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Forecast for fashion

When the world is facing financial crisis, the fashion world is witnessing a major expansion of scale, says Vinod Nair.

fashion and trends Updated: Mar 13, 2009 16:48 IST
Vinod Nair

When the whole world is facing an intense financial crisis, the fashion world is witnessing a major expansion of scale and budgets, starting with the Delhi Fashion Week today. DFW, the maiden venture by the Fashion Foundation of India (FFI) begins today, followed by the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week tomorrow under the aegis of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI).

The interesting thing is that no matter what winds of credit crunch buffet a country, there is no cutting corners in luxury. Even when the American stock markets were burning, the New York Fashion Week went ahead successfully. Just a few days ago, as crisis hit Europe, the Paris Fashion Week did not break its stride.

The same is happening in India. No doubt, the business of fashion will be doubled with the introduction of two fashion weeks at the same time. The number of buyers will be many more than what one fashion week could attract. According to Sumeet Nair of DFW, the FFI has garnered over 150 buyers, including Isetan from Japan, Ovo Studio from Madrid, Design Best from Bourdeaux and Seibu from Hong Kong.

“We see the financial crisis more as an opportunity, as buyers may want new, high-value creativity with lower price tags,” says Nair. The WLIFW has over 160 registered buyers already and is expecting a few more. This list has well-known names like Vittorio Radice, CEO of La Rinascente, Harvey Nichols, Anthropology (with over 100 stores in the US) and Liberty of London. “There hasn’t been a single cancellation so far, even with the financial crisis,” says FDCI president Sunil Sethi.

“We hope the creativity of our designers will bring bloom to the gloom.” Now, if buyers are invited by organisers without the clause that they can only attend one event, their presence will benefit all designers, as both sides seem to have lots of talent on show.

Two fashion weeks have also fuelled demands for models, choreographers, set designers, hotels etc, generating more business already. Now it remains to be seen how many buyers write a cheque for the main attraction — the designers.

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