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It's a hard sell for designers!

The Spring-Summer Fashion Week fails to impress Western buyers as only a few designers bag big orders.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2006 17:15 IST
Jaydeep Ghosh
Jaydeep Ghosh

With more than 70 international buyers, representing world-famed department stores such as Galeries Lafayette and Maria Luisa of France coming here to scout for Spring-Summer trends, the five-day fashion extravaganza was expected to bring in moolah. But sadly things haven’t worked all that well.

“Without the West Asian buyers, we would have been doomed,” says a designer.
Moolah rage: For designers it has been all about investment v/s returns. The average amount that a designer puts in for a solo show at the Fashion Week is about Rs 5 lakh, including cost of stall, PR exercise etc.

Designer Leena Singh says, “Most designers keep a margin of 20 to 25 per cent in their prêt lines and to recover the investment of Rs 5 lakh, you need business of at least Rs 25 lakh.” But there are a few designers like Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Anamika Khanna, Varun Bahl, Rina Dhaka, Shantanu & Nikhil and Namrata Joshipura, who have managed to get response from prestigious buyers like Galeries Lafayette, Maria Luisa and Marubeni.

Nikhil Mehra says, “Though Maria Luisa buys small quantities, it’s a prestigious store to sell from.” Says Rina Dhaka, “I have been at Galeries Lafayette’s India promos earlier and this time too they liked certain pieces.”

Buyer Maria Luisa says, “Rajesh Pratap is so European that he can’t be ignored. Manish Arora has Indian element in international styles and Anamika Khanna’s embroidery is so fine that it looks like a painting. Meera and Muzaffar Ali is also modern and acceptable to the West.”

Winter blues?
The common grouse is that renowned buyers see only shows that are hard-sold to them or if the designer is a friend. Also, this time apparently most buyers have spent their time shopping and sightseeing to avoid being hounded by designers.

A top-notch buyer representative says, “Some designers come uninvited and literally push them to attend their shows.”

Another shocking discovery is that some domestic buyers are actually scouting for winter wear at a Spring-Summer show and designers who don’t have good deals in hand comply and show their winter ware. Now that’s hard sell!

First Published: Sep 04, 2006 12:57 IST