Meet the man who has just gone through hell trying to salvage one of the country’s premier fashion events. “Hamara luck hi kharab tha,” is how Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), describes the cancellation of Day 1 of the Wills Lifestyle India fashion Week because his organisation did not have the required fire safety license.
Sethi told HT City he hasn’t slept in three days as he chased the elusive license in between pacifying designers, buyers, media and all those who got caught up in the chaos of a fashion week that failed to start on time.
“For any event, the licences are obtained only a day before. We were supposed to get the fire license on Wednesday morning and our people were there to collect it, but it was a government holiday. Because of the Kolkata fire mishap, the fire department was being extra cautious,” he said.
The WIFW venue, the NSIC grounds, has not hosted an indoor event as large as this, resulting in stringent fire checks.
Sethi said he tried his best to sort out the problem on Wednesday. “Maine socha ki abhi permission mil jayegi, abhi mil jayegi aur hum shows shuru kar denge …der se hi sahi. But things just didn’t happen that way.”
Permission was finally granted on Thursday morning. The losses that have resulted from the cancellation have still to be tallied.
Compensation will come in the form of the extra day tagged on. Designers like JJ Vallaya, Ritu Beri and Rana Gill will now show on Monday. “We hope to make it really special and hence everyone’s support is needed for the same,” Sethi said.