Paint the town red with leather bags, for red is the colour of the fashion accessory this season. Some environment-conscious designers are also making sure they sell vegetable-tanned leather and not causing cruelty to animals.
”Among fashion colours, red has always been a hot seller. The colour is seeing renewed interest and might jump from being the classic fashion colour to the hot new thing albeit in a new shade,” Dilip Kapur, president of premium leather accessories brand Hidesign, told us. “A particular shade of red like cherry red or tomato red will make it to the trend boards, while classic reds and deep reds will continue to sell for long,” he added.
It’s not just the Indian market that is witnessing the splurge of red. American fashion house Tommy Hilfiger’s latest collection features a stunning tan red leather bag, specially designed by actress Milla Jovovich. Moreover, accessories brand Jill-e has launched a range of red leather clutch bags for women.
Chennai-based designer Shahrukh Zaidi has launched a timely collection of doctor bags, travel bags, sling bags, luxurious luggage and laptop satchels in a colour palette of classic red, tan and natural brown.
”The good news is that leather bags are here to stay for a long time. Right now, people are loving the colour red and hence I wanted to hit the nail at the right place; so I came out with this collection,” Zaidi told us from Chennai.
Pure leather bags come for anything between Rs.6,000 and Rs.20,000, depending on the size. According to Pune-based accessory designer Meera Mahadevia, leather has durability and people don’t mind shelling out money for it. “I never used to make leather bags. But I have introduced them now because it is the most durable item. Nothing can replace it when it comes to making long lasting accessories,” Madadevia said. “I truly respect the sentiments of people who are against it, but the fact is that pure leather can last for years and years,” she added.
Fashionistas love flaunting leather bags and Zaidi says they can use some tips for maintenance. “Avoid moisture and make sure it doesn’t catch fungus. Wipe it any time with a clean cotton cloth and expose it to sunlight if it has not been used for a long time,” he said.
The demand for leather bags has gone up despite the fact that animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( PETA) has been aggressively campaigning against leather goods.
Hidesign’s Kapur points out that people are not saying ‘no’ to leather, but to ‘exotic’ leather. “What people are saying ‘no’ to is exotic leather and fur (where animals are killed for their skin). Most of the Indian leather is from animals that die a natural death,” he said. “People who buy our bags realise that we use vegetable-tanned leather. Our product is eco-friendly, uses extracts of seeds and the bark of trees. It has no ill-effects associated with chrome-tanned leather and is far less polluting for the environment,” he said.
Zaidi said: “I work only with leather products. As leather is associated with luxury, I cater to my own niche segment of consumers. For the collection, I have used the best leather.” (IANS)