Can Counterfeiting be beneficial for Brands?

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, can counterfeiting do good to brands?

Counterfeited merchandise looks much similar to the original product, but is sold for a much lesser price, while generating huge profits. Counterfeiting is considered as a preferred option for licit trade as it reduces manufacturing costs, and other expenses involved in design, marketing etc. Additionally, profits are increased by avoiding taxes, import duties are shunned through customs fraud, or outright smuggling and sales tax are avoided through informal retailing.

A European Commission report (2008) states that 57% of the counterfeit seizures are clothing accessories, and shoes. Almost 80% of the confiscated pirated goods owe their origin from the Asian countries. International countries out-source their operations to companies in Asia with a view to take advantage of the cheap labor, and inexpensive manufacturing operations. In Asian countries, counterfeiting laws are not generally strong, and big companies from US and EU outsource their operations here. A local label is added to the counterfeited merchandise to make it look like the original. Manufacturers have to bear the result of these masquerades, as they are very inferior in quality, and do not live up to the standards of the originals. Brands are easily pirated here, and even if they face legal issues, the penalties are not severe.

A third dimension on piracy:

There is yet another dimension to the issue which states that brand piracy is not always negative, and if brands are vigilant enough, then the same can be manipulated to leverage the growth of the brand image.

Pirated products are an indicator of the health of the brand, and its prevailing market reputation. If a brand is counterfeited more, then it only means that it is capable enough to stimulate the consumer’s interest and create demand. More quantity of counterfeited products in the market for a particular brand is a signal for the manufacturer, that his merchandise has attracted the attention, stimulated interest, and caused a desire in the customer’s mind to own the product. In a way, counterfeited items serve as indicator for the manufacturers of the actual brand.

Counterfeiting can also provide strong market access to brands. Though a threat to the brand image, it also compels the manufacturer of the original brand to protect, and bring out new innovations regarding the product. Majority of the shoppers who go in for counterfeited merchandise do have proper understanding that they are buying a replica. Still they go for it because they are not able to pay the premium price of the originals. A Davenport Lyons report states that 20% of the consumers who buy a fake product have the capacity to buy the original product. As the merchandise is a fake, it would not have the same quality and performance as the original product. The customer gets to know about the value of the original brand by using a fake. This in a positive note steels the brand image of the product in the customers mind.

Availability of counterfeited merchandise in the grey market creates an awareness regarding the product among consumers.

Hence there is a possibility of a small percentage of population, who after using the fake item might switch on to buy the branded product, even at a relatively higher cost. The original brand acquires this segment of consumers only through the awareness created by the pirated items.

For instance, Louis Vuitton is the most counterfeited brand in the fashion sector. During the first six months of 2011, this luxury conglomerate has reported a 13% increase in sales. During 2012, the brand’s group share of net profit was up by 12%. Millions of fake products are sold all over the globe every year, and very few of them cannibalize the sales of the sales of the original product.

It takes a significant time to build a brand, and develop an image in the minds of the consumers. Despite rampant counterfeiting damages the image of the brand, if handled carefully, it can also be manipulated as an opportunity for market expansion. All that matters is how the brand owners show off their brand.

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Saris from Tamilnadu

India is a diverse country and the uniqueness of this nation is a garment called SAREE OR SARI, draped by the Indian women. The draping style of the sari is different in every state as well as by different communities. The Sari can be worn over a choli or blouse which forms the upper garment and can be draped around a lower garment the petticoat.

Saris form the culture in India and each State and its many regions are known for their specific saris. A sari makes a women complete by its drape, accentuating her feminine curves, yet giving her altogether a graceful touch.

 

The border style is one of the basic points of distinguish between different sarees from the South Indian region. While contrasting wide borders are popular styles for some of these varieties, there are others with borders not wider than 1 inch. Wrap patterning, dyeing and weaving are the popular practices for designing different types of borders for these sarees.

Coimbatore Sarees:

Coimbatore is the North West region of the state of Tamil Nadu and produces a very fine cotton cloth in an amazing range of traditional and artisan styles. The sarees are all 48″ width or more and the standard six yards. Soft cotton handloom sarees are the specialty of Coimbatore.

Chettinad Sarees:

Chettinad is a region of the Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state, India. Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad. The uniqueness of these sarees is their bold colors and patterns of checks and stripes in contrasting hues. These sarees are slightly heavier or rather thick and that is one of the reason they are not so much in demand in this fast modern lifestyles.

 

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Fairytale Fashions – Oscar 2013 inspires full skirts & princess ball gowns

What are the fashion trends that Oscar 2013 will inspire, and reign supreme in the fashion world?

Shimmering long skirts, and princess ball gowns are an eternal favorite of the fashion world. The recent event of Oscar 2013 has further inspired this style, making it the biggest red carpet trend. Full skirts and high necked column gowns gave a modern Audrey Hepburn look giving a charming appearance along with a perfect simplicity. Sequined stripes, structures shoulders, and plunging necklines made quite a fashion statement. Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli, Jennifer Hudson, and Reese Witherspoon gave a dazzling look to those celebrities who wanted to look fabulous without ending up being worst dressed.

Red carpet hues:

Not only the clothing style, but shades of the outfit are also being watched, and taken as a source of fashion inspiration. Shades spanned in a spectrum from navy to royal blue and gold. Royal blue hue was a standout trend color featured in the Oscar. Gilded looks are always popular, and this year was different, with shimmering gold statuette like gowns dazzling the show. Grey layers of fabric peeked; which was refreshingly unique and jewel tones making the haute couture sharp and sculptural. Copper hues with Swarovski crystal embellishments gave a molten look to the old Hollywood inspired garment.

Full skirted and fabulous:

Bigger skirts make bigger fashion statements. A pretty resurgence of the early 60s fashion, full skirts glamorize any look. Swinging their way back to the early 50s and 60s, these skirts have made a comeback into the fashion scene; in a big way. A full length, or sheath skirt of the 60s paired with a cropped top exposing a little midriff leads for ultimate and effortless modernized attire. Longer, gathered, and often with a ruffled hem, this is a style preferred by the celebrities at the red carpet event.

Long couture gown with fitting bodice and dramatic voluminous skirts were the showstopper outfits at the 2013 Oscar. Body skimming and sequin covered gowns featured a trendy, and sculptural look. The attire exudes elegance with beaded sweetheart necklines, and long train. Kristen Chenoweth and Kelly Osborne in n Tony Ward Couture and Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji full skirted gowns gave a pleasant surprise to style watchers.

Lady like kitten heels, bold red lipstick, or a soft pink for vintage belle, and 60s fashion accessories such as leather clutch, classic headscarf, and waist cinching belts would go with the theme. Dries Van Noten would lead in modernizing the 60s outfit effortlessly.

Princess gowns – conveying splendor and spectacle:

Ball gowns have always had their position in the world of fashion, while also reflecting the current trends. Throughout centuries, they remain as objects of fascination. Luxurious fabrics and intricate embellishments prove the skill of designers in conveying splendor and spectacle. Beading crystal sash and full tulle skirt makes the gown totally princess worthy. Off shoulder gowns with layered peplum skirts reveals a dramatic effect for the classic princess.

One shoulder corsage of silk organza, tulle, and beaded rhinestones make a perfect choice for the fashion forward princess. Voluminous gowns with organza tiers, and fine beading calls for a regal ball gown, the right kind of choice for a celebrity occasion. The outfit not only flatters the wearer demonstrating her sense of style, but also illustrates an understanding of the significance to event, where it is worn.

Princess gowns were the epitome of glam in the Oscar gala. Embellished couture gowns featured the inner Disney princess of every fashion savvy woman. Laced up tops and frilled skirts played on the hook. The pretty princess aesthetic look featured floral appliqu bodice and gradient hemlines. Dove grey Oscar de la Renta ball gown worn by Amy Adams during the 2013 Oscar event was a deemed fairy tale look. The pink Marchesa ball gown worn by Fan Bingbing was no less sensational. Punchy red ball gowns of Valentino by Sally Field and Jennifer Aniston made the princess look appear more special.

Gowns and skirts have always garnered attention and interest. As red carpet events have become more significant, celebrities are more focused on the glamour of their costume. Rich combination of traditional craft and maverick sensibility ensures their clothing styles will attract attention, and become popular styles. There are certain trends that stand the test of time. Full skirts and princess gowns are costumes de rigueur.

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Portfolio Development

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(Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author.)

As young pass outs just from the fashion school, one of the most important things a fashion designer should do is his/ her portfolio development. A portfolio displays the work done by the designer. Having a great portfolio is very important for jump starting a career and getting jobs. In todays competitive world one has to make a mark for himself/herself. Fashion designers are mushrooming all over and a good Portfolio is one tool to get noticed. A portfolio is an important visual self-promotion and sales tool for any designer, fashion student or creative individual.

Nearly all fashion students will be familiar with the term fashion portfolio. The designer can customize the portfolio as per her/ his needs, portfolios are found in varied sizes and formats. What is important is they should be portable and easy to handle, all the works of the designer should be highlighted.

Some important steps to remember while developing a fashion portfolio:

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  1. COVER PAGE: Designing of the cover page of a portfolio is one of the most crucial jobs while working on portfolio development. The cover page can be simple or rather should reflect ones personality. It can be arty and finally should be able to capture the curiosity of customers to look deeper into the portfolio file.
  2. MOOD BOARDS: Creating mood boards on the themes worked by the student designer can add weightage to ones portfolio. Mood boards should be able to tell your design story. Designers can use variety of images to accomplish this. Research photos, historic as well as current can be used to show the designers creative process.
  3. FABRIC SWATCHES: One of the main tools of a fashion designer apart from illustrations is fabric. The designer should emphasize on the range of fabrics he/ she has worked with and the design possibilities with them. Creating beautiful fabric images0.jpgcollages and the color palettes is an important aspect of a good portfolio.
  4. SKETCHES: Illustrations are the world and the main arena of a fashion designer, creative designers should emphasize on this art on their portfolio, the sketches can be flat or design figures. Both types have their own advantages. It is here a designer can showcase his talent of Hi- fashion illustrations.

port1.bmp5.  RESUME: An up to date bio date is a quick path to gain attention. A portfolio is an ultimate sale and effective interviewing tool Fashion designers must balance creativity with business savvy when writing a resume. Highlight on your achievements, seminars attended. Experience and training underwent is an added advantage while drafting a resume. References of a faculty and a known personality from the fashion line are always better.

 6.  PORTABILITY: The Designers should keep in mind that the portfolio should always be light and portable. A portfolio is all the works of the designer which should be culminated in such a way that it can be carried around with ease, not causing any inconvenience to the designer as well the customers, or the employer.

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Miss India 2013 changes the face of Indian Fashion

The models, who appeared for the coveted Miss India pageant, not only paved way for their own future, but also changed the face of Indian fashion.

Fashion is a dynamic industry. The face of Indian fashion industry is changing dramatically, and there is a sudden exposure of fashion in the country. India is now competing among other leading countries placing itself on the map creating its own identity of fusion. Fashion trends that appear under the spotlight are always sought after. Recent Miss India pageant set wit and whimsy tones for varied looks. Designers expressed their freedom with creativity, the inspiration found in exoticism and history. Blasts of neon hues, lazer cuts, sugary pastels, and juicy brights made patterns mixed into a fiesta.

Hues:

The contestants showed off trends in an alluring way. Skinny printed pants, and colorful jackets filled the runway. Golden shimmer radiated throughout the show, from theme to the apparels in the clothing of contestants. Mixing colors is an easy way to look trendy. Lavender with white and red combination, checked pants, plaid prints and color blocked apparels are easy and stylish trends to be followed.

Bold hues of tangerine, bright red, electric blue, fresh limes, and alpine green were in trend. Pastel shades were also used in contrast to the brighter shades. Many fashion shows have incorporated neon shades into the clothes of their models. From tunics, kaftans, skirts, and saris, alluring hues of neon will be in style, taking inspiration from the show.

Trends inspired by Miss India 2013:

Color details and neck lines will be in vogue. Assortment of shades in a creative way plays a defining role the finishing of the garment. Models flaunted the ramp with checked pants and color blocked apparels. The color palette of nature consists of an assortment of the blue hues of seascape, captivating hot red, and the greenish lush of a jungle. Fashion savvy designers feel the delicate interaction of these shades, and bond them with pieces of fabrics bringing an appealing look to the garment. Color blocking apparels will be in fashion taking inspiration from the event.

 Brand Max has launched a new clothing line inspired by the Miss India pageant. This high fashion for Indian women is inspired by the golden jubilee celebration of Miss India this year. Glamorous preppy dresses, pants, tops, and other latest trends ruling international fashion were seen on the ramp. Shimmering white and gold dresses adorned the ramp, setting new trends for the hues.

Indian fashion has got a wider platform to display its creativity and introduce sari to the world. In the cocktail round, during the event, the contestants captured the audience in beautiful saris. With fashion evolving as an art, traditions are no longer strictly followed. An eclectic mix of vintage style, and contemporary art, sari is now seen on ramp shows with creative draping styles, making it an enviable outfit. Earthy and yet modern, most eye catchy trends will be in vogue for the coming season taking its inspiration from the recent contest.

Miss India pageant has proved its worth as a trend setter and shines at the global arena in terms of ramp shows, and setting new styles.

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