Fashion leaders assess the impact of Delhi-Mumbai alliance
The watershed moment of Fashion Design Council of India-led fashion week in Delhi and Lakmé’s Mumbai Fashion Week coming together as FDCIxLakmé Fashion Week has been greeted with cheer, optimism and bouquets in the Indian fashion fraternity. With Indian fashion slowly finding its feet post Covid-19, the news of the Delhi-Mumbai alliance couldn’t have come at a better time. Sunil Sethi, Chairman, FDCI shares, “A few virtual call meetings between Jaspreet Chandok, Ashwath Swaminathan and me was were enough to understand that there should be one fashion week and during the pandemic, we need to pool in our resources to join forces and realign. We’ve started working together and so far, I’ve experienced the spirit of camaraderie and cooperation between the teams.”
Designer Manish Malhotra sounds elated that this is happening this season and to encourage this, he agreed to do a live show taking time off from launching his next collection at his stores and digitally. “The reason I am doing the live show is to encourage the fashion community to come together and get back the energy of work and solidarity and of all of us being together. I am sure this season will go so well that we will have more seasons like this and I have to say it was a very wise decision by Sunil Sethi to do this. My congratulations to Mr Sethi, Nikhita Punja and Jaspreet Chandok. This is the future of fashion - all of us being together,” says Manish.
Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh is of the view that with this partnership, fashion won’t duplicate efforts. “This way we reduce a lot of confusion in the industry. I don’t know about the future but ideally there should be one fashion week. We’ve always wanted this for years. We need to look at how we go forward. Are we going to be immature? Are we perceived as serious business or as mere entertainers? These are joint baby steps and combined efforts and hopefully there will be one platform to showcase fashion digitally too,” says Singh.
Designer Tarun Tahiliani opines that the time has come where if we really want serious fashion weeks – whether ‘phygital’ or in any other format – because, going by what one sees abroad, we must all show up at one time and in the same city for it to be a serious industry event. “The fashion week may alternate between Mumbai and Delhi – and that’s fine – but it is something that has to be done. Otherwise, the market ends up getting fragmented, which has not boded well for anyone as one cannot have multiple fashion weeks compete for slots. Multiple fashion weeks all over the place only serve to dissipate the gravitas of the event and are subversive to the idea of cohesive growth. Rather, there should be one great week – with off site shows if and when needed – where designers are desperate to come and show and in doing so, raise the standard of the event. That’s the way it is the world over.”
Designer Anamika Khanna shares that since we are all coming out of depression, everyone has been contemplating about life - what matters and what doesn’t. “Whenever you get a ray of hope, you feel the need to go out, feel empowered. Our bodies have got the rest, we all feel healed. We want to live more and to feel better. Today it’s not about competition or who does a job better. And when you have two powerful forces coming together and the goal is the betterment of fashion and business then the result is two times more. It’s also creates less confusion,” says Khanna.
Designer Suneet Varma hails it as a win-win situation. “There was a massive divide before. And then it became a Delhi Mumbai divide. We are talking about the business of fashion and its important that the two metropolises come together. I’ve been rooting for it for years. This move will create new business opportunities, new possible ventures and new creative opportunities. Every designer and stylist gets more work,” says Varma.