Delhi designers snub LIFW
For Ravi Bajaj, a founding member of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the Lakme India Fashion Week holds no promise. Not just because of the politics and the endless meetings but also, as he puts it, "I'm not looking at foreign buyers as the domestic market has great potential. The Ravi Bajaj label has a presence from Lucknow to Hyderabad. So, the fashion week is a waste of time."
There is also a lot of heartburn in the designer community about this year's venue and Goa-based designer Wendell Rodricks getting a chance to showcase his collection twice in three years. "If it was in Delhi I'd participate. Mumbai is tough with living in hotels and all the hassles of fittings and alterations," says Taika's Poonam Bhagat.
Couture king Suneet Varma has taken just one stall at this year's LIFW and is not showing his collection on the ramp. "I'm doing pret for the first time with my new label Spice. And I don't think a show will do justice to the clothes with the lights, drama and girls. It will take away the focus. A one-to-one with buyers would be a better idea."
David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore, who've been retailing from Liberty and Selfridges, UK, don't feel the need to be part of the LIFW. "I've never thought about it for the last four years but who knows I may be part of it next year," says Abraham.
Madhu Jain, known for her Kutch-embroidered kurtas, has also opted out because of the venue. "I already have a good retail network in Mumbai as I supply to Kimaya. I wouldn't be comfortable doing a show in a Mumbai when Delhi is the fashion capital," says Jain.
Why have the concerns of Delhi designers been ignored? After all, 28 out of the 52 participants are from the Capital. Is the FDCI listening?