Mumbai: Priya Sachdev, creative director of TSG International Marketing Pvt. Ltd, said in an interview that Indian fashion houses need spiritual detachment from their companies. Sachdev entered the fashion scene with a passion and emerged realizing she would go further with an entrepreneurial bent of mind than with merely a sartorial one. She runs Kitsch stores in Delhi and Mumbai, which sell the world’s top designer labels. Sachdev has decided not to retail Indian brands in her stores unless they can compete on an international level. Edited excerpts:

International lessons: Priya Sachdev. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

I specifically mentioned this point because I see history repeating itself. A lot of very successful brands today—Versace, Chanel, Prada, Armani—they all started out as family-owned brands. When the industry consolidated in the 1990s, the designer was just the creative director focusing on the designs and they had a business aspect that created a varied range of products and reached out to customers and so became business houses with billion dollar valuations that they are today.

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Priya Sachdev, says designers need to let others help them nurture and promote their creations.

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I think most of our Indian designers also start out as family run. But I think Indian designers feel they will lose control if they get somebody to run the business aspect of it, who will tell them you can’t keep producing that just because you are passionate about it. It’s not selling for you, or give them some guidance. Or they feel that private equity or a venture capitalist or a big group coming in will take away their creative freedom.

But this is not true—if you look at the major design houses internationally they have always been creatively free. We need to believe in this synergy of commerce and design and not just be solely responsible for everything from designing to manufacturing to public relations to marketing.

I agree. I think the designer becomes a real diva, it becomes all about the designer. It’s kind of a megalomania, ego-centricity. It’s difficult, designers get so much attention adulation for the designs. And the designers goes, “Oh I have to have complete control, no one can tell me what to design. It’s my company. I started it."

Full credit to you, yes you did start it, you lent it its name. But if you don’t have the business know-how to run the business, you will never be able to reach the stars. Somebody who has the expertise to guide through that, then why not? I think a lot of Indians are very attached to family. We can’t let go. Detachment is also a spiritual way to look at it.

gayatri.j@livemint.com

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