The ongoing WIFW in the Capital has all the makings of a perfect fashion week - the crowd, the venue, the socialites and the free flowing liquor. Everything, but new business opportunities, say some designers who aren’t too happy with the list of buyers this season.
“What’s the point of taking part in a fashion week if it doesn’t get you any new business opportunities?” asks designer Raakesh Agarvwal, who has skipped WIFW this year. “The buyers who attend are the ones who already come to us. Besides these, who order for a mere 20-25 pieces, what we need is corporate business deals. I would love to do a diffusion line for Westside, Shoppers Stop or Lifestyle, but they need to come to us. The real market is here.”
“We’ve learned over the years that it might sound great to have names like Harrod’s and Blooming-dales, but the quantity they order is negligible. As for corporate tie-ups, designers need to understand, all that we can do is introduce them. How they take it forward is up to them. If they don’t have the right infrastructure, how can they expect a giant corporation to invest in them!” says Sunil Sethi, president, Fashion Design Council of India.
Buyers, on the other hand, feel such events need a lot of improvement to attract corporate investment. “Of the designers at WIFW this time, 40% don’t even deserve to be here. How can serious business happen with sub-par talent?” asks Shaan Thadhani of White, a retail chain that is a buyer. “There are just too many designers doing too many things; not all of it is good,” agrees designer Sanchita Ajjampur.