Lakmé Fashion Week puts the spotlight on Indian designers

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2011

Lakmefashionbl_23   -  PTI

The Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) has managed to integrate Mumbai and India into the Global fashion network. According to Mr Ravi Krishnan, Managing Director-IMG South Asia and Senior Vice President-IMG, “The purpose of Lakmé Fashion Week is to give impetus to the business of fashion in India, via addressing the fashion requirements of the fraternity and to keep it at par with international standards. Fashion is rapidly moving towards a digital revolution, and to cater to the change in market, we will be launching LFW TV, this season, which will provide a unique brand engagement for customers, by granting them access to LFW, whilst deriving additional value for the stakeholders of the event.”

This year LFW was held between March 10-15 at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai to show case the best of Indian and international fashion talent to an audience comprising buyers, media and influentials in the global fashion industry. Entering into the eleventh year of its existence, LFW is continuing its pursuit to commercialise Indian fashion through certain new initiatives taken this year.

New initiatives

These were 1. Digital Boost: This season it has launched LFW TV, an online streaming channel that beams live fashion shows to a worldwide online audience. The fashion property is already active in all social platforms - Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. 2. Driving Business of Fashion through E-Commerce: Continuing their successful association with the event last season is India's leading fashion trade e-Commerce portal – Fashion and You, as its official online retail Partner. The collaboration enables LFW designers to connect with its consumers and facilitates trade for budding Gen Next and Emerging designers, through a special “right of the runway” line targeting sale events and also promote select established designers 3. Focus on Talent Building: LFW's Gen Next program, entered its eleventh season at LFW, and was mentored by Stylist and Designer Aki Narula this season. Additionally, Fashion Workshop Series (FWS), an engaging forum that provided fashion enthusiasts an opportunity to interact with industry leaders, and discuss the latest trends, practices and learning in the fashion industry. 4. Slice of Japan: Lakmé Fashion Week and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan inked a collaboration with their cross-cultural exchange initiative, Tokyoeye, that saw the best of Japanese talent at LFW this season. JFW (Japan Fashion Week) designers like Tamae Hirokawa ,Motonari Ono and Sara Arai showcased their collections.5 Best in class Designers: This season saw celebrated designers like Anamika Khanna, Anita Dongre, Anand Kabra, Anupama Dayal, Little Shilpa. Manish Malhotra, Pria Kataria Puri, Rocky S, Satya Paul, Shantanu Nikhil and Sabyasachi.

Big sponsors

The list of sponsors for the LFW has also been growing. This year was saw maximum of 16 sponsors and there were non-fashion oriented sponsors as well like Dulux paints, Fiat and Aircel. Mr Krishnan added, “LFW provides brands a strong platform to achieve their marketing objectives, be it consumer engagement, brand recognition and recall, brand positioning, sampling and so forth. It is important to note that as far as today's consumer is concerned, fashion pervades everything we do. Fashion can no longer be described purely in terms of apparel and accessories, fashion is a lifestyle. It's also integrated in where we live, in the car we drive, at the restaurants we eat, the cocktails we drink etc.”

The sponsors engaged with the vent in the following ways: Fiat, the ‘Official Partners' this season, tied up with ‘Little Shilpa' to design the interiors of the ‘Linea' with Swarovski studs, and using innovative colours and materials in the designs. Dulux made painting the interiors of your home fashionable by launching a new line of seasonal colours which were interpreted into clothing by Anupama Dayal. Telecom major, Aircel, the ‘Associate Sponsor' made fashion ‘conscious' by driving its CSR initiative of “Save the Tiger” with designer Sabyasachi Mukerjee, showcasing designs inspired by ‘Tigers'. DHL, the ‘logistics partner' helped support and build the fashion industry by timely deliveries. For the consumer that means getting your purchases delivered not only in good condition but quickly. For the designers it meant reaching to a wider spectrum of consumers throughout India and the globe. The ‘Kingfisher' and ‘Blenders Pride' lounge provided designers an area to interact with their consumers and get insights into their buying patterns. It also allowed the brands gain ‘access' into the consumer's home post the event through sampling of new cocktails etc.

Buyer registrations

As for the business it generated this season, there was growth in the number of buyer registrations as compared to the last season. It received over 185 buyer registrations, out of which 143 are domestic and 42 international buyers from across the globe. The platform has attracted buyers from India like Aza, Amaara, Kimaya (Mumbai) and 'Nautanki' (Ahmedabad) and International buyers from South Africa, US, UK, Europe, Germany, UAE which includes Fortune Cookie,, Khalid M, The Gilte Groupe and many others.

LFW today functions as a creative and trade outlet to showcase innovative designs from around the world, an idea exchange and a networking base for designer-buyers to build a relationship. As a pioneer and leader in promoting the Business of Fashion, Lakmé Fashion Week extends this platform for designers and buyers to engage in business conversations and plan commerce. Speaking about business this season, designer Vijay Balhara said, “I started off with Lakmé Fashion Week as an emerging designer and within two seasons with the support of the organisers and the opportunities the platform offers, I have managed to establish myself and have received a superb response. I have done business worth Rs 1.2 million within a span of two months during LFW Winter festive 2010. And this season I have already managed to plug in many orders within the first 3 days of LFW 2011.”

“I have both domestic as well as international buyers. This season has seen more international buyers. Some of them include Karishma Galaya - Bombay Pink from London and buyers from Boston and New York. My new domestic buyers are Elahe, Evolve and Edoluzione. My buyers are 50 per cent outright and 50 per cent consignment. If all goes well this time around too, l should manage to break my own records before the season ends,” he concludes.

Published on March 23, 2011

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