The sartorial successes and flops notwithstanding, the business of fashion got off to a positive start this morning at the newborn Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
Buyers from retail heavyweights like Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, CK Tang of Singapore and Browns of London occupied front row seats to spot who, if any, their chosen representatives of Indian fashion would be.
About 150 domestic buyers will be present at the five-day affair and are likely to contribute to the bulk of the business generated at the show.
Pradeep Hirani, CEO, Kimaya Fashions, believes that it is an event where many designers will be under scrutiny of the media and buyers.
For designer Narendra Kumar, who operates four stand-alone stores across the country, it matters little whether approval comes from domestic or foreign buyers.
He says, "Anyway, no sales will immediately follow the event as actual orders will take a minimum of 2-3 months to materialise."
Viona Chor, senior manager, merchandising, CK Tang, says that while the apparels on display may appeal to some of the European and American markets, they are too heavy on embellishments to be attractive in markets closer home, like Singapore and Hong Kong.
"In the East, the clothes will appeal to a very niche market," she said.
Representatives of the international media, who were drawing amusing parallels between the apotheosis of celebrity attendees here and the Olympus Fashion Show in New York, had their own take on the show. One said, "Hype is not always a bad thing. It helps provide fashion a platform for visibility."
It was hard not to notice that seats reserved for the "large" foreign media contingent (Marie Claire, OK, Hello), were usurped by others, one presumes in their absence.
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