep the market trends in mind, right now we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Tenzin: Well, yes, it becomes a little competitive in terms of pricing but I personally think that you should stick what it’s worth next to older stock items that are on sale.

Customers need to be very clever about which item they are investing in, not only in terms of price–they should also take into consideration other factors like colours, fabric, trimming, finishing, and the current silhouette–trust me you don’t want to end up investing in something that’s out of fashion.

Do you think this will be another outlet to promote your designs and clothes? How difficult is it to reach out to prospective clients in Nepal?

Bina: For now Trendsetters is a very good store front for people to come and see my designs and to purchase items at an affordable price. It’s a first outlet for Gabi to have a live presence in public so I am a little excited about it. It’s also a first step for Gabi on the retail part as people can even place custom orders through the shop.

It is a new venture so there will always be speed bumps, but our main target is to satisfy our customer and make them believe in the Nepalese fashion industry as a whole. Maybe in a few years we won’t have to rely on imported fabrics, maybe everyone in Nepal will wear products made here—that’s the dream I want to wake up to one day.

Tenzin: Yes, definitely, the more accessible your designs are, it becomes easier for the consumer to shop. It is difficult to reach out to people not only in Nepal but throughout the world–people’s minds are fluctuating all the time so until and unless they are not a crazy fan of a certain designer, they won’t approach you at all. In this way having an outlet becomes easier but I also normally sell my items online as well as now in the Trendsetters store.

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