All the glamour and the buzz comes down to only one aspect at the end of fashion weeks — the business. Thanks to the meltdown, the buyers have tightened their purse strings but designers are hopeful.
Benoit Jutel of MC2, Paris, was very happy with designers’ work but wasn’t sure which designers to take to his showroom. He says, “I like Abhijeet Khanna, Vineet Bahl, Small Shop and Atsu. I loved the young designers.” On his maiden visit to India, Italian buyer Gianni Tositti was impressed by the talent here. He said, “We have showrooms in Milano and we are dedicating a special one to Indian designers.” They have zeroed in on Malini Ramani, Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal. Vidya Narine of Rendez-vous, Paris, who has shortlisted Savio Jon for her exhibition in New York and Paris, said, “India has amazing talent.”
Japanese buyer Tomoko from Beams, has booked orders from Kavita Bhartia, Payal Jain, Namrata Joshipura and Preeti S Kapoor. A Manish Arora fan herself, Tomoko said that the USP of India is its colour and fabric but the “designers need to experiment with style.” Ajaz Rahim of Miri, who retails Meera Mahadeva, Tarun Tahiliani and Ashima Leena from Dubai, liked Nitin Bal Chauhan and Leconeat Hemant. Ask him if the downturn has had an impact and he admits that the “budgets have been slashed” and minimal stuff is being bought. Tisotti said the meltdown has only increased the standards of quality. “There is a competition to make the best and the most creative a product.”
Designers, on the other hand, are feeling the diminishing buyer count. Tina Tahiliani of Ensemble, said, “There are no new buyers this time. Not many Middle Eastern buyers have turned up.”
Alpana and Neeraj feel that the business isn’t as great as it was last season. Designers like Atsu, Vineet Bahl and Nakul Sen have done decent business with domestic buyers but are hopeful that the buyers will make a beeline sooner or later.