This is posh: one city, two fashion weeks and many beautiful people with many invites.
Two leading factions of India’s fashion community hit the ramp this week with separate Fashion Weeks— each claiming to be The Week.
Delhi Fashion Week starts today while Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week kicks off on Wednesday. And this was no coincidence, going back to the bitter infighting that split the Fashion Design Council of India, the fashion frat’s ruling union.
It’s basically two sets of designers clashing over their bread-and-butter collections. The breakaway group calls itself the Fashion Foundation of India — led by former Executive Director of FDCI Sumeet Nair and supported by heavyweight designers like Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani in the Delhi fashion week.
Designers like JJ Valaya, Ritu Kumar and many others make up the rival week by FDCI.
Asked about the clash of dates, President FDCI Sunil Sethi said: “They (the rival lot) could have brought some new-ness to the fashion weeks than clash the timings.”
Most buyers feel overwhelmed dealing with two fashion weeks at the same time. Pradeep Hirani of Kimaya, said, “Clashing fashion weeks would prove too hectic and cumbersome for us.”
According to Nair, Delhi Fashion Week has commitments from 150 buyers, including Isetan from Japan, Ovo Studio from Madrid, Design Best from Bourdeaux and Seibu from Hong Kong.
Wills has over 160 registered buyers including Vittorio Radice, CEO of La Rinascente, Harvey Nichols, Anthropology (with over 100 stores in the US) and Liberty of London.
And there are no signs yet of the financial crisis sweeping across the world. “There hasn’t been a single cancellation so far,” says Sethi.
That may be the only thing for the fash frat to celebrate: there’ll be deals to cut.
(Inputs from Kirti Mehta)