This month, Exhibit caught up with Ankur and Priyanka Modi, or AM:PM as their brandname goes, who create elegant outfits worn and loved by one and all. The dynamic duo started their Fashion journey 12 years ago and are now on the path to propel their brand to greater heights.
Exhibit: Describe your journey.
AM:PM: We started AM:PM 12 years ago as a luxury prêt label and have consciously retained that in our DNA. When we started, fashion both on the runway and in real time, there was a stark dichotomy of traditional Indian or Western wear. Today, much has changed in terms of design, retail and technology. Designers are much more on pulse and create fashion that the customer is ready to consume instantly or ‘offthe-runway’. Retail has evolved and fashion is now much more accessible and not just aspirational. Technology like Social Media and E-commerce which were non-existent until a few years ago are now a huge part of the mainstream fashion dialogue. All of this has played a starring role in our journey. It has been a huge learning curve for us since we started and it’s kept us on our toes all the time. It is one of those industries which are fiercely competitive, where change is constant and rewards are rare! We rarely look back at what we’ve achieved and what has happened, but if were to do so in this instance, we’d definitely be grateful to all the people who’ve come together and gotten us this far. We feel truly blessed for all the appreciation and love we get from our loyalists.
Exhibit: Most remarkable experience in your career.
AM:PM: We’ve been very fortunate to have worked with some of the extremely popular names from Bollywood. Each of them has their own style and personality, and overall it’s been a wonderful experience. We recently had Jacqueline Fernandez come on board as our Brand Ambassador and it was only after announcing it did we realise that we were the first designer label to have signed a brand ambassador in the country! We also shot our brand campaign with her and it was a defining experience conceptualising, mounting and executing a shoot at such a scale. However, it became more enjoyable because Jacqueline is so friendly, positive and participative that you forget that you’re working with such a huge star!
‘‘ Our take is that technology can and should add real value to our lives and be utilised to comfort and enrich.
Exhibit: Fashion scene in the next 5 years.
AM:PM: Until a few years back, Indian women were dictated by an implicit convention. They were dressing according to society’s expectation of them. Women today on the other hand are out there working, travelling and consuming the newest trends off international runways on their phones. Thanks to the world becoming flatter, fashion is now so much more democratic; it is sought, bought and worn more to express oneself. With increasing incomes and a strong economy, the term ‘affordability’ has also positively become relative. The biggest change, however, has been the mind-shift. The modern Indian woman is dressing her personality. Thus, the fashion industry has become more dynamic, and we as designers have to constantly evolve to keep up with the same. We feel this is just the beginning. We see people becoming more adaptive to these changes and embracing modern and bespoke fashion with open arms.
Exhibit: AM:PM and Tech
AM:PM: Technology comes with its riders and since its all pervasive in today’s life, we need to treat it carefully and like all things with a clear vision. Our take is that technology can and should add real value to our lives and be utilised to comfort and enrich. It should also be used in moderation like all things good. For example, we feel e-commerce is a great channel that helps millions of people to save a lot of time; time that they can use to enrich their lives doing things they otherwise would not be able to. But an excess of its usage can not only mean the adverse but also make people reclusive and indifferent to other human contact. We use Facebook and Instagram to reach our consumers and interact with them at a much more personal basis. Our collections are also present online and can be easily purchased in the comfort of your home by customers in nearly 170 countries. In our personal lives, we use it to be connected, informed and updated.
Exhibit: Technology and the Fashion Industry.
AM:PM: In today’s time, fashion and technology are in sync with each other. Technology today has become an integral part of our lives. In the world of constant evolution, social media has become such a fantastic democratic tool to bring fashion directly to a consumer. It’s so revolutionary that what you see on the runway is in your wardrobe in a few weeks. The concept of luxury retail spaces is expanding rapidly due to the e-commerce sector. AM:PM retails from its exclusive online store as well as from its tie-ups with luxury online portals.
Exhibit: New Year’s resolutions.
AM:PM: None that we’re keeping!
Exhibit: Advice for budding fashion designers.
AM:PM: To be focused on the fact that it’s a real business and not a platform to just become popular.
Exhibit: AM:PM in 2017?
AM:PM: We’re still in the expansion mode. We currently have 11 stores spread over 7 cities across the country. We’re looking at being present in more places and reaching a much wider audience in 2017.
- Fashion myth: That you need to constantly look younger
- One tech gadget you can’t do without apart from your phone and laptop: iPad
- Car you drive: The BMW Gran Turismo
- Dream holiday pad: An island in Greece
- One person you love to dress in your creation: Priyanka Chopra
- Most unique tech gadget: Amazon Echo is pretty cool.
- Throwback to the most amazing memory: Skydiving in Spain
- Go-to fashion trend: Monochromes
- One piece of advice for budding Fashion designers: Enjoy the ride!
- Best piece of advice given to you: Stay happy
- One product on your tech bucket list: There’s some cool AI (Artificial Intelligence) stuff coming up. Looking forward to those!