As myriad international brands head their horns towards India, Indians can proudly lift their chins and showcase the bevy of luxury brands we already have here. And Hidesign was the first one among them! So how has the brand revolutionised in the recent years?
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: July 18, 2012
Whoever said that only women love to accessorise clearly hasn’t taken a look at today’s fashion conscious male. Whether India or overseas, the image of the male shopper is rapidly changing. Often recognised as usually hasty and procrastinated shoppers, this testosterone infested gender is buying again. And to the delight of retailers, he is not just stocking up on suits and dress shirts, but also on something women have been flaunting for years: accessories! In the middle of all this, is a brand, which is frequently associated with men’s accessories. A quick chat with Hidesign’s lead designer, Mr Fabian Lintott, will tell you a little bit more about your adored brand.
With Hidesign since 2006, the designer notes that change is the only constant as he sees how the brand has gone through a great transition. “When I first started designing Hidesign for the UK, it was Hidesign’s biggest market. Now India has taken over as the biggest market and Hidesign has gone through a huge period of growth, evolving into a much larger brand,” he pointed out. With pride in his voice, the designer shares that product quality has been their priority. “During this fast growth period it would have been easy to let the product quality slip, but this has not been the case, and in fact we have managed to grow rapidly and improve the quality,” he said. Ladies too can anticipate some creations from Mr Lintott as he does design some of the ladies bags. It is an area he is constantly improving on, but men’s products, of course, are his natural strength.
The Hidesign Story
Successful, upwardly mobile, young-at-heart with a strong sense of independence. That pretty much sums up the ideal Hidesign customer. From a designer’s point of view, the pool of competitors seems to be a very shallow one, but with good cause. “One of the best things about Hidesign is that we are among the few brands that offer a unique product. The whole brand package is very individual to Hidesign. Very few brands create products the way we do, and have control over the whole process, from the raw hide to the finished product,” the designer opined.
Designing for the brand internationally, Mr Lintott has contributed towards improvements in wheeled luggage and functionality of the bags. In the future, the team will continue to add details and make improvements to our bags as any brand should. “I think designing for India is only marginally different. India is still fairly young in its consumerism and it’s an exciting time to both a designer here and a consumer. I would say there is more of an eccentric streak in the UK which means you can get away with a little more quirkiness!” he exclaimed. Being happy that he made his mark into India with Hidesign, he takes a quick walk down memory lane and recalls that it was a happy accident as he was originally working for the UK company in charge of Hidesign distribution. “Having noticed my talent for men’s products, they introduced me to Hidesign. This was the beginning of our brilliant relationship,” he shared.
To mark or trademark?
It indeed is commendable when a designer has those signature bits and pieces that can tell him or her apart from the others. The victory cup? When your consumers recognise it. What’s Mr Lintott’s trademark design all about? “The trademark design features include little added details that make your bag that little bit extra special. Details are what inspire me as a designer and I am constantly on the hunt for unique elements to inspire the next collection. These often can be found in unusual places, anywhere from an interesting bonnet catch on a vintage car, to a leaf from the garden,” shared the ingenious designer.
Sticking to the classic format of designing, here is a designer that abides by the book. According to Mr Lintott, the market dictates how far you can take your products, so pay close attention! “It is not often that you find a reason or a thought so strong that it makes you jump up and take notice. Hidesign created that revolution when it came into being in 1978. Today, I think it is important that the products we design at Hidesign stay true to their heritage, while being evolutionary enough to keep moving forward. It is a fine balance that we have to find,” he said. If you are a budding designer, take note and move with the times. Consumers today are becoming more discerning and yearn to differentiate themselves from others. Kitsch, unique designs are much in demand too. “All that being said, I think it is very important to keep moving the boundaries, and I hope that our customers will continue to enjoy the pieces. I try and ensure that each season the offer is balanced and there is something to suit the tastes of the more adventurous among us.” Mr Lintott said. Diplomatic and balanced words we should say!
What to look out for?
The collection that’s in store now is about pushing the boundaries (a little), like flashes of bright colours, exposed check linings, interesting strap treatments and fittings. “Particular favourites of mine are the Marco Polo and the Vespucci ranges,” shared an excited Mr Lintott. Hidesign’s Autumn/Winter 2012-13 collection, coming in to stores shortly, interprets the 1940s with classic satchel shapes given a modern up lift. Also apparent is a vibe of the intrepid explorers of old. Strongly advised, look out for the Fleet Street and Las Vegas ranges!