New Delhi: Celebrity designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee who received a lot of backlash on social media for his new collaboration with Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M on Saturday put out an official statement explaining that the motive behind the collaboration was “wish fulfilment”.
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Considered among India’s top designers, the Kolkata-based courtier whose label is known for luxurious traditional wear ranging from bejewelled bridal lehengas and sarees said that the reason he designed such an extensive range for the Sabyasachi x H&M collection was “so that everyone could get something.” “It’s why I designed an extensive range, so everyone could get something. this would also mean giving unlimited access to our Bengal Tiger logo, something that we hold very close to us, it’s almost sacred. A lot of marketing folks would consider this strategy harakiri for a luxury brand, but I believe that sustainable success never comes from the mind, always from the heart,” Sabyasachi wrote.
Minutes after the launch, the collection that was launched online was fully “sold out” in India and global markets earning ire of netizens for not being able to get their hands at the range.
Calling the user response as “plain baffling” the designer said that it could not be predicted even if one had the “best data team, the best supply chain and the best logistics.” Sabyasachi wrote, “I struggled with stubborn carts and crashing apps. I was determined to get hold of my first pair of Sabyasachi denims. (I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that I managed to score one, but one size down, because the rest had sold out!). I know a lot of people are disappointed, and I profoundly apologize for it. I’m sure I will be able to create a future business model that will address this need.” The designer also wrote an encouraging message for designers in India asking them to “be yourself”. “For the longest time, my pet peeve was that globally we were considered a manufacturing country. I always wanted to break that glass ceiling, but on my own terms and in my own way. Where Designed in India, would stand strong alongside, Made in India. There is a market ready for every single one of us, there is only one secret to unlock it – just be yourself. Whoever you are. Shamelessly.” A section of the social media also hit out at the designer over the “outrageously expensive” collection.
Hilarious memes and jokes flooded social media: One user tweeted, “Sabyasachi x h&m is so embarrassing ain’t no way it’s gonna cost $70 to look like an Indian bus driver.” Another wrote, “Maybe they will donate all collection to Indian bus driver/conductors but the issue is that, are they will accept loose Fits trousers.” Someone commented, “I’m pretty sure my grandmother had a very similar saree in 1970s which didn’t cost her a kidney.” While, a user wrote, “Buy same at 649 from lajpat nagar.” “Thousands of emails and messages later, I felt the need to address the disappointment a lot of you have faced. To tell you the truth, I was on your side once. An impressionable Fashion student and a massive Madonna Fan, who was inconsolable that he couldn’t lay his hands on a single piece of the H&M x Madonna merchandise.” Continuing with the note, the designer stated it was due to his “wish fulfilment” that the collaborative collection was launched.
“I was very clear and firm that there would be no VIP previews and no exceptions–everybody would access the collection in a democratic manner. What better way than online?” the luxury designer added.
The idea behind the Sabyasachi X H&M collection themed ‘Wanderlust’ was to represent rich textiles in modern and classic Indian wear. The collection also offers a complete fashion wardrobe for men and women, including accessories, jewellery, footwear, and sunglasses.H&M is famed for teaming up with big celebrities like Madonna, Versace, Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, Jimmy choo, Versace, Alexander Wang etc on designs for T-shirts, dresses, vests, and bodies. Some of the artists who have joined hands with the Swedish brand are David Beckham, Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry, Dita Von Teese, N.E.R.D and more.