Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jul 20, 2002

Port Info

Group Sites

Variety - Fashion

Redesigning the fashion ramp

Anjali Prayag


"WHAT Nasscom did to IT , we hope to do the same to the fashion industry," says Mr Vinod Kaul, Executive Director, Fashion Design Council of India. The FDCI is an independent association of fashion designers, which was formed in December 1998 to develop the fashion industry in the country.

Its current tasks are many. But primary among them is expanding the prÍt market in the country: Both on the demand and supply sides. Consider this: The Indian apparel industry which boasts of Rs 60,000 crore turnover, gets only Rs 180 crore from the organised sector. Internationally, fashionwear is divided into three categories: Haute couture, diffused wear and prÍt a porter. The first category being the absolute premium, mainly caters to Bollywood's needs and people involved in the film industry. These outfits are priced above Rs 30,000. The second, called the diffused sector, which is sold through premium boutiques, is priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 30,000 and the third, the prÍt a porter, meant for the average office goer, ranges between Rs 800 and Rs 10,000. The last ideally should be the largest segment in a country like India. Ironically, here, the prÍt wear forms only 30 per cent of the Rs 180 crore organised segment while the other two comprise 70 per cent of the segment. "Actually it should be the other way round," says the FDCI Executive Director.

It only goes to show that the Indian fashion industry is at a nascent stage. "We are trying to change that by encouraging fashion houses, mills, and manufacturers to tie up with designers. For prÍt, the design sense has to be different. Maybe designers can take a part of the couture design and make it available to more number of people.''

But there are other teething problems here that need to be sorted out: Quality, regular production cycles, serial production, etc. Mr Kaul feels a strong retail industry presence will help solve most of these issues and streamline the output in this category. There have been a few initiatives in this direction by Raymond that has tied up with 10-12 designers, Sheetal Design Studio, Shopper's Stop and Westside, which also outsource from designers. "But the business side of the Indian fashion industry really has a long way to go."

Trend forecasting is another aspect that is ignored by the fashion industry here, he says. This year, at the Lakme India Fashion Week, to be held between August 2 and 8, in New Delhi, the FDCI plans to have a trend forecasting forum and bring out a book on the subject.

"In the West, they have trend forecasting for colours, styles, fabric, etc." FDCI is also developing a database of the modelling community and standardising the modelling industry.

The council is also attempting to usher in an Indian ethos in the fashion industry that is currently ruled by Western ideas. "We are trying to contemporise Indian handicraft and handloom through the fashion industry and our trend book will say it all," says Mr Kaul.

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Stories in this Section
Apollo conducts health camp for children

Redesigning the fashion ramp
Khad food festival at Taj
Hindi music of yesteryears
Goli soda

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Copyright © 2002, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line