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Is Sanjana Jon a fashion designer?

As Delhi gears up for the fashion week, some are raising doubts about the eligibility of Sanjana Jon, US based rape-convict designer Anand Jon’s sister, to participate at the event.

fashion and trends Updated: Oct 23, 2009 17:55 IST
Maanwi Malik

As Delhi gears up for the fashion week, some are raising doubts about the eligibility of Sanjana Jon, US based rape-convict designer Anand Jon’s sister, to participate at the event. “I never knew Sanjana Jon is a designer. All I knew is that her brother is a designer. The prerequisite for someone to show at the fashion week is to have a retail network in major metros. Have you ever seen her clothes anywhere? I haven’t,” says designer Bobby Grover, adding, “She became a member of FDCI barely a month back.”

Investigations on her background reveal that not many in the US, where she used to handle ‘marketing’ for her brother, recognise Sanjana — a post graduate in sociology from Chennai University — as a fashion designer. An Indian designer, who stayed in the US for many years, says on condition of anonymity, “She was never a designer back in the US. She claims to be a design graduate from Parsons but all she did there was a certificate course in marketing.”

A close associate who has worked with Sanjana said, “In the past, she has been accused of buying clothes from countries such as Brazil and showcasing them at her shows.” Fashion Academician Harmeet Bajaj says, “Sanjana was always Anand Jon’s sister, never a designer herself. She’s riding on a sympathy wave. FDCI is a body of international repute and they should be judicious about who they select.”

Clarifying her credentials, Sanjana said, “Yes, I handled marketing for Anand. But I gradually learnt the art of designing. Soon I’ll have manufacturing units in Delhi. I’ve done courses in fashion designing, marketing and photography.” When asked if she’s ever showcased in a fashion week, she replied, “My first show was at Cannes in 2004. The last show was in India in 2007 for charity. This is the first time I would do a show with so many designers here in India. Salman Bhai helped me and I’m here only because of him.”

Evidently, it is her proximity to actor Salman Khan that has helped Sanjana bypass the norms. When asked about how Sanjana meets the criteria with almost nil experience and no retail network, Sunil Sethi, president FDCI said, “She’s doing her show in the ‘sponsored category’ for a TV channel. Choosing her was the sponsors decision, they did it because she promised to get Salman Khan.”
—Inputs from Jaydeep Ghosh