Q. What was the thought behind expanding your fashion label?
A. Next year, I complete 25 years as a costume designer and 10 years of my label. In between, I’ve designed for actors onscreen as well as offscreen. When I launched my label, I used to fuse Indian and western sensibilities in the outfits but later, I changed it and streamlined it into only Indian wear. Then three years ago, when I entered Delhi, and my clothes got launched in two or three stores, that was a turning point for me. It consolidated my positioning in the mainstream market. That’s when I decided that it was time to take the brand higher. I’m taking a small break from movies to concentrate on my expansion plans.
Manish Malhotra and (below) model Sucheta Sharma in one of his creations
Q. You recently launched your fashion portal. Tell us about the other ways in which you’re expanding your design label?
A. Last year, we opened a 9,000 sq ft haveli store in Delhi. I didn’t want the store to be a part of a mall and wanted something exclusive. I love old world and like to interpret it in a modern way. That’s what we have done with this haveli. Then we opened a two storey store in Mumbai last year. The website is part of the expansion plan. I didn’t make too much noise about these things. We will have a big celebration once the stores complete a year.
Q. What are the other ways in which you want your brand to grow?
A. Today, the most important thing for me is to think of what variations I can bring to my work. That’s how you evolve and grow. I want to open at least five more stores in the next five years. When I look back, in the 25 or 27 years of Indian fashion, I am the only dory that I have. I started as a costume designer, became a mainstream designer, and balanced the costume and mainstream to become a brand. So I want to have an independent story.