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SHONALI MUTHALALY
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Interview Dilip Kapur talks about Hidesign’s new cool venture

Hidesign takes pride in rebellion. When fussy party bags, bursting with bling, were the norm, it flaunted the rules and created sturdy, earthy, handbags with clean lines. This was in the late 70s when the brand was born. Since then it’s gradually evolved into a defiantly individual entity, defining luxury as handcrafted design, replete with details. So it’s not surprising that its first collection of sunglasses follows the same rules.

The newly launched line consists of what Hidesign calls “retro-chic sunglasses with a contemporary edge.” Founder and president Dilip Kapur says they exude Hidesign’s “philosophy of simplicity”. The glasses are made with acetate, metal and leather, deliberately avoiding plastic. “Because, well, can you imagine Hidesign using plastic?” laughs Dilip, adding, “That’s why we use acetate instead (Acetate is manufactured using wood pulp as a raw material. It’s used in premium sunglasses all over the world.) It doesn’t give you allergies because of plastic and chemicals... It doesn’t corrode. And when it’s hand polished it gives this incredible translucent glow from deep inside which is something you never get from plastic…”

Of course the sunglasses also have a distinctive Hidesign stamp: leather. Kapur says they decided to move into sunglasses to diversify the brand. “I think we were getting typecast as a bag brand. That’s not how we see ourselves,” he states, adding, “I wasn’t so limited when I started out. I used to make anything that crossed my heart. I worked with metal. I made clothes. I even made shoes. Then I got hold of the hotels.” Sunglasses were a logical choice, since they complemented the bags. “Besides, there’s a need for it here,” Kapur says, talking about how India is going to be his biggest market as it has no other significant players in the designer sunglass segment yet. “Hidesign clearly attracts a certain type of a woman or man. Independent. Professional. Influenced by the world…” The Hidesign team works with a French company, which works on the design, and then gets the sunglasses made in China. “We go there with all our research. Sit down with designers. Go back and forth. We add the branding and leather design.”

This first collection offers the classic styling as well as a more cheeky line of vintage shapes in bright colours such as red, pink and aubergine. There are 46 options to choose from in all. Available in 39 Hidesign stores across the country, the glasses are Polarized, as well as UVA & UVB protected. They are priced between Rs.3000 to Rs. 4500” says Kapur.

SHONALI MUTHALALY

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