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Fashion week a huge commercial hit, say designers

May 04, 2004 13:06 IST

Fashion fatigue may have set in for the rest of us. But at the Lakme India Fashion Week this year, now is the time to uncork the champagne.

Designers have unanimously declared this year's fashion week as the biggest commercial hit ever.

"We had loads and loads of buyers this year. If you ask any designer, they will say this has been the most commercially successful fashion week in India," says designer Wendell Rodricks.

Rodricks claims to have had loads of order from both domestic and international buyers.

The Fashion Design Council of India, the apex body of fashion in India, says business is up at least 30 per cent. Exact numbers are difficult to get as yet, says FDCI, as it still has to do the calculations.

"We will get the exact numbers in about 10 to 12 days, but initial estimates show we have certainly exceeded the 30 per cent target we had set ourselves," says Vinod Kaul, executive director, FDCI.

Designer Sabyasachi Mukerjee's show was among the most applauded this year at the fashion week. Not surprisingly, he says he has got orders from buyers in New York, London, Kuwait and Singapore.

"I have got loads of business this year. I have some excellent orders from buyers and I think the fashion week this year has been very successful," says Sabyasachi.

Much of the commercial success is being attributed to the fact that the designers have learnt their lessons over the years.

Last year, Rina Dhaka admits she was terribly disorganised as a result of which she lost out a number of potential buyers for her collection.

"I just didn't get my act together. I lost out on a whole lot of orders last year," says Rina.

This year, Rina was the opening show at the Lakme India Fashion Week. Soon after, she was in business. Her stalls were open on time, her outfits tagged and the colour sheets ready.

"I worked hard to make sure I got it right this year. The buyers have shown a lot of interest in my work. I just can't compare the amount of orders I am getting this year to what I got last year!" she says.

Designers also say this year's commercial success stems from the fact that they were clear about which market their clothes were designed for.

"I knew I wanted to target the domestic buyer rather than the international one. So I worked on my collection accordingly and had real people model the clothes," says Wendell Rodricks.

The international buyers, though, are not too happy with what they say is the lack of professionalism displayed by the Indian designers.

"None of the stalls were open at 9 am. I would have gone and seen them if they had actually opened in the mornings on time," says Albert Morris, a buyer for Browns in London.

Other buyers say the colour sheets and the costing for many of the outfits was missing, which made it difficult for them to make a decision about buying.

Despite these glitches, the designers are a delighted lot.

"I have had a lot of orders come in for jewelled t-shirts and saris. I think this fashion week has been the best ever," declares Tarun Tahiliani, one of the czars of Indian couture.

Also see:
The Rina Dhaka collection
The Wendell Rodricks collection
The Sabyasachi collection
The Tarun Tahiliani collection

Priya Ganapati in New Delhi