Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee Image Credit: Virendra Saklanli/Gulf News

If there’s a prize for evoking a polarising reception with a fashion capsule collection this year in India, then that trophy would undoubtedly be scooped by celebrated Indian designer Sabyasachi.

On August 12, the legendary Bengali designer Mukherjee, who created the wedding trousseau for Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma, collaborated with the Swedish multinational clothing retail company H&M to design a range of clothing at affordable prices. The collection was sold out in minutes online, but it was also met with scathing remarks and memes about how the designs were overpriced and underwhelming. Many complained about not being able to access the online application and accused the makers of trying to create a fake scarcity.

Sabyasachi's collection Wanderlust for H&M
A design from Sabyasachi's Wanderlust collection for H&M.

Several social media users also accused the designer of hawking a capsule collection that has been in circulation since their grandmother’s era.

The designer ended up releasing a statement addressing a part of the backlash. While he didn’t actively respond to his collection being substandard, Mukherjee spoke about how his team and the retail giant had miscalculated the demand and supply.

“Thousands of messages and e-mails later, I felt the need to address the disappointment a lot of you faced. To tell you the truth, I was on your side once. An impressionable fashion student and a massive Madonna fan, who was inconsolable that the couldn’t lay his hand on a single piece of the H&M x Madonna merchandise ... But what we did not comprehend was the response. I would not even call it overwhelming, just plain baffling,” said Mukherjee in an Instagram post.

He wrote in his post that he has always been keen to break barriers.

“But on my own terms and in my own way. Where ‘Designed In India’ would stand strong, alongside, ‘Made In India. There is a market for every single one of us, and there is only one secret to unlock it — just be yourself. Whoever you are. Shamelessly,” wrote Mukherjee, before signing off.