Designer Ashish Soni predicts gender-neutral fashion in the future

Ashish Soni
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Designer Ashish Soni says as a designer, he is all for inclusivity and sustainable talk if designers and consumers actually walk the talk. As a curator-in-chief of Blenders Pride Glassware Fashion NXT he says, “All of us as individuals should do our own little things to bring a change. Inclusivity and sustainability are done to death, but are we really walking the talk? Fashion across the world has been acceptable to all genders. Now that the envelope is being pushed, we must be as inclusive as possible. Saleability is a different subject. It mostly depends on the designer. But design-wise, we can be as inclusive as possible.” 

Talking about the show for which he was in Hyderabad, the designer says, “ It was a challenge to put this show together because it is not about fashion forecasts. It sets the mood for what happens next in curation and planning of themes. The idea is to be in rhythm with what’s happening in the rest of the world in style and trend, pick themes that marry well and are relevant to Indians.  Year after year we need to look at newer and different things. This year, we upped the game in terms of concept. When we say NXT, one can find subtle messages within the show regarding style statements and ideas. Whoever sees the show on social media or elsewhere can easily adopt certain ideas in their lifestyle. Fashion NXT Festival has been crafted keeping in mind the pulse of fashion and the aspirations of younger audiences in India.”

Having been in the industry for a long time, Ashish suggests the best way to understand fashion for a career is through passion. “To pursue fashion in terms of design, one needs to be passionate. One must see an opportunity to create something new constantly. Next, there should be a story to tell. Products have to be unique and well thought out. In terms of communication, the field is open in this country. Earlier, there was no fashion journalism; now fashion is an academic subject. With social media bridging the gap, one can learn a lot about how fashion is dealt with by those who write on fashion or even track the fashion trends out of their interest.” 

Ashish feels there is potential in gender hi-end fashion. “That will be the future of fashion. Even with this property (Blenders Pride Glassware fashion NXT), three years down the line, I won’t shy away from planning a theme that is completely gender-neutral. Last week, I showcased a menswear line in Goa that was completely gender-neutral. Even when designing it, my thoughts weren’t men or women specific. Ten years down the line, I predict that the boundaries for womenswear and menswear will blur.”  

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