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Fashionably fraudulent

Designers expose agencies’ racket that promise shows at international fashion weeks.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 12, 2011 17:05 IST
Aaron Rohan George

Young fashion designers from Delhi and Mumbai have exposed a racket being run by fraudulent agencies that promise them slots in prestigious international fashion ‘weeks’.

“Two girls came up to us some weeks ago, claiming they could help me show during the New York and Paris fashion weeks. It was later that I found out that they represent Nolcha Fashion Week, a lesser-known side event in New York, and we didn’t want to participate in such an event,” says Delhi designer Narresh Kukreja. Mumbai-based designer Masaba Gupta, too, was approached by the same agency. She was promised that for a small fee of $500, select buyers and media would attend her ‘Talent from India’ fashion shows ‘during’ the New York Fashion Week. “I did not take up their offer because I found that their event was actually at a venue different from the New York Fashion Week’s,” says Gupta.

Masaba GuptaOthers in the fashion frat have been similarly misled. "I get many calls from agencies promising shows at big ticket events like the Milan Fashion Week or Paris Fashion Week. But, it’s most often to do with very small trade events organised elsewhere during the same time. One search on Google, and all their promises turn out to be a hoax," says Delhi designer Anand Bhushan. "These agents try to get you to participate and pay up at any cost, but once you ask for details, the claims come crashing," says Delhi-based designer Jenjum Gadi.

“These days, we get these kind of offers as soon as fashion weeks begin,” says the spokesperson for designer Gaurav Gupta. “Forget about international fashion weeks, such cases take place here in India, too. All these so-called fashion weeks taking place in numerous cities are just money-spinning scams. There have been so many cases where models and designers have been duped by them,” says fashion critic and buyer Umesh Jivnani.

When we contacted the agency that represents Nolcha Fashion Week, their spokesperson Alisha said, “There must be some confusion. We never promised NYFW to anyone.”