Five promising designers will debut at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) here next month in a further affirmation of the event's commitment to promoting new talent in the Indian fashion industry, said a statement here Wednesday.
<b1>Ameet Sikka, Neetu Gupta, Samant Chauhan, Shubhra and Zubair Kirmani were selected after an arduous scrutiny of 20 prospects and will showcase in the new Hi-5 category of WIFW here March 21-26, it was announced.
Creativity, quality and design edge were the benchmarks for their selection.
"We nurture young talent and encourage them to enter the market. Hence, the introduction of this initiative was only a natural step to take forward the process of evolution of the Indian fashion industry," said Rathi Vinay Jha, director general of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) that is organising WIFW.
"India has a pool of young talent waiting to be tapped. Through WIFW, the FDCI aims to serve as a catalyst towards taking the Indian industry to international levels by encouraging new designers so that they dream big and chart out new avenues. I wish our Hi-5 designers the very best", she added.
The selected five will be given the chance to show their talent for both prêt and diffusion lines through 12 garments each.
<b2>"As India's only fashion trade event focused on the business of fashion, WIFW draws the biggest domestic and international buyers, media and fashionistas," an FDCI release said.
"This will, therefore, prove to be a golden opportunity for the five designers to show their creativity and mettle to India and the world," it added.
Strong credentials back the selected designers.
Chauhan, who enjoys working on natural fibres, has participated in the Singapore Fashion Week and was declared the first runner up at the Asian Young Designer Contest at the 2005 edition of the show.
Shubhra, a strong believer of creativity with a cause, has won the Femina Design Contest.
Kirmani, who hails from Kashmir, is known for blending contemporary minimalism with classic heritage.
Gupta's designs are futuristic in their feel.
Sikka is a graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) with a postgraduate diploma from Nottingham Trent University. He lays special emphasis on cut and form, using a mix of fabrics and textures.