It was more than a decade ago that the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) was formed. Since its formation, the only thing that came out of it that is worth mentioning is the inception of fashion weeks that not only brought in a sense of belonging among the fashion designers but also brought India’s fashion on to the global map.
While there’s no denying this aspect, I feel that the FDCI, considered to be the apex body of fashion designers in the country, perhaps move more into the industry and involve itself providing solutions to the problems faced by the member designers.
There were many occasions in the past when fashion designers called me to say that another designer has copied their designs. I should have thought that as the association that all member designers respect, it was the job of the FDCI to take up the issue and find a solution to this. I called many of its EDs and DGs in the past and they all said that FDCI has no right to interfere in matters such as this one and that designers should take this up legally if they want a solution.
While I agree that the legal aspect of the matter still holds true, I also feel that perhaps the FDCI should be empowered to take actions against the designer who copied if found guilty. It should be able to take action against those found guilty and expel them.
In the same way, whenever the state government imposes a tax burden on fashion, I see an unrest amongst fashion designers and so far I have not seen the body taking this matter up with the government. This happened even recently and all one can see is fashion designers who are members complaining about the increase saying their retail prices would go up and clients will find it hard to digest. In situations such as this the FDCI atleast should act as a liasoning authority and it should try and see what it can do to help its member designers.
FDCI should also take serious interest in promoting young designers who are found worthy. All of us know that talented youngsters in India today are struggling, as they don’t have the financial support to start their career. What is happening now is that they are just given a platform to debut, that too at a price. Once they show their worth on the fashion runway, then they are left to fend for themselves. FDCI is a body that can easily create funds and support these talents.
Of course, there are many other ways too, through which the body can work towards the promotion of India’s fashion industry. All we see today is that it is managing and organising various fashion weeks. While fashion weeks definitely are important and the FDCI managed it quite successfully so far, it is about time that it started looking beyond them and work towards making the industry grow further.