— RANNA GILL
Alumnus of FIT New York, Ranna Gill launched her pret label two decades back with elegant globally- relevant looks. Having worked with Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren and a founding member of FDCI, she retails through her e-store and brick- and- mortar stores. Over to her a day after her digital show at Lotus MakeUp India Fashion Week.
What does she think of digital runways, I ask? ''People are moving away from the real runway. We saw it coming. Digital runways was long overdue as people have tight schedules and were shying away from attending shows. I feel it's so much easier now. Make the product, show them digitally — it's easy to get customers online. The purpose of the exercise is to enhance sales. It definitely has to transform into sales. And, it's less fuss, less drama now. I could see this coming long ago… and it’s the perfect decision for us. Besides, no one is taking a flight or boarding a train for meetings; all we have to do is a zoom meeting with the buyers. The digital is more relevant in fashion numbers.''
Ranna Gill balances retail appeal with innovative design and sustaining indigenous textile craft. ''We play with craft techniques in our collections by taking a reference point i.e. Phulkari, Patola, Bandhani and interpreting it through modern lens so it's wearable today and doesn’t look too costume-y. I love using indigenous textile craft. It's a great inspiration page. I want to explore it more and more, maybe in sweaters, she says, which brings to mind a recent conversation with her where she had stressed that the way forward for Fashion is sustainability and recycling, sourcing and creating. ''I'm ticking the boxes and moving forward. Relentlessly incorporating sustainability practices into these changes will be the critical factor that separates winners from idlers. On another level, rural weavers- hand-block printers and artisans are the most widely hit but the good news is that the world is coming back to hand embroidery, handmade and organic; it is going back to 'special'.''
Is the buyer mood different in today's climate, i wonder? ''Buying is going to be different. The customers' mood is going to be different. They will be very careful with their pocket and they will be price sensitive. They will look into fabrications, what exactly designers are using. Is it sustainable and breathable? All of these questions will have to be answered. It was there before too but now it has raised the bar. From a designer's viewpoint, I would advise them to buy pieces which are not so trend driven… something you should be able to wear more, something a little classic. Think it through, if you can use it for a couple of seasons.''
20 June 2020 4:49 pm IN CONVERSATION IWTH RANNA GILL