It has all the makings of a grand fashion week. Well, almost all the makings. While the organisers of India’s first ever ‘sportswear’ fashion week, to be held in Kolkata in November, are screaming from rooftops that they have India’s biggest sporting names walking the ramp for India’s biggest designers, the participants — both sport stars and designers — don’t even know about it!
The organisers have issued ads and sent press releases indicating that those who would walk the ramp include cricketers Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli, badminton ace Saina Nehwal, footballer Barreto Ramirez, shooter Abhinav Bindra and boxers Mary Kom and Vijender Singh. They are supposed to be flaunting outfits designed by the likes of Manish Malhotra, Anamika Khanna and Kiron Uttam Ghosh. Even actors Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are on the list of showstoppers.
So, did the organisers forget to send out invites to the participants? “Saina walking in a fashion week in Kolkata… where did this come from?” asked Saina’s father Harvir Singh. “I think it’s false news.” “We know nothing of any such event,” said boxer Mary Kom’s husband, Onkholer Kom. Designers, too, are clueless. “We have no idea why Kiron is on the list,” says Ghosh’s manager.
When quizzed about the ignorance of the ‘participants’, Sanjoy Sribastav of Ideas Unlimited, the event organiser, tried to salvage the situation by assuring that “they do know it”. However, he added, “We will check it up again.” Amid all the hype, the women’s cricket team — as always — stands neglected. While the team’s senior-most cricketer Anjum Chopra says, “Anyone in the team would love to be a part of it”, they haven’t even been approached. “We haven’t given it a thought, but we might talk to Jhulan Goswami [captain of the Indian women’s cricket team],” is all Sribastav is willing to say.