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FDCI eyes tie-up with French fashion forecasters

By Maitreyee Handique
April 09, 2003 13:30 IST
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The Fashion Design Council of India is all set to streamline the Rs 200-crore (Rs 2 billion) fashion industry. The autonomous body has hired KPMG Consulting to conduct a study and develop alternative business models to spur growth.

Besides, FDCI also plans to set up a trend forecasting body for the Indian fashion industry as well as help it identify professional vendors (manufacturing units) that can meet the designers' demand for big-volume production.

In order to set up India's own trend forecasting body, FDCI is in negotiations for possible tie-ups with Promostyl and Peclar, two well-known fashion trend companies in France.

"Today, fashion anarchy exists in India. Also, with no operational trend forecasting agency in the domestic market, leftovers in the garment industry could go up to 20 per cent," says Vinod Kaul, executive director, FDCI.

As a step towards vendor-development to bail out the fashion industry's demands for increased production, FDCI has selected Delhi-based Meeraj Creations as one of its vendors.

The company will provide solutions for designers right from sampling to production to shipment. Says Kaul, “We are sieving the place to identify a couple of more professional vendors who could meet the compliance requirements.”

Meanwhile, the KPMG study, expected to be completed in August, will attempt to look at successful business models applied by the fashion industry worldwide.

It will look at trends both at the micro and macro levels, including issues such as brand corporatisation and retail business.

"The objective is to look at the fashion industry globally and its relevance in India. What we are trying to study is the entire fashion landscape," says Anurag Mehra, associate director at KPMG.

Based on the findings, FDCI plans to organise road shows and target strategic tie-ups with corporates and retailers, thereby create market for designers.

Recently, FDCI organised a one-to-one event called Fibres of Fashion to create synergies between fabric manufacturers, designers and retailers and focus on the wealth of Indian fabrics.

"There have been a lot of business inquiries," says Kaul, who plans to make it an annual event.

As India gears up to the retail boom and the fashion fraternity makes a transition from haute couture to pret, designers like Shantanu Mehra who placed orders after the event, aren't complaining.

"Most of these manufacturers produce for export houses abroad and we got a forecast of trends targeted at Spring/Summer 2004," he says.

Besides, interest in brand corporatisation is growing as designers cast their eyes on selling their goods and mill owners-turned-retailers are willing to let go of their conservativeness to win markets.

Raymond is said to have entered into a strategic tie-up with designer Rohit Bal and J J Vallaya has recently hired Ernst & Young to develop a business model. "This is where  FDCI comes in, to create iconic Indian brands like Gucci or Armani," says Shantanu Mehra.

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