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Is fashion week minting money?

As the most spectacular fashion show kicks off in the Capital, does it really mean good business? Asks Deepti Kaul.

fashion and trends Updated: Sep 09, 2007 01:15 IST
Deepti Kaul
Deepti Kaul
Hindustan Times

The most spectacular fashion extravaganza of the country, Wills India Fashion Week, has really impressed. But does that really mean good business? Well, that is a million dollar question.

WIFW is a huge event for India designers because this is the only fashion jamboree where the entire fashion fraternity comes together and showcases its collection to the world. The show is not just a platform for the designers, but it means more than that.

Fashion week more than just a fashion fair

FDCI chairperson Rathi Vinay Jha comes up with a complete definition. "It is a very complex market. FDCI works as a catalyst, ramp is the market, stalls are the business places and this fashion fair is a place where many business relations start. Buyers come here not only to buy clothes or for orders but they also come to see a designers' consistency and then work out the business," Jha says.

"It is a perfect synergy between the FDCI and the designers. You share your vision with the world. The concept, started ten years ago, has come a long way and I am proud of it," says designer Raghavendra Rathore.

Retailing a reality

Fashion malls or the dedicated fashion floors are going to be a reality and the designers are very positive about the whole idea. "Trade will increase surely because the gates of retailing are opening in our country and internationally also, big players are coming in true sense and want a serious business," says Designer Leena Singh from the Ashima Leena duo.

Designer Raghavendra Rathore gives a green signal to the retailing idea, saying, "Retailing is going to play a big part in
the increase of trade in the fashion industry. Real estate is booming, prices are going up, fashion malls are coming into the scene, great times are ahead."

Corporate and fashion a heady mix

Designers are both skeptical and positive about corporates entering the fashion market and having a tie up with designers. Some think that it will increase the business, while some think that it will trammel their identity. Fashion designer Siddhartha Tytler says, "It will disfigure the whole system, I have my fixed clientele and I don't want to come out of the my niche."

Agrees Leena from the Ashima Leena group as she presents a different aspect. "Designer wears will lose their exclusivity. Corporates will use the designers here in India; it's not the scene like the international brands like Channel and Prada where it's just brand that works. We will be used for the designs and no profit will be shared with us. But if companies work out a good strategy and let the designer show his/her creativity, I think it will work," says she.

Rathi Vinay Jha, chairperson, FDCI, sums it up, "I agree with both the aspects, there is a possibility that a designer's identity will be hampered but it all depends on the growth plans and business plans of a designer and how desperate is she/he to work with a corporate.