Indian fashion designers should focus on establishing their own couture or signature labels if they are to compete against international labels already taking advantage of the country's new consumer affluence.

Speaking at a seminar on the Business of Fashion, Simran Singh of the Fashion Design Council of India, stated that designer labels currently account for just two per cent of the market. In contrast, he said, diffusion brands have an 8-10 per cent share, while mass-produced clothing accounts for the bulk of business with a 90 per cent market share.

"If designers do not get into creating designer labels now, they will never be able to do it later. In the longer run, western designers labels with strong financial muscle may overwhelm Indian designers," he cautioned.

However, the biggest problems facing designers are their limited resources, poor industry infrastructure, and lack of business experience.

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