Sunday, February 3, 2008


Am thrilled to see that the recently launched Vogue India is concerned with sustainable style. Not to suggest that the Vogue family doesn't pay due attention to eco-fashion -- who can forget Dec 07's Penelope Cruz -on-the-cover Green xmas shopping guide issue?No, its that 'eco-lux' has a context for, say, American or British Vogue because luxury-living is here maturing beyond bling and designer logos. Stella McCartney, ($1000+ vegan 'must-have' boots to new, 100% organic cosmetics line CARE), uber-posh Lady Bamford (founder of Daylesford Organic), Cameron Diaz's Prius, fashionable and lux fit well together here and the respective Vogues can capitalize on that.

Vogue India, however, has a more complex mandate: the economic boom has created a large (and growing) population of rich (and fashion-conscious) Indians who equate chic with top designer labels and are willing to spend on it like never before. Status flows from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Maybachs. Don't forget this is the country whose Maharajas alone gave Cartier and Rolls-Royce enough business to stay afloat.That's the legendary Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala who commissioned Cartier to create his necklace. The famed 'Patiala Necklace' stuff of legends and Cartier's most reknowned piece, is among the most exquisite (and expensive) jewels ever (with 2930 diamonds including De Beers 7th largest, this isn't really a surprise).

But, back to Vogue: the issues of sustainability and responsibility in fashion need attention now - not, like in the West, when enough has been spent on conspicuous consumption so that those who need to, start thinking twice. In this context it is heartening to see that Vogue India is willing to ask the question: latest Miu Miu arm candy or (a more sustainable ) chic fabric bag?

By no means am I suggesting that Vogue India can (yet) give Sublime or NU competition...I am just highlighting that a young magazine with big boots to fill, in a status/money/fashion/luxury drenched environment like that of India's Vogue readers, has asked a very good question which shows that it cares about fashion, but in an intelligent way.

Well done and keep it up. After all, everyone knows that to be in vogue is more than about just looking good.

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