Troopers of the Trade


Lecoanet Hemant: Troopers of the Trade

Designer duo Hemant Sagar and Didier Lecoanet’s factory in Gurgaon — a 10,000 sq feet project designed by

architect Arun Rewal — is a lesson in the precisions that work behind fashion. Couturiers both,the designers were approved members of the Chambre Syndicale Couture de la Paris for many years. “Couture is the first thing worth $200,000 that nobody needs,” says Sagar,practical and forthright in his working approach. The factory,that employs around 200 people,has been designed on Feng Shui principles. Sagar and Didier haven’t just turned enormous cutting tables into working desks; they work in offices that match the size of a car showroom.

Twenty-six years into the trade,formerly in Paris and then in Gurgaon for six odd years,the pair now not only makes clothes for Lecoanet Hemant,their own label,but outsources design and supply for premium labels across the world. At the same time,they are not rigid about fashion as just a glamourous pursuit. They make corporate uniforms for five star hotels,premium salons,luxury spas and offices.

At the factory,with its state-of-the-art machinery,grading machines and pattern plotters,designs and patterns can be sent anywhere in the world. The cement and sandstone structure includes an in-house embroidery section,a metal division,a leather workshop,an archival library storing their 25 years of couture and prêt collections,a fashion library,sampling and cutting units,marketing and press sections and an amphitheatre. “Fashion is not about a person,it is the unknown that is exciting in fashion,” says Sagar,but only after he has installed every machine that can circumvent the unknown. Both admit that fashion is by design,never by default. “Technology is strategy,it brings uniformity,which is a must for every season,” says Sagar. Didier smiles,only too knowingly.