After being subjected to GST of 12 per cent on designer wear, fashion industry has been feeling the pinch. With the onset of festive season, it has challenging for elite designers to sell their designs at a premium cost with 12 per cent GST, earlier the tax was only 5 per cent. Designers are now looking at way out to make their clients happy while keeping three components in mind — competitive pricing, superior quality and quintessential designs. Having analysed the market, they have planned to introduce simple, chic yet elegant clothing lines for festive and wedding season.
Kolkata-based designer Agnimitra Paul highlighted that among all the cities, Kolkata is worst hit by the hefty tax burden. Fashion lovers can’t shed exorbitant amount to buy designer clothes and designers will never be able to compromise on the quality of the product. Therefore, it is extremely unfavourable to launch intricate designs, as more you incorporate quirky designs in the outfit, the more it will cost. Paul plans to keep her collections simple with minimalist details. The situation is intense to deal with the price-sensitive market.
On similar lines, Delhi-based designer Amit Sachdeva has kept her designer instincts aside and is attempting to make the pricing competitive and affordable for consumers to fill the gap and make clothing more impactful and value for money, so that customers don’t feel the brunt. Incorporating a fusion of international trends with traditional sensibilities into clothing requires immense cost, remark Kusum and Karishma, of label Faabiiana of Jaipur. In such a scenario, they are worried about the upcoming festive season.
Bringing back heritage clothing
In times of crisis, one often looks for best solution from within. The same has been the situation with prêt-à-couturist. They have incorporated handloom fabrics as the main attraction and luckily there is no tax levied on it. Couturiers are planning to introduce unique and intrinsic nuances on handloom clothing lines. Sachdeva is considering handloom fabrics as a silver lining, and is formulating handloom line-ups, even in wedding collections.
Talking about the nuances that GST is slated to bring in, Paul says after learning about enormous tax impositions under GST, he is preparing to launch exclusive line-up of handloom collections this festive season. Now it became easier to source all the handloom fabrics from suppliers as it is not attracting GST and as a designer, he can give the best shot and meet clients’ expectations. Paul is fond of Odisha handloom Ikkat, and has started working on it.
Elated with the government’s decision to keep handloom fabric tax-free, Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama, a Bengaluru-based fashion designer says she is eager to launch swanky and elegant handloom collections to brave the tax imposition. Only handwoven finished products can be brought under the light of competitive pricing while maintaining the quality.