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Designers to host Lakme Fashion Week

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, June 8

THE Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the apex body of Indian designers, will support the burgeoning Indian fashion industry through a structured approach.

As a first step, it will hold an annual event, titled India Fashion Week, to showcase ready-to-wear designer clothing. With Lakme Lever Ltd as the title sponsor for the first three years, this first Lakme India Fashion Week will be held in New Delhi this August. This show will bring together all key elements of the garments industry.

Announcing the initiative, Mr. Sumeet Nair, Board member, FDCI, said, ``It is acknowledged that India has the potential of becoming a significant global player in the clothing and apparel business. We believe that this potential can only be realised thro ugh the concerted efforts of the entire designer community, the textile industry, production houses, retail market, the fabric and accessory manufacturers, and last but not the least, investment from the corporate sector.''

The event will provide a platform for the entire Indian fashion industry to showcase its best talent to the world.

Leading Indian designers came together in December 1998 to form the FDCI, to foster the growth of the Indian fashion industry in India and internationally. Under the aegis of the Textile Ministry and in close working relationship with institutions like N IFT, FDCI will provide a platform for designers, encourage investments and professional input in designer labels and aid the growth of such garments by developing the fashion supply chain through backward linkages with suppliers and mills. It will forwar d linkages with the retail and distribution network.

Also, the FDCI has commissioned a detailed market study to assess the existing retail network for garments in the country and the possibility of its reinforcement and expansion. The study, to be undertaken by ORG-Marg, will concentrate on forecasting pro duct demand at various price points, consumer preferences and gaps at the retail level that will need to be plugged for the industry to grow at a rapid pace.

Commenting on the importance of the study and the fashion week, Mr. L. V. Saptharishi, Director General, NIFT, and Member, FDCI Board of Directors, added, ``So far, individual designers have focussed essentially on haute couture, aimed at a limited audie nce. For a vibrant industry to emerge, the concomitant development of an affordable and strong domestic pret-a-porter, designer ready-to-wear line, marketed through an effective distribution network is essential.''

The first Lakme India Fashion Week will be held at New Delhi's Taj Palace convention centre from August 17-23, 2000. At the first ever trade event, 33 designers will present their pret lines through 24 fashion shows (21 individual shows and three shows w ith four designers each) in one venue over seven days. Lakme India Fashion Week will be held in association with Sunsilk, co-sponsors Flat and Taj Group of Hotels and other sponsors.

The event will be open to visitors by invitation only. It is expected to have more than 3,000 visitors ranging from individual and institutional buyers, to retailers, exporters, textile industry, print and electronic media, as well as sponsors' guests. A ttendees will get to see the latest collections from India's top designers, and see the best models, make-up trends, hairstyles and accessories for the upcoming season.

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