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Small town boys with big dreams!
In the 1980s fashion world, full of pedigreed Italian and French bags, Hidesign bags stood out , not only for their earthy naturalnessand rebellious political message , but even more because they were made in India .
An Indian brand that had a distinct identity: unique in its design, its emotional commitment to ecology and its insistence on using great , natural leather that was older than any European leather. We were clearly the new kid on the block.
Hidesign was establishing itself as a unique hybrid brand. On the one hand, we were relying on craftsmanship from the Indian cobblers and using brass casting and traditional East India leather. On the other hand, Hidesign’s cultural identity was clearly linked to the cultural revolutions that swept through the Western world in the 1960s.
Initially, Hidesign had no Indian market. Cut off from the world by a closed, socialist economy, Hidesign’s home country missed out on the great changes in western social, sexual, music and political norms . For its first seventeen years , Hidesign sold successfully in urban centres of dynamic fashion leadership: San
Francisco , New York , Boston , London and Melbourne. The end of apartheid in South Africa saw Hidesign grow in Johannesburg and Cape Town (as well as in Nelson Mandela’s wardrobe).
What a difference twenty years makes! The opening up of the Indian economy saw hundreds of thousands of Indians discover the world of fashion as they went to study, trade and shop in the West. The year 1990 saw Hidesign open its first store in India, in its small home town of Pondicherry, followed by stores in Mumbai and Delhi. In nine years of rapid growth, Hidesign discovered a love affair with India.
India is now our biggest market, having surpassed the United Kingdom in 2009. Hidesign is no longer just a western brand; today it is expanding in India , Malaysia , Russia and Sri Lanka. Hidesign has become part of the incredible change sweeping across Asia . This is an adventure that has only just begun.