Grounded in long-term ethnographic fieldwork in New Delhi’s fashion industry, this article explores the pressing question on the designer’s mind, namely: how do I align the desires of others with my (master)-desire? This question points us towards an investigation of how people’s affects are mobilized and directed through commercial rituals such as fashion shows set within hyper-designed theatrical play-spheres. Translating the invisible or covert mobilization of affects into profit has been on the mind of advertisers for the last decade. However, analysing such deliberately covert strategies of capture employed in two cases – JJ Valaya’s haute couture shows and Nitin Bal Chauhan’s youth brand – we realize that it is precisely their failure at being covert that makes them effective; clients know full well about them. Robert Pfaller’s theory of ‘illusions without owners’ can throw some light here on why clients passionately embrace the desire of capital precisely against their better knowledge.